Higher Limits for HSA Contributions and Deductibles in 2015

Whether you have an established high-deductible health plan (HDHP) at your organization – or such a move is under consideration, it is important to note that the Internal Revenue Service has announced higher limits on contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) and for out-of-pocket spending under linked high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) starting in 2015.

Contribution & Out-of-Pocket Limits for HSAs and for HDHPs
20142015
HSA contribution limit (employer AND employee)Individual: $3,300  
Family: $6,550
Individual: $3,350
Family: $6,650
HSA catch-up contributions (age 55 or older) Catch-up contributions can be made any time during the year in which the HSA participant turns 55.$1,000$1,000 (no change)
HDHP minimum deductiblesIndividual: $1,250
Family: $2,500
Individual: $1,300
Family: $2,600
HDHP maximum out-of-pocket amounts (deductibles, co-payments and other amounts, excluding premiums)Individual: $6,350
Family: $12,700
Individual: $6,450
 Family: $12,900

Reference Guide: Employer Mandate Revisions

 

Previous

Mandates

Newest

Mandates

What time frame is used to determine the size of an employer? To determine the size of an employer, refer to a consecutive 12 month period To determine the size of an employer, refer to a consecutive 6 month period
When will an employer be subject to the compliance of the employer mandate? All mid and large size employers must comply to the employer mandate by January 1, 2015. An employer will be subject to the employer mandate, given the final revisions, at the time their plan year begins in 2015 for large employers and 2016 for mid-size employers.
What methods are allowed to determine affordable healthcare coverage? Safe harbors permit employers to use W-2 forms, hourly wages, and the poverty line to determine affordability Previous methods remain, however, as clarification, full W-2 wages must be used, which include any employee salary reductions contributed to 401(k) or cafeteria plans.
How do employers determine full-time employee eligibilty? A full-time, eligible employee is anyone who works at least 30 hours per week in the previous year. Previous methods remain, however, clarification revisions were made. Volunteer workers, seasonal workers, and students in work-study programs are NOT considered full-time. Adjunct faculty must be credited 21/4 hours per week for each hour of teaching and 1 hour per week for each additional hour of out-of-classroom work to determine status. No other revisions were made addressing short term employees or those in high-turnover positions.
In the case of a rehire, how does coverage apply? If you rehire an employee to work full-time, they must be offered coverage within 90 days of hire. If the rehire is to work variable hours and their return is within 26 weeks of their departure, the employer must offer coverage within 90 days and continue to cover the employee until the end of the standard plan year. However, they will also immediately start on a new employee measurement period, which if not satisfied by the time open enrollment ends for the next plan year, the employer does NOT need to extend coverage for that year. All previous requirement remain, EXCEPT, if the rehire is to work variable hours and their return is within 13 weeks of their departure, the employer must offer coverage within 90 days and continue to cover the employee until the end of the standard plan year.

 

pdf_downloadReference Guide_Employer Mandate Revisions

 

 

Online Health Exchange for Small Businesses Delayed

Online Health Exchange for Small Businesses Delayed Until November 2014

An HHS official confirmed today that the online health exchange for small businesses is being delayed until late 2014. The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP Exchange, was developed to give small businesses a simpler and more efficient way to buy insurance coverage for their workers – and small businesses will still have the option to purchase coverage through the new marketplace but will not be able to do so online. Until November 2014, employers with fewer than 50 workers will need to work through a broker or agent to buy health plans for their employees.

With this new delay, small businesses will likely see little change in the way they purchase health insurance until 2015. They will, however, need to use the SHOP exchange if they want to access a health law tax credit available to employers with fewer than 25 employees. That tax credit first became available in 2010 regardless of where a company purchased coverage. Beginning in 2014, companies will need to buy through the marketplace to continue receiving that financial assistance, worth as much as 50 percent of their workers’ premiums.

This federal delay effects the 36 states where the federal government is running the health insurance exchange. It does not change the small business options in the 14 states and the District of Columbia that are running their own exchanges.

article

The Feds released more regulations on how insurers and some large employers need to report on plans they are offering and the people that are enrolled one day before the exchanges are set to open.

See this article from The Hill for further clarification.

 

WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

1477 Barclay Blvd

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

888-WESTLAKE

Affordable is a Relative Term

We have heard reports that the Health Exchange premiums will be lower and affordable, but that would depend on the consumer.  What may be affordable for one person may not be affordable for another with the same income.

This article from Kaiser Health News does a great job going into further detail.

 

WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

1477 Barclay Blvd

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

888-WESTLAKE

No Penalty for Not Providing 10/1/2013 Exchange Notice

In a recently posted FAQ on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website, the question was asked if there would be a penalty or fine for not providing the notice of the Health Insurance Market place. The answer is no.

Here is the link.  Does this affect your decision as an employer to send this notice out?

 

WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

1477 Barclay Blvd

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

888-WESTLAKE

How are you keeping track of all the PPACA penalties?

There are more than 10 different things to comply with that fall under the “general compliance” penalty of $100-a-day.  Do you know what those are and if so, who is making sure that your company is complying?

See this article for further explanation of these and more penalties.  And give us a call if you are in need of some help keeping track of them.

 

WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

1477 Barclay Blvd

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

888-WESTLAKE

What's Obamacare?

With the insurance exchanges set to open October 1st, many Americans are still very unfamiliar with what health care reform does and what it means to them.  If few people go to the exchanges to sign up for coverage, how will it effect the success, or lack there of, of the exchanges?

This article from cnbc.com by Dan Mangan explores this further.

 

WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

1477 Barclay Blvd

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

888-WESTLAKE

Massive Spike in Health Care Costs

With all the added fees and the costs of having to cover dependent children to age 26, who do you think will shoulder the burden of these costs?  That’s right, the employee.

See this article about how it will be affecting Delta from Fox News by Judson Berger.

 

WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

1477 Barclay Blvd

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

888-WESTLAKE

More Union Favoritism?

An article just out today by Forbes says that the White House is considering giving subsidies, that were initially intended for the uninsured, to unions.  Is this an effort to placate the union outcry regarding Obamacare?

See the complete article here by Avik Roy.

 

WestLake Financial Group, Inc.

1477 Barclay Blvd

Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

888-WESTLAKE