Here are two great health insurance updates that we think are important for you to be aware of and understand:
New Exchange Special Enrollment: Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals may only enroll through an Exchange during a permitted enrollment period. The 2015 open enrollment period ended on Feb. 15, 2015. However, on Feb. 20, 2015, CMS issued guidance providing a special enrollment period for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the individual mandate penalty when they file their 2014 taxes. This enrollment period will allow those who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of this new individual mandate requirement to enroll in 2015 health insurance coverage. These individuals may purchase health insurance coverage from March 15, 2015 through April 30, 2015.
New Guidance and Relief for Employer Payment of Individual Premiums: In the past, many employers have helped employees pay for individual health insurance policies instead of offering an employer-sponsored plan. In recent months, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury Departments have released several pieces of guidance addressing these arrangements, specifically “employer payment plans” where an employer reimburses or pays premiums directly for an employee’s individual health insurance policy. According to this guidance, employer payment plans do not comply with several ACA provisions that took effect beginning in 2014. Violations of these rules can result in excise taxes of $100 per day for each employee.
- IRS Notice 2015-17 provides a delay in the excise tax for employers that are not applicable large employers (ALEs) under the ACA’s employer shared responsibility rules. This transition relief is available on a temporary basis. Small employers may be eligible for relief from the excise tax as late as June 30, 2015. After June 30, 2015, these employers may be liable for the excise tax.
Contact a Miller’s Employee Benefits representative now to review your individual or group health plan and make sure it is in compliance with ACA requirements to avoid future penalties!
Shannon Bristow ext. 3380 or Ronald Hutson ext. 3340