Changes to the 2018 ACA Affordability Standard

July 15, 2017

Although the healthcare coverage debate rages on in our nation’s capital, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still the law of the land. It is important that employers remain vigilant in their ACA compliance efforts. In particular, the “affordability standard” is a component of ACA that has been frequently overlooked. Employers should be reassessing their employee contribution structure annually to ensure compliance and avoid costly penalties. In order to determine affordability, the IRS sets an “affordability percentage” annually. The affordability percentage is applied to the employee’s…
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Five common errors to avoid in benefits communication

June 26, 2017

As we ease into our summertime schedules, Open Enrollment is lurking around the corner (for those of you with calendar-year plans). Creating benefits communications that are engaging and helpful to employees is not difficult, but does take some planning and coordination. MCG can assist with the planning process as well as with communications strategy and creation. Whether you hire a consultant such as MCG or do your benefits communications in-house, we’d like to share a recent article by Willis Towers Watson that summarizes common errors…
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MCG’s Commitment to You

February 7, 2017

2017 brings much anticipated change for our nation and the laws that govern employee benefits. As always, the MCG team is committed to following legislative and regulatory developments as they occur, then developing a game plan and any modifications necessary to achieve your benefits goals. In 2017, we will continue to help you achieve your mission through our dedication to quality, integrity, and leadership in the areas of benefits cost control, compliance, and communications.  MCG is here for you.  

IRS Extends Deadline for Furnishing 1095 Forms to Employees

November 27, 2016

On Friday, November 18, 2016, the IRS announced that the due date for furnishing 1095-B and 1095-C Forms to individuals has been extended from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017.  While the IRS has recognized employers’ need for additional time to gather and review 2016 data in order to prepare the 2016 1095-B and 1095-C individual forms, the deadline for filing the 1094 and 1095 forms with the IRS was not extended and remains February 28, 2017 if filing by paper, or March 31,…
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IRS Announces 2017 Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) Contribution Limit

October 28, 2016

This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the 2017 limit on employee pre-tax FSA contributions will rise to $2,600, up from $2,550 in 2016. Revenue Procedure 2016-55 provides the details of this and approximately fifty other tax related annual inflation adjustments. The dependent care FSA maximum which is set by statute and not subject to inflation-related adjustments, will remain at $5,000. When does the new limit take effect? The $2,600 contribution limit applies to plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2017. What…
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The IRS Releases Final 1094-C/1095-C Forms and Instructions for 2016 Tax Year

October 25, 2016

The IRS recently released the final regulations relating to the 2016 1094-C/1095-C forms and instructions.  As expected, there are several changes and thankfully, some much needed clarification on non-employee reporting. Now is the time for employers to review the updates, start gathering data, and make any necessary changes to their systems in preparation for the 2016 filings. Some of the highlights are: Qualifying Offer Transitional Relief is no longer available New 1095-C Codes for Conditional Offers of Spousal Coverage. Two new line 14 codes (1J…
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Innovations in the Setting for Health Care Delivery

April 6, 2016

New Health Care Technologies: Will Expanding Care Options Increase or Decrease Costs? Historically, there were two options if you needed health care: your doctor or the emergency room. As demand for primary care increased and costs for emergency care soared, a third option appeared: urgent care. Recently, there has been an explosion of options to improve access to health care, including retail clinics at drug stores and telemedicine. In theory, these new options could reduce overall health care costs by treating conditions earlier and preventing…
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HHS Announces New Health Plan Out-of-Pocket Limits for 2017

March 3, 2016

HHS Announces New Health Plan Out-of-Pocket Limits for 2017 – On March 1, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the finalized 2017 health plan out-of-pocket (OOP) maximums.  Applicable to non-grandfathered health plans, the OOP limits for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2017 are $7,150 for single coverage and $14,300 for family coverage, up from $6,850 single/$13,700 family in 2016.  The OOP maximum includes the annual deductible and any in-network cost-sharing obligations members have after the deductible is met….
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IRS Extends Deadline for 6055/6056 Reporting

February 23, 2016

Many employers have been working hard to implement systems that will fulfill the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 6055/6056 reporting requirements due in 2016. In late December 2015, the IRS extended the reporting deadlines in IRS Notice 2016-4 for providing Form 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals from February 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016.  In addition, the deadline for an employer’s electronic submission to the IRS of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C was extended from March 31, 2016 to June 30, 2016 and if submitting by paper,…
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