Health Insurance

MI Chamber Champions Repeal of "HICA Tax"

The Michigan Chamber on June 8 issued the following statement in response to nearly unanimous passage of legislation championed by the Michigan Chamber to repeal Michigan’s unique and uncompetitive Health Insurance Claims Assessment, or “HICA Tax” (Senate Bills 987-990). The HICA Tax is a 0.75 percent tax on paid health insurance claims.  It is paid by individuals and businesses alike and has added nearly $1 billion to the cost of health insurance since its enactment in 2011.

IRS Accelerates Tax Help for Employers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched a new program to help employers avoid interest and penalty charges related to their payroll and employment tax obligations.

Under the new program, called the Early Interaction Initiative, the IRS will more closely monitor employers’ federal tax deposits (FTDs) and provide accelerated alerts to employers that fall behind on their required payments. These alerts may include letters, automated phone messages and personal phone calls or visits from the IRS.

Congress to delay ACA Cadillac tax on pricey health plans until 2020

A decision by Congress to defer a new tax on expensive employer health plans would cost the government an estimated $9 billion and have a potent symbolic effect as the first major change that lawmakers have made to the Affordable Care Act since its passage.

The two-year postponement in what has been dubbed the “Cadillac tax,” because it applies to high-priced insurance, is the most significant of three changes to ACA taxes that are woven into a sprawling budget package on which the House and Senate are preparing to vote within the next few days.

REPEALED: Health Care Reform's Auto-Enrollment Requirement

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed the "Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015." The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 includes a number of provisions and, with respect to Health Care Reform, it repeals the auto-enrollment requirement that applies to certain larger employers.

As originally enacted, Health Care Reform required employers with more than 200 full-time employees to: (1) automatically enroll new full-time employees in one of the employer's health benefit plans (after any applicable waiting period); and (2) continue enrollment of current employees.

Health Insurance Deductibles Growing Six Times Faster Than Wages, Study Finds

The steady upward creep in health insurance deductibles has easily outpaced the average increase in a worker’s wages over the last five years, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Kaiser, a health policy research group that conducts a yearly survey of employer health benefits, calculates that deductibles have risen more than six times faster than workers’ earnings since 2010.

Critics Say ACA Cadillac Tax Is a Tax on Essentials, Not Luxuries

The last major piece of President Barack Obama's health care law could raise costs for thrifty consumers as well as large corporations and union members when it takes effect in 2018.

The so-called Cadillac tax was meant to discourage extravagant coverage. Critics say it's a tax on essentials, not luxuries. It's getting attention now because employers plan ahead for major costs like health care.

2016 ACA Compliance Checklist

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made a number of significant changes to group health plans since the law was enacted over four years ago. Many of these key reforms became effective in 2014 and 2015, including health plan design changes, increased wellness program incentives and the employer shared responsibility penalties.

Additional reforms take effect in 2016 for employers sponsoring group health plans. To prepare for 2016, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy.

Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Will Impact Employers

On Friday, June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, a landmark decision in which it held all state laws banning same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. The effect of this decision is that same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the United States.

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies in Federal Exchanges

Today, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in King v. Burwell, the case challenging the availability of subsidies in health insurance Exchanges run by the federal government. In a 6-3 decision, the Court upheld the availability of subsidies in both state and federal Exchanges. The Court rejected the argument that the language of the Affordable Care Act authorized subsidies only in states that had set up their own Exchanges. With this ruling, the Court determined that Congress intended for the subsidies to be available to everyone.
 

Solution for Employers to Keep Offering Health Benefits - Go Private

Savvy employers know that to compete, they must offer job candidates a worthwhile benefits package. Placing a defined contribution plan into a marketplace or private exchange is starting to make the most sense of all.