Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – December 14, 2018

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Basic 401(k) plan rules, 11/18 (221.-1)

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  • Analysis: Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), 11/18 (357.-1)

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  • Analysis: HIPAA administrative simplification provisions, 11/18 (502.-7)

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Limited excepted benefits, 11/18 (516.-1)

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Summary of benefits and coverage, 11/18 (522.1.-1)

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

  • News

    IRS reminds employers of changes to employee achievement award rules

    In Tax Tip 2018-190, the IRS has reminded employers that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) made changes to the rules regarding employee achievement awards. The IRS noted that this can affect an employer’s bottom line and its employees’ deductions.

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    IRS provides guidance on the determination of the nondeductible portion of parking fringe expenses

    The IRS has provided guidance and examples for calculating the nondeductible portion of parking expenses. In addition, the IRS has provided guidance to tax-exempt organizations to help such organizations determine how unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) will be increased by the nondeductible amount of such fringe benefit expenses paid or incurred.

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    IRS issues additional FAQs on employer credit for paid family and medical leave

    The IRS has issued additional FAQs regarding the employer credit for paid family and medical leave under Code Sec. 45S. The IRS had previously issued FAQs on the credit in April 2018, and then issued additional guidance in IRS Notice 2018-71 in October 2018. The new FAQs are reflective of that guidance.

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    HHS issues report on reforming health care choice and competition

    HHS, in conjunction with the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Labor, the Federal Trade Commission, and several offices within the White House, has prepared a report to the President on the influence of state and federal laws, regulations, guidance, and polices on choice and competition in health care markets. The report also recites executive as well as regulatory measures taken by the Administration to improve health care markets by addressing government rules and programs that limit choice and competition, and also identifies actions that states or the federal government could take to develop a better functioning health care market.

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Midsize employers must utilize multiple strategies to be successful at controlling health care costs, expert says

    Employers that use multiple best practice strategies are the most successful at controlling health care costs, according to Elissa Rosenbaum, total health management strategist at Mercer. Speaking at a recent CFO.com and Mercer webinar, Reinventing Benefits Strategies for Midsize Businesses, Rosenbaum stressed that employers using the most best practice strategies consistently report lower cost trends. According to Mercer survey data, in 2018, those that used the most best practice strategies experienced a cost trend of 2.7 percent, while those that reported using the fewest best practices experienced a cost trend of 4.2 percent.

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    IRS extends filing deadlines, penalty relief for Forms 1095-B and 1095-C

    Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 4, 2019, to provide individuals with Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage, or Forms 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. This is an extension from the original due date of January 31. The extension is automatic, so employers and providers do not have to request it. The due dates for employers and insurers to file 2018 information returns with the IRS are not extended. They are still due on February 28, 2019, for paper filers, and April 1, 2019, for electronic filers.

            (Read Intelliconnect) »