Posts Tagged ‘healthcare reform’

The Health Care Reform – 8 Preparative steps to get ready now – Part 2

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

health care reform

Last week we discussed the first four steps for preparing your dealership for the health care reform. Continue on to learn more about the upcoming changes in health care:

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Effective Open Enrollment Communications

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

For the average HR professional the fall season means open enrollment for benefit plans.  Many benefit plans have major changes due to healthcare reform so it is more important then ever the employers provide effective communitions to their employees during open enrollment.  Frank Lutz, an expert on communications and polling offered the following insights during his keynote address at the 23rd Annual Benefit Forum and Expo on September 26, 2010 as reported by SHRM (Society for Human Resources Management).

Luntz recommended simplicity, brevity, credibility and consistency with a focus on visual images. “Employees don’t want to read long texts, and won’t… when you include a graphic on the page, employees are 60 percent more likely to read that page”.  Pictures of employees receiving services from a doctor or other health care practitioner are particularly effective images.

A recent poll showed that 51% of employees prefer to receive health care information through e-mail or online, and only 26% prefer receiving an easy-to-read handout or booklet. “Five years ago, receiving the booklet was the No. 1 response,” Luntz said.  Lutz also recommends a Q&A style format.  “Ask the questions that employees are most likely to ask, the way they are likely to ask them.”

For more great information on benefits and benefit communication be sure to check out this website, http://ebn.benefitnews.com/.

Caught between a rock and a hard place employers increase employees share of healthcare costs

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

According to a recent survey by the National Business Group on Health, 63 % of employers are planning increases for employees’ share of healthcare costs in 2010. Not much of a surprise that employers are passing on a larger share of the costs given the ever increasing cost of healthcare, the same survey reported an average 8.9% increase in overall costs for 2011. What is a surprise is that 35% of employers are planning a significant enough increase that they will lose their “grandfathered” status under the new healthcare reform law. (Mercer) Given the ramifications of losing “grandfathered” status many company are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to determining if they should or should not pass on increased costs.  If you are not sure if any of your plan changes for 2011 will impact your “grandfathered” status make sure to discuss this with your insurance broker before you get too far into the open enrollment process. Loss of “grandfathered” status has a major impact on the communications you will need to provide employees.

Healthcare cost reporting not required on W-2 forms for 2011

Monday, October 18th, 2010

On October 12, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2010-69, which provides that the W-2 reporting of the cost of employees’ health coverage will be voluntary, rather than mandatory, for 2011.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act originally would have required employers to report the total cost of health coverage on employees’ W-2 forms for 2011.

 The IRS  expects to issue additional guidance on the reporting requirements before the end of this year, however it recognizes that employers may need additional time to modify their payroll systems to comply with the new reporting requirement.   Based on Notice 2010-69 employers will not face a penalty if they do not report the cost of employer-provided health coverage on employees’ W-2s for 2011.

Healthcare Reform Intersects with 1099 Forms

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Many changes related to healthcare reform go into effect today, September 23, 2010, with more changes coming throughout 2011 and 2012.  One of the lesser known provisions of healthcare reform is a new requirement regarding submittal of 1099 forms.  Effective January 2012, the provision will require any business that purchases more than $600 worth of goods or services from another business to submit a 1099 tax form to the Internal Revenue Service.

 The Senate considered amending this provision as part of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, which passed just this week.  Neither amendments by Sens. Mike Johanns, R-Nebraska, and Bill Nelson, D-Florida, were able to achieve enough votes to move forward.

 The IRS is requesting public comment on how it can best implement the new law. Under the proposed regulations, businesses would have to report their payments to goods and other property, and payments to most corporations on Form 1099. Currently, most payments to corporations are currently exempt from this requirement. Purchases with debit cards and credit cards will remain exempt from this requirement because those are already reported by banks and other payment processors, the IRS said in a statement.  The public can submit comments by:

 •E-mail, with “Notice 2010-51″ in the subject line (Notice.Comments@irscounsel.treas.gov)
•Posting a letter to: Internal Revenue Service, CC:PA:LPD:PR ( Notice 2010-51), Room 5203, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044; and
•Hand-delivering a comment letter to CC:PA:LPD:PR (Notice 2010-51), Courier’s Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The deadline for comments is Sept. 29, 2010.

Meet with your Insurance Broker to Update Benefit Plans Before Fall Enrollment

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Compliance Tip of the MonthMost open enrollment periods for benefits programs happen in the fall so use the summer months to get a head start. After researching what health care reform requirements will impact you, schedule a meeting with your insurance broker. Draw on the agent’s expertise to walk through your benefits plans, plan by plan, and make changes where necessary (such as to the dependent age coverage limitations, which are increasing to age 26). Be sure that the broker and insurance carrier work together to present you with revised plan documents, as necessary. You can also view list of binary brokers that could benefit these programs. KPA offers a free webinar and white paper on How Healthcare Reform Impacts Dealerships.

Despite Healthcare Reform Employers Worry About Benefit Costs

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Although the Congressional Budget Office reports that most employers will experience decreased cost and multiple tax credits are availalbe to offset the new requirements, 99.4% of employers surveyed by United Benefit Advisors are concerned with the impact of healthcare costs on their overall corporate costs.

The same survey reported that 97.9% are worried about the impact of healthcare costs on their employees and that they feel themselves unprepared to meet legislative and regulatory requirements.

For more information on healthcare reform and the impact on employers the free KPA recorded webinar What Healthcare Reforms Means for Dealers is a great resource.

Join the conversation:  What worries you the most as an employer about healthcare reform?

Healthcare Reform 2012 and Beyond

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Hopefully you have started your “to do list” to comply with the new healthcare bills-with setting up appointment with your accountant and insurance  broker/agent at the top of the list.   Once the immediate issues are taken care of you can start being proactive in  compliance with the changes in 2010 and beyond.

Thinking ahead to 2012…  there is a new requirement mandating employers to report on W-2 income statements distributed in 2012 the cost of employer-provided health care coverage and amending FSAs to cap employees’ pretax contributions at $2,500. Currently, there is no federally imposed limit on FSA contributions. 

 Thinking  further ahead…In 2014, waiting periods exceeding 90 days for coverage will be barred, pre-existing condition exclusions no longer will be allowed for any employee and annual dollar limits on covered expenses will have to be scrapped. Employers will face a $3,000 penalty for every employee whose premium contribution exceeds 9.5 percent of family income and the employee opts for coverage in state insurance exchanges that will begin operating that year.  And thinking way into the future… 

Thinking far into the future… health insurance premiums in 2018 exceeding $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage will face a 40 percent excise tax, with the cost threshold triggering the tax slightly higher for plans covering retirees and employees in certain high-risk industries.

Join the conversation:  How will you stay on top of all the required changes to benefit plans and healthcare insurance for your company?