Nearly 50,000 employers at risk for ACA penalties

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Aug 20, 2018 @ 08:08

Address compliance with a benefits platform

Accounting Today reports that of the 318,296 organizations that are required to offer health benefits through the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, 49,259 are at risk for compliance action by the IRS.

At least 30,000 penalty assessment notices have already been issued to employers for compliance issues related to the Affordable Care Act.

This news illustrates that despite some changes brought about to the law by President Trump’s administration, much of the law is still standing, and employers should keep a close eye on their compliance to avoid costly penalties.

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Tags: benefits technology, BerniePortal, Affordable Care Act, employer mandate, compliance

Top 5 most attractive employee benefits

Posted by Gretchen Smitson on Wed, Jun 13, 2018 @ 09:06

Workers prefer benefits

Over the past decade, power within the job market has shifted from employers to candidates. This change in the recruitment ecosystem has led employers to take a deeper look at the benefits available to employees. Rather than simply offering increased wages, employers are increasingly offering unique benefit packages that reflect company culture and employee preferences.

Here are the 5 most attractive employee benefits according to Harvard Business Review: 

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Tags: benefits technology, BerniePortal, Affordable Care Act, employer mandate, compliance

Thousands of employers to receive ACA penalty notices

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Jun 01, 2018 @ 08:06

Address compliance with a benefits platform

The New York Times reports the IRS is sending penalty notices to 30,000 organizations in violation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

This news illustrates the importance of remaining compliant with the ACA, especially in light of changes to the law from the Trump administration.

There have been some changes to the ACA, including the repeal of the individual mandate penalty beginning in 2019 and the expansion of short-term and association health plans, among other changes.

However, the repeal did not impact the employer mandate, which requires groups with more than 50 full-time employers to provide health coverage, nor did it impact reporting requirements associated with the mandate.

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Tags: benefits technology, BerniePortal, Affordable Care Act, employer mandate, compliance

IRS sets HSA limits for 2019

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 09:05

Limits slightly increased

The IRS has released the new Health Savings Accounts contribution limits and maximum out-of-pocket figures for 2019.

Next year, contribution limits for individuals rise to $3,500, from $3,450 in 2018. For families, limits rise to $7,000, from 2017’s $6,900.

Maximum out-of-pocket figures also rose—for individuals, the max out-of-pocket is $6,750, up from $6,650 in 2018, and for families, max out-of-pocket is $13,500, from $13,300 in  2018.

Bernard Health's HSA-eligible plan adoption rate is 81 percent—well over industry averages.  Here are three things to know about HSAs in 2019.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, HSAs, obamacare, HSA Rules, health reform, heath insurance

Is Obamacare repeal over?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 @ 07:02

Repeal train slows, but what’s next?

Is the GOP giving up on Obamacare? Healthcare stakeholders and political news entities are suggesting as much. Forbes reports “insurer profits rise as Trump waves white flag on Obamacare,” noting the President mentioned Obamacare only once during his State of the Union address.

Politico reported there were no discussions of repeal and replace at a recent House and Senate joint retreat, and BenefitsPro said Republican leaders in the House and the Senate see a lot of risk and little reward in trying repeal again.

While hardly anything is certain when it comes to U.S. healthcare policy, if the GOP does move on to new priorities in 2018, where does that leave brokers and employers?

Here are three things employers should consider.

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Tags: employee benefit adviser, employer digest, health insurance small employers, employers, obamacare, aca, Affordable Care Act, repeal and replace

Three healthcare resolutions for consumers in 2018

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 08:01

Looking ahead to 2018

Healthcare policies made plenty of headlines in 2017, but unfortunately, there won’t be much relief for consumers when it comes to high costs and out-of-pocket spending.

Republicans were largely focused on repealing the Affordable Care Act this year, in efforts that were ultimately unsuccessful. The party did successfully repeal the individual mandate through the Republican tax bill, but a year later, the law is still largely intact, and very little time has been spent trying to improve it.

Both the law’s supporters and opponents agree that Obamacare has challenges—particularly around affordability. But a bipartisan solution to those challenges was not in the cards this year, and 2018 doesn’t seem promising, either.

Repealing the individual mandate will reduce the tax burden for consumers who don’t want to carry insurance, but it won’t affect many of the other challenges healthcare consumers face. These include rising medical bills, narrow networks, and increased out-of-pocket costs.

The takeaway? Expect expenses to remain steady or rise next year. In light of this, here are three resolutions for consumers about how to minimize your costs and become a better healthcare consumer. It won’t help you avoid all of your bills, but it might help reduce your costs.

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Tags: Huffington Post, health insurance, obamacare, Affordable Care Act, individual market, marketplace, single-payer, universal healthcare, Bernie Sanders, tim kaine

Three healthcare resolutions for Democrats in 2018

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Fri, Jan 05, 2018 @ 07:01

Looking ahead to 2018

After Republicans failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017, some Democrats might be thinking that the issue is resolved—but that would be a mistake.

Republicans successfully repealed the law’s individual mandate through their tax bill, which leaves the fate of the U.S. healthcare system as uncertain as ever. Further, Republicans have said they are not giving up on repealing Obamacare in total, and the law still faces challenges related to affordability and access for many consumers.

So as Democrats look ahead to 2018, the party should remain focused on improving the healthcare system, while staying vigilant when it comes to repeal. Here are three healthcare resolutions for the party.

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Tags: Huffington Post, health insurance, obamacare, Affordable Care Act, individual market, marketplace, single-payer, universal healthcare, Bernie Sanders, tim kaine

2018 healthcare resolutions for Republicans

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Dec 27, 2017 @ 09:12

Looking ahead to 2018

When it comes to healthcare, the events of 2017 were probably not what many Republicans hoped for.

This time last year, repeal of the Affordable Care Act seemed imminent. Even up until a few months ago, rolling back the health reform law still seemed pretty likely. But after multiple proposals to repeal the ACA failed to pass, efforts are now at a standstill.

As Republicans look toward 2018, all the hopes for repeal are pinned on the party’s tax bill. The bill currently includes a provision that would repeal the individual mandate, setting the party up to reshape the U.S. healthcare system in the coming year.

So as the party looks back on the lessons of 2017 and into the new year, here are three healthcare “New Year’s Resolutions” for Republicans.

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Tags: Huffington Post, health insurance, obamacare, Affordable Care Act, individual market, marketplace, single-payer, universal healthcare, Bernie Sanders, tim kaine

What does the individual mandate repeal mean?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 @ 10:12

What individuals should know

Congress successfully passed the Republican tax bill Wednesday, which includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

What does this mean for consumers?

The individual mandate is the Obamacare policy that requires consumers who can afford health insurance to carry it. Under the ACA, if consumers choose to go uninsured, they face a penalty when they file their taxes for the year they lacked coverage.

The repeal is effective in 2019, meaning consumers who forgo health insurance in 2019 will not face a tax penalty in 2020.

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Tags: Individual Plans, Individual health insurance, individual digest, aca, Affordable Care Act, individual mandate

Open enrollment ends Friday, Dec. 15

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Dec 13, 2017 @ 08:12

iStock-457864147.jpg

Sign up before the deadline for 2018 coverage

The deadline to sign up for 2018 individual health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges is this Friday, Dec. 15.

Consumers who need insurance should sign up before midnight on Friday. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to sign up without experiencing a qualifying event for special enrollment, like having a baby.

Here are a few things consumers should know.

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Tags: Individual Plans, Individual health insurance, individual digest, aca, Affordable Care Act, marketplace, open enrollment

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