July 10, 2019

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Tax Consequences of Gym Membership Reimbursement

All Good Deeds Get Taxed… In order to encourage employees to exercise, some employers and insurance carriers reimburse or subsidize employees for the cost of a gym membership. Cash or cash equivalent rewards (i.e., gift cards) are always taxable income to the employee. Employers frequently offer non-cash rewards to employees in the belief that such […]

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July 9, 2019

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Agencies Release 2020 Adjusted Limits

Now that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has released its final rules, and the IRS has released Rev. Proc. 2019-25, we know the 2020 cost-of-living adjustments for non-grandfathered plans subject to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), and health savings accounts (HSAs). For comparison purposes, the limits for […]

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July 9, 2019

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The Affordable Care Act’s Employer Mandate: Part 1

Determining Applicable Large Employer Status This article is Part 1 in a series intended to provide an overview of the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions (also known as the “employer mandate”) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The employer mandate generally requires certain employers – known as applicable large employers – to offer medical coverage to […]

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July 2, 2019

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President Signs Executive Order to Improve Healthcare Price and Quality Transparency

The President signed an Executive Order (or “Order”) on June 24, 2019, directing the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Treasury, and Labor (collectively, the “Tri-Agencies”) and other federal departments (together, the “Various Agencies”) to develop rules designed to assist patients in making informed decisions about their healthcare. What and When… This Order […]

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June 19, 2019

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New Health Reimbursement Arrangements Allowed Under Final Rules

The President signed an Executive Order on October 12, 2017, directing the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Agencies”) to consider rules expanding the availability and permitted uses for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The clear intent was to ultimately enable employers to offer HRAs to employees that can be […]

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April 17, 2019

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National Health Observance for April – World Immunization Week (April 22-28)

Each year, the last week of April is marked by the World Health Organization (WHO) as World Immunization Week.  The purpose of this week is to promote the use of immunizations to protect people of all ages against disease. The standard definition of “immunization” is the action of making a person or animal immune to […]

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April 10, 2019

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Paying medical claims with a Health Savings Account. When can it be done tax free?

I have run into this situation several times recently: An employee attempts to pay for their qualified medical expense claim with their health savings account (HSA) tax-free dollars, but are still taxed or face penalties. Why would this happen? Well, the ability to pay with tax-free HSA dollars is not based on when an employee […]

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April 2, 2019

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Association Health Plans (AHPs) – Update

Round One in the Fight over the new AHP Rules [Mostly] goes to the States Last summer, eleven states and the District of Columbia (the “States”) sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) over its final regulations intended to promote the expansion of AHPs (the “new rules”) on several grounds, including claims that the new […]

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March 27, 2019

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U.S. Department of Labor Releases Proposed Overtime Rule

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to revise the overtime salary thresholds under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule would increase the weekly salary threshold for exempt employees from $455 ($23,660 annually) to $679 ($35,308 annually). The DOL made earlier […]

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March 8, 2019

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Social Determinants of Health

Population Health Managers have long known that the health of an individual is dependent on a complex variety of factors, not just genetics and lifestyle. Health can also be determined by the places and conditions where employees work and live. Poor social and environmental conditions can negatively affect the health outcomes of those employees. For […]

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March 7, 2019

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Mistaken HSA Contributions

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have become increasingly popular over the past decade. When combined with a qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP), an HSA allows an individual to save money to be used on qualifying medical expenses at a later date. Employees may elect to contribute money to their HSA account on a pre-tax basis […]

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March 7, 2019

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Frequently Misunderstood Health Savings Account Issues

Authors: Christopher Beinecke is the Employee Health & Benefits National Compliance Leader for Marsh & McLennan Agency.  Jennifer Stanley is a Compliance Consultant in the Employee Health & Benefits Compliance Center of Excellence for Marsh & McLennan Agency. The health savings account (HSA) eligibility and contribution rules are often misunderstood, which can result in potential adverse consequences […]

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