health care

Should Your Health Care Plan be More Future-Focused?

The pace of health care cost inflation has remained moderate over the past year or so, and employers are trying to keep it that way. In response, many businesses aren’t seeking immediate cost-cutting measures or asking employees to shoulder more of the burden. Rather, they’re looking to “future-focused” health care plan features to encourage healthful behaviors.

This was a major finding of the 2018 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, an annual study issued by Mercer.

Virtual care

Among the future-focused strategies highlighted by the survey are telemedicine services. Also known as virtual care, the services streamline delivery of health care services by gathering medical data and offering interaction with health care professionals remotely via apps and the phone.

One of the promises of virtual care services is that patients will be more willing to seek medical attention when it can be delivered conveniently, and this inherent efficiency will lead to better health outcomes and reduced costs. But the study found that, though telemedicine services are widely offered, utilization rates remain low.

Specifically, the proportion of large employers (those with at least 500 employees) incorporating telemedicine into their health benefits — 80% — was up substantially […]

By |May 6th, 2019|Health care|0 Comments

Do You Know the ABCs of HSAs, FSAs and HRAs?

There continues to be much uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act and how such uncertainty will impact health care costs. So it’s critical to leverage all tax-advantaged ways to fund these expenses, including HSAs, FSAs and HRAs. Here’s how to make sense of this alphabet soup of health care accounts.

HSAs

If you’re covered by a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can contribute pretax income to an employer-sponsored Health Savings Account — or make deductible contributions to an HSA you set up yourself — up to $3,450 for self-only coverage and $6,900 for family coverage for 2018. Plus, if you’re age 55 or older, you may contribute an additional $1,000.

You own the account, which can bear interest or be invested, growing tax-deferred similar to an IRA. Withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free, and you can carry over a balance from year to year.

FSAs

Regardless of […]

By |June 26th, 2018|affordable care act, Health care, hsa|0 Comments

House Republicans Pass Amended AHCA

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On May 4, 2017, members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines to pass an amended version of the American Health Care Act – proposed legislation to repeal and replace the ACA. The AHCA will now move on to be considered by the Senate. This ACA Compliance Bulletin provides an overview of the proposed legislation and its potential impact going forward.

The AHCA needed 216 votes to pass in the House. Ultimately, it passed on a party-line vote, with 217 Republicans and no Democrats voting in favor of the legislation. The AHCA will only need a simple majority vote in the Senate to pass. If it passes both the House and the Senate, the AHCA would then go to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.

The attached bulletin provides helpful information on how this may affect employers and individuals. We will keep you updated on any new developments and in the meantime, feel free to reach out to your Linkenheimer CPA with any questions.

Download the ACA Compliance Bulletin Now

By |May 9th, 2017|affordable care act, Health care|0 Comments

More Info on ACA Repeal and Replacement

House Republicans have unveiled a repeal and replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The GOP’s American Health Care Act (ACHA) would eliminate most of the ACA’s taxes, including penalties connected with individual and employer mandates, the net investment income (NII) tax and the Additional Medicare tax. Left in place, although delayed, would be the excise tax on high dollar health plans. Also left in place, would be a number of non-tax provisions related to scope of coverage, benefits and children- including allowing dependents to continue to stay on their parents’ plan until the age of 26, prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage or raising rates to patients based on pre-existing conditions, and forbidding life-time limits on insurance coverage.

The House GOP plan has been rejected by Democrats. Some Republicans have said the plan does not go far enough in repealing all of the ACA. As March moves forward, a vote on the house floor is eventually expected.

To read the impact of the ACA changes, new age-based credits, repeal of NII tax, expanded HSA and other topics, click the link for a detailed read from CCH and Wolters Kluwer. CCH Tax Briefing – ACA Repeal […]

By |March 14th, 2017|affordable care act, Health care|0 Comments

Understanding Your Form 1095-B, Health Coverage

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Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, is used to report certain information to the IRS and to taxpayers about individuals who are covered by minimum essential coverage and therefore aren’t liable for the individual shared responsibility payment.

Minimum essential coverage includes government-sponsored programs, eligible employer-sponsored plans, individual market plans, and other coverage the Department of Health and Human Services designates as minimum essential coverage.

By January 31, 2016, health coverage providers should furnish a copy of Form 1095-B, to you if you are identified as the “responsible individual” on the form.

The “responsible individual” is the person who, based on a relationship to the covered individuals, the primary name on the coverage, or some other circumstances, should receive the statement. Generally, the recipient should be the taxpayer who would be liable for the individual shared responsibility payment for the covered individuals. A recipient may be a parent if only minor children are covered individuals, a primary subscriber for insured coverage, an employee or former employee in the case of employer-sponsored coverage, a uniformed services sponsor for TRICARE, or another individual who should receive the statement. Health coverage providers may, but aren’t required to, furnish a […]

By |November 4th, 2015|Health care|0 Comments

Health Care—Reporting Reminder for Applicable Large Employers

Future-of-healthcare

The IRS has reminded Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) (generally those with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees) that they are subject to new reporting requirements for 2015. The first statements (Form 1095-C for employees and the IRS, and Form 1094-C for the IRS only) must be provided to employees by 2/1/16 and to the IRS by 2/29/16 (3/31/16, if filed electronically). The reports will provide information about health coverage the ALE offered (or didn’t offer) to each full-time employee, which the IRS will use to determine whether the employer shared responsibility payment applies to the ALE and if the employee is eligible for the premium tax credit. All ALEs are subject to this reporting requirement—regardless of whether they offer coverage or are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions. The IRS will use the information to determine if the ALE is eligible for transition relief under the employer shared responsibility provisions. If you have any questions on how the reporting requirements effect you and your business, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA.

By |October 19th, 2015|Health care|0 Comments

The Personal Impact of the Affordable Care Act

Open enrollment for 2015 for Covered California closes on February 15th.

Open enrollment is the one-time during the year when most Californians who need insurance cannot be denied by a health plan and when millions can get subsidized health insurance for the upcoming year.

All individuals not covered by an employer sponsored health plan, Medicaid, Medicare, other public insurance program (such as Tricare), or meeting an exemption from coverage must acquire an approved private-insurance policy or pay a shared responsibility payment. If you do not have coverage or meet one of the exemptions, you will pay this payment. The fine for 2015 is either a) 2 percent of your total income or b) fines for each member of your household ($325/adult, $162.50/child, or $975/total household), whichever is greater.

Individuals who have limited income may enroll in Medi-Cal at any time.

Health care impacts 2014 income tax returns

Most people already have qualifying health care coverage and will only need to check a box to indicate that they satisfy the individual shared responsibility provision when they file their tax returns in early 2015.

However, an important Affordable Care Act tax provision for individuals and families is the premium tax credit. Further, […]

By |February 10th, 2015|affordable care act|1 Comment