Missing the Dependent Care FSA Run-Out period

Question:  Can the employer make an exception for an employee who fails to submit dependent care FSA claims by the end of the plan’s run-out period?  Could they extend the plan’s run-out period?    Compliance Team Response: Unfortunately, where an employee fails to submit dependent care FSA expenses prior to the end of the plan’s […]

Leave Rules Under the ACA Look-Back Measurement Method

Question:  How does the ACA look-back measurement method apply to a non-protected unpaid personal leave?  Do the same rules apply to dental and vision coverage?    Compliance Team Response: Medical Coverage: Non-Protected Leave under the Look-Back Measurement Method An employee who has full-time status during a stability period and changes employment status to working part-time […]

Hawaii Health Plan Requirements for Employers

Question:  What are the main health plan-related issues for employers to be aware of when they hire employees in Hawaii?   Compliance Team Response: Hawaii has a unique law called the Prepaid Health Care Act (PHCA).  It imposes a number of strict requirements on employer-sponsored health plans for employees in Hawaii. Here’s a summary of […]

How the 2019 ACA Affordability Increase to 9.86% Affects Employers

On Monday, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2018-34, which increases the affordability threshold for ACA employer mandate pay or play purposes to 9.86% for plan years beginning in 2019. 2015 Percentage: 9.56% 2016 Percentage: 9.66% 2017 Percentage: 9.69% 2018 Percentage: 9.56% 2019 Percentage: 9.86% 2018 was the first year that the affordability percentage decreased based on the ACA’s […]

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

Question:  Do spouses lose eligibility for the health plan upon legal separation?  Or do they remain eligible until a final divorce? Compliance Team Response: Some plans terminate a spouse’s eligibility at the point of legal separation, and some plans do not terminate a spouse’s eligibility until the point a divorce is finalized.  This is a […]

IRS Releases 2019 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

Most people think of spring flowers in the month of May.   If you are in the benefits field, May brings to mind the anticipated release of the annual inflation adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). This is fresh on the heels of the infamous IRS flip-flop reducing the 2018 maximum family contribution by $50 […]

Section 125 Cafeteria Plan Document Effective Date

Question:  Can an employer sign a Section 125 plan document, including a restatement or amendment, with a retroactive effective date? Compliance Team Response: Prospective Plan Document Adoption The Section 125 cafeteria plan needs to be signed (adopted) on or before the first day of the plan year that it will be effective. If an employer […]

Tuition Reimbursement Programs

Question:  What are the tax-advantaged tuition reimbursement programs that employers can offer?  What are the main considerations for each?  Compliance Team Response: There are two main forms of tax-free educational assistance programs that employers can offer: Qualified Educational Assistance Program (IRC §127); or Working Condition Fringe Educational Assistance (IRC §132(d)). Both of these programs are […]