Business Travel Accident Insurance

Travel Insurance for Businesses  

Travel insurance offers a broad range of benefits and services, such as worldwide emergency hotline services, medical evacuation, reimbursement for unexpected cancellation or delay, and more. Companies with employees who travel for business may want to consider supplemental coverage from a travel insurance policy.

Why Buy?

Travel insurance is designed for problems that arise suddenly during a trip. Basic coverage usually includes reimbursement for trip cancellation, interruption and delay because of illness, bad weather, baggage loss or delay, medical insurance and medical evacuation (in case of illness or injury during travel), and a 24-hour assistance telephone line. Typical coverage costs 4 to 8 percent of the cost of the trip, depending on the trip’s length, the destination, the traveler’s age and the type of coverage. For example, insurance for a $2,000 trip may cost $80 to $160. If you consider the expense for any troubles your employees may encounter, travel insurance can be a cost-effective option to avoid that risk.

Insurance for International Business Travelers

Think about the following scenarios when traveling for business:

  • You receive notice that a top executive in your company was in a car accident while on a business trip in Milan.
  • You get a telephone call that an employee stationed for the month in Sydney experienced symptoms of a stroke.
  • There was an earthquake in Chile, which prevented an employee from returning on time from a business trip.
  • Several of your employees traveling together in Beijing came down with pneumonia.

These situations should prompt you to examine whether you would know what steps to take next. Do you know what guidance to give these employees? Could you direct them to any specific medical facilities? How familiar are you with the medical system of that country? How much would it cost to arrange alternate travel plans in the event of a delay or setback?

Purchasing an international travel insurance policy may be the only way you can cover all your bases. Employers can purchase insurance specific to employees they send overseas for business purposes—even if the trip is short term. Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care abroad can be expensive. Generally, American medical insurance is not accepted overseas, nor do the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States.

Instead employers can purchase supplemental medical coverage for their employees that their current health plan does not supply. For instance, medical travel insurance will pay for medical evacuation by helicopter if traveling in a place with inadequate facilities. This can otherwise cost up to $50,000. Employers with workers who travel internationally for business purposes should find out exactly what their health plans cover, in the event the employee needs medical treatment overseas.

Another form of travel insurance that an employer of overseas workers will want to consider purchasing is K&R insurance (Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance). In certain parts of the world, kidnapping and extortion of wealthy American executives has become a business. A basic K&R policy includes such things as hostage negotiations, ransom payment, loss of income, interest on bank loans and medical/psychiatric care. In most cases, the deductible requires the insured to pay about 10 percent of any loss. Policies carry about $20 million to $30 million limits, which is generally more than enough to pay a typical ransom. This insurance is particularly beneficial for those employees who travel to high-risk countries, which include Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines and Venezuela.

Most insurance companies offer comprehensive policies for international employers in which K&R is only part of the package.  These policies can also cover areas such as foreign business auto rental, foreign commercial general liability, foreign voluntary workers’ compensation, foreign travel accident/sickness, marine ocean cargo, foreign commercial crime and political risk.

Additionally, the U.S. Government requires that employees hired by contractors and subcontractors to work on international government contracts be protected by Defense Base Act Coverage (DBA), regardless of their assignment or location. This coverage provides workers’ compensation benefits in the event of a work-related injury or illness. There are five employment situations which require this coverage:

  1. Any employee working on a military base or reservation outside the United States
  2. Any employee engaged in U.S. government-funded public works business outside the United States
  3. Any employee engaged in public works or military contract with a foreign government which has been deemed necessary to U.S. National Security
  4. Those employees who provide services funded by the U.S. government outside the realm of regular military issue or channels
  5. Any employees of sub-contractors of the prime or letting contractor involved in a contract like numbers 1-4 above

Purchase Considerations

Before buying travel insurance, consider the following:

  • Always comparison shop. Some plans include extras such as psychiatric treatment, a natural disaster benefit and even disposition of remains in the event of death.
  • Do not tell your employees if you purchased K&R insurance. This is to prevent employees from revealing this fact to potential kidnappers, making them a more lucrative target.
  • Be aware that some plans require your out-of-pocket payment, and then will pay claims after the traveler returns home.

 

For more information on travel insurance, including medical and K&R, go to the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs Travel website at http://travel.state.gov/.

If your employees travel on business, it is imperative that you provide them with Accident Insurance Protection.

Call us at 775-828-7420 to learn more about Business Travel Accident Insurance.

 

 

Fight Cancer with Food

A healthy lifestyle supports disease prevention, and adding the following body-strengthening foods into your diet can really go the extra mile.

Beans contain phytochemicals, which have been shown to prevent or slow genetic cell damage. Their high fiber content has been connected with a lower risk of digestive cancers.

Berries contain ellagic acid (most common in strawberries and raspberries) and anthocyansides (most common in blueberries). Ellagic acid helps prevent skin, bladder, lung and breast cancer by acting as an antioxidant and by slowing the reproduction of cancer cells.

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale are rich in a variety of compounds linked to slowing cancer growth and development, especially lung, stomach, colorectal, prostate and bladder cancer.

Dark, leafy green vegetables including romaine lettuce, mustard greens, chicory and Swiss chard contain carotenoids, a form of antioxidant that removes cancer-promoting free radicals from the body. These veggies are also rich in folate, which has been shown to reduce the risk of lung and breast cancer.

Flaxseed—eaten in the form of oil and meal—is believed to reduce the risk of breast, skin and lung cancer because of the presence of phytoestrogens.

Garlic, Onions, Scallions, Leeks and Chives contain compounds that are believed to slow tumor growth, especially in skin, colon and lung cancer.

Red grapes contain resveratrol, which is thought to prevent cell damage.

Green tea is rich in flavonoids, which slow or prevent the development of colon, liver, breast and prostate cancer cells.

Soy contains isoflavones that protect against bladder, cervix, lung and stomach cancer. Soy is also comprised of compounds that are similar to the body’s natural hormones, which may guard against breast and prostate cancer development.

Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene, which has been shown to fight prostate cancer, especially when consumed as tomato sauce, paste or juice. Lycopene may also protect against breast, lung, stomach and pancreatic cancer.

Whole grains contain fiber, antioxidants and phytoestrogen compounds, beneficial in decreasing the risk of developing most types of cancer.

Spices such as ginger and cumin are powerful cancer fighters.

Click Here to download the full article: Fight Cancer with Food

Set of berry on white close up

Broccoli and Cauliflower

Cluster of five tomatoes on a white background with basil.

 

5470 RENO CORPORATE DRIVE RENO, NV 89511

We have exciting news!

We’re moving to our new space and we are looking for some like-minded business professionals to share our building with.

The entire top floor of our new building is available for lease. This location is conveniently located in South Reno, off of Reno Corporate and Double R Blvd.

Please contact Valerie Clark if you are interested or have any questions about this property.

Click here for the rental brochure: 5470 Reno Corporate Lease

5470 reno corporate imageproperty sitefloor plan

Updated HSA Limits for 2018

Recently, the IRS released Internal Revenue Bulletin 2018 to show changes to the HSA contribution amounts. These contribution limits are different from the previously released contribution limits. Please make your employees aware of these changes and make any necessary adjustments.

We have a simplified breakdown of the updated limits below.
Click Here to download the full document: HSA Limits for 2018

Type of Limit 2017 2018 Change
HSA Contribution Limit Self-only $3,400 $3,450 Up $50
Family $6,750 $6,850 Up $100
HSA Catch-up Contributions (not subject to adjustment for inflation) Age 55 or Older $1,000 $1,000 No change
HDHP Minimum Deductible Self-only $1,300 $1,350 Up $50
Family $2,600 $2,700 Up $100
HDHP Maximum Out-of-pocket Self-only $6,550 $6,650 Up $100
Family $13,100 $13,300 Up $200

 

If you have any questions on this information, please feel free to call our office at 775-828-7420.

Have you visited the doctor this year?

Click Here to Download: Annual Health Check Up Article

Visiting your primary care doctor at least once a year is essential to keeping your health on the right track. In fact, those who take preventive care seriously tend to be healthier and lead more productive lives. Take a look at the following three ways you can benefit from scheduling your annual checkup:

  • Control Chronic Diseases:

According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, nearly 100,000 lives could be saved each year with preventive care services. In other words, visiting your doctor for an annual checkup can help you detect and receive treatment for chronic conditions before they cause serious health problem.

  • Establish a Baseline

If you schedule annual checkups, your doctor will likely be more familiar with your personal health history. This knowledge will help create a health baseline, allowing your doctor to detect any unusual or abnormal health concerns before they become a more serious issue.

  • Form a Relationship

Research shows that patients who have a good relationship with their doctor receive better care and are happier with the care they receive. Going to your annual checkup will help strengthen the relationship between the two of you, increasing your trust and comfort in the care you receive.

Give us a call if you have any questions! We are here to help.

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LIVE WELL, WORK WELL NEWSLETTER – March, 2018

Click Here to Download: Live Well, Work Well – March 2018

This Deadly Flu Season is the Worst in Nearly a Decade

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2017-18 flu season is more intense than any other since the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Unfortunately, the CDC says this flu season is going to get worse.

In addition to the increasing number of individuals falling ill with the flu, the hospitalization rate for the flu has jumped. This year’s dominant virus, H3N2, has been around for 50 years, but it is usually the most lethal of the seasonal strains.

As a result, the CDC urges those who haven’t yet gotten the flu vaccine to do so, as it is the best way to prevent the flu. Because some doctors and pharmacies have run out of vaccines, check here to find out where you can obtain your vaccination.

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Eating a well-balanced diet is a key component in living a long, healthy life. Many Americans think that eating healthy means they have to empty their wallets, which isn’t necessarily the truth. Keep the following money-saving tips in mind next time you’re grocery shopping:

  1. Make a weekly meal plan. Before you go to the store, think about what meals and snacks you want for the week. Read recipes thoroughly so you can make an accurate list of everything you need, reducing the risk that you’ll have to run back to the store later in the week.
  2. Create a list—and stick to it. Make a detailed list of what you need to buy before you go to the store. When you get to the store, don’t buy anything besides what’s on the list.
  3. Plan where you’re going to shop. Many grocery stores run sales or offer coupons on various healthy foods. Check out the ads and plan your grocery list around what’s on sale.
  4. Shop seasonally. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually easier to get and may be a lot less expensive. Click here for a list of what’s in season.
  5. Cook at home as often as possible. Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious. Go back to the basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your family enjoys.

Sleep and Your Health

The National Sleep Foundation sponsors Sleep Awareness Week every March to educate Americans on the importance of sleep to their overall health and well-being. The CDC has linked insufficient sleep to the development of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. In honor of Sleep Awareness Week occurring this March 11-17, try adopting the following five healthy sleep habits:

  1. Keep a regular schedule—try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends.
  2. Create a good sleep environment, including comfortable room temperature, minimal noise and sufficient darkness.
  3. Keep track of habits that help you fall asleep, like relaxing music or reading before bed. Repeat those activities each night.
  4. Avoid caffeine and nicotine three to four hours before going to bed.
  5. Limit alcohol before bed, as it can reduce sleep quality.
 We all love healthy Recipes: Here’s one you’re sure to enjoy!
One Pan Potatoes & Chicken

4 medium potatoes

1 pound chicken breast (boned and skinned)

2 Tbsp. oil

1 cup salsa

1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn (drained)

 

PREPARATIONS

1.       Cut potatoes into ¾-inch cubes.

2.       Cook potatoes over medium-high heat until fork-tender. Remove from pan.

3.       Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Brown the chicken for 5 minutes.

4.       Add the potatoes back into the pan and cook until lightly browned.

5.       Add salsa and corn. Cook until heated through.

6.       Serve warm.

 

Makes: 6 servings

 

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Total Calories 285
Total Fat 7 g
Protein 21 g
Carbohydrates 35 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium 316 mg
Total Sugars 3 g

 

Source: USDA

 

 

FURNISHING DEADLINE DELAYED FOR 2017 ACA REPORTING

Click Here to Download the Full Article: Furnishing Deadline Delayed for 2017 ACA Reporting

On Dec. 22, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2018-06 to:

  • Extend the due date for furnishing forms under Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2017 for 30 days, from Jan. 31, 2018, to March 2, 2018; and
  • Extend good-faith transition relief from penalties related to 2017 information reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056.

Notice 2018-06 does not extend the due date for filing forms with the IRS for 2017. The due date for filing with the IRS under Sections 6055 and 6056 remains Feb. 28, 2018 (April 2, 2018, if filing electronically).

ACTION STEPS

The IRS is encouraging reporting entities to furnish statements as soon as they are able. No request or other documentation is required to take advantage of the extended deadline.

Section 6055 and 6056 Reporting

Sections 6055 and 6056 were added to the Internal Revenue Code (Code) by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

  • Section 6055 applies to providers of minimum essential coverage (MEC), such as health insurance issuers and employers with self-insured health plans. These entities will generally use Forms 1094-B and 1095-B to report information about the coverage they provided during the previous year.
  • Section 6056 applies to applicable large employers (ALEs)­­—generally, those employers with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents, in the previous year. ALEs will use Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to report information relating to the health coverage that they offer (or do not offer) to their full-time employees.

Extended Furnishing Deadline

The IRS has again determined that some employers, insurers and other providers of MEC need additional time to gather and analyze the information and prepare the 2017 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to be furnished to individuals. Therefore, Notice 2018-06 provides an additional 30 days for furnishing the 2017 Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C, extending the due date from Jan. 31, 2018, to March 2, 2018.

Despite the delay, employers and other coverage providers are encouraged to furnish 2017 statements to individuals as soon as they are able.

Filers are not required to submit any request or other documentation to the IRS to take advantage of the extended furnishing due date provided by Notice 2018-06. Because this extended furnishing deadline applies automatically to all reporting entities, the IRS will not grant additional extensions of time of up to 30 days to furnish Forms 1095-B and 1095-C. As a result, the IRS will not formally respond to any requests that have already been submitted for 30-day extensions of time to furnish statements for 2017.

Impact on Filing Deadline

The IRS has determined that there is no need for additional time for employers, insurers and other providers of MEC to file 2017 forms with the IRS. Therefore, Notice 2018-06 does not extend the due date for filing Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C or 1095-C with the IRS for 2017. This due date remains:

  • February 28, 2018, if filing on paper; or
  • April 2, 2018, if filing electronically (since March 31, 2018, is a Saturday).

Because the due dates are unchanged, potential automatic extensions of time for filing information returns are still available under the normal rules by submitting a Form 8809. The notice also does not affect the rules regarding additional extensions of time to file under certain hardship conditions.

Employers or other coverage providers that do not meet the due dates for filing and furnishing (as extended under the rules described above) under Sections 6055 and 6056 are subject to penalties under Section 6722 or Section 6721 for failure to furnish and file on time. However, employers and other coverage providers that do not meet the relevant due dates should still furnish and file. The IRS will take this into consideration when determining whether to abate penalties for reasonable cause.

Impact on Individuals

Because of the extended furnishing deadline, some individual taxpayers may not receive a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2017 tax returns. Taxpayers may rely on other information received from their employer or other coverage provider for purposes of filing their returns, including determining eligibility for an Exchange subsidy and confirming that they had MEC for purposes of the individual mandate.

Taxpayers do not need to wait to receive Forms 1095-B and 1095-C before filing their 2017 returns. In addition, individuals do not need to send the information they relied upon to the IRS when filing their returns, but should keep it with their tax records.

Extension of Good-faith Transition Relief from Penalties for 2017

Notice 2018-06 also extends transition relief from penalties for providing incorrect or incomplete information to reporting entities that can show that they have made good-faith efforts to comply with the Sections 6055 and 6056 reporting requirements for 2017 (both for furnishing to individuals and for filing with the IRS).

This relief applies to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other information required on the return or statement. No relief is provided for reporting entities that:

  • Do not make a good-faith effort to comply with the regulations; or
  • Fail to file an information return or furnish a statement by the due dates (as extended).

In determining good faith, the IRS will take into account whether a reporting entity made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting the required information to the IRS and furnishing it to individuals (such as gathering and transmitting the necessary data to an agent to prepare the data for submission to the IRS or testing its ability to transmit information to the IRS). The IRS will also take into account the extent to which the reporting entity is taking steps to ensure that it will be able to comply with the reporting requirements for 2018.

Individual Mandate Penalty Will Be Eliminated in 2019

Click Here to download the full document: Individual Mandate Penalty Will Be Eliminated in 2019

On Dec. 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law the tax reform bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, after it passed both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

This tax reform bill makes significant changes to the federal tax code. The bill does not impact the majority of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax provisions. However, it does reduce the ACA’s individual shared responsibility (or individual mandate) penalty to zero, effective beginning in 2019.

As a result, beginning in 2019, individuals will no longer be penalized for failing to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage.

ACTION STEPS

‎Although the tax reform bill eliminates the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, this repeal does not become effective until 2019.

As a result, individuals continue to be required to comply with the mandate (or pay a penalty) for 2017 and 2018. A failure to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for these years may still result in a penalty for the individual.

‎The Individual Mandate

The ACA’s individual mandate, which took effect in 2014, requires most individuals to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for themselves and their family members or pay a penalty. The mandate is enforced each year on individual federal tax returns. Starting in 2015, individuals filing a tax return for the previous tax year indicate, by checking a box on their returns, which members of their family (including themselves) had health insurance coverage for the year (or qualified for an exemption from the individual mandate). Based on this information, the IRS then assesses a penalty for each nonexempt family member without coverage.

Effect of the Tax Reform Bill

The tax reform bill will reduce the ACA’s individual mandate penalty to zero, effective beginning with the 2019 tax year. This effectively eliminates the individual mandate penalty for the 2019 tax year and beyond. As a result, beginning with the 2019 tax year, individuals will no longer be penalized for failing to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for themselves and their family members.

Impact on Years Prior to 2019

Although the tax reform bill eliminates the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, this repeal does not take effect until 2019. As a result, individuals continue to be required to comply with the mandate (or pay a penalty) for 2017 and 2018. A failure to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for these years may still result in a penalty for the individual.

Therefore, nonexempt individuals should continue to maintain acceptable health coverage in 2017 and 2018, and should indicate on their 2017 and 2018 tax returns whether they (and everyone in their family):

  • Had health coverage for the year;
  • Qualified for an exemption from the individual mandate; or
  • Will pay an individual mandate penalty.

In addition, keep in mind that individuals who are liable for a penalty for failing to obtain acceptable health coverage in 2018 will be required to pay that penalty when they file their federal income taxes in 2019. As a result, some individuals may be required to pay the individual mandate penalty in early 2019, based on their noncompliance for the 2018 tax year.

Effect on Other ACA Provisions

Despite the repeal of the individual mandate penalty, employers and individuals must continue to comply with all other ACA provisions. The tax reform bill does not impact any other ACA provisions, including the Cadillac tax on high-cost group health coverage, the PCORI fees and the health insurance providers fee. In addition, the employer shared responsibility (pay or play) rules and related Section 6055 and Section 6056 reporting requirements are still in place.

As always, Clark & Associates will keep you updated The Individual Mandate as any further changes transpire.

Annual Compliance Deadlines for Health Plans

Click Here to Download the Full Article: Annual Compliance Deadlines for Health Plans

Employers that provide group health plan coverage to their employees are subject to numerous compliance requirements throughout the year, such as requirements for reporting, participant disclosure and certain fee payments. Some of these requirements have been in existence for many years (for example, the Form 5500), while others have been added more recently by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
This Compliance Overview contains a high-level summary of the various compliance requirements and associated deadlines that health plan sponsors should be aware of throughout the year. It also summarizes annual notice requirements for group health plans. Please note that certain deadlines for non-calendar year plans may vary from what is outlined below.

Calendar Year Deadlines

This chart only addresses recurring calendar year compliance deadlines. The chart does not include other requirements that are not based on the calendar year. For example, a plan administrator must provide a COBRA Election Notice to a qualified beneficiary after a qualifying event occurs. This type of notice requirement is not addressed in the chart below. Also, state laws may impose additional obligations. Users of this chart should refer to the specific federal or state law at issue for complete information.

JANUARY
DEADLINE REQUIREMENT DESCRIPTION
Jan. 31 Form W-2 Deadline for providing Forms W-2 to employees. The ACA requires employers to report the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored group health plan coverage on their employees’ Forms W-2. The purpose is to provide employees with information on how much their health coverage costs. Certain types of coverage are not required to be reported on Form W-2.

This Form W-2 reporting requirement is currently optional for small employers (those who file fewer than 250 Forms W-2). Employers that file 250 or more Forms W-2 are required to comply with the ACA’s reporting requirement.

Jan. 31

 

Form 1095-C or Form 1095-B—Annual Statement to Individuals Applicable large employers (ALEs) subject to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility rules must furnish Form 1095-C (Section 6056 statements) annually to their full-time employees. Employers with self-insured health plans that are not ALEs must furnish Form 1095-B (Section 6055 statements) annually to covered employees.

The Forms 1095-B and 1095-C are due on or before Jan. 31 of the year immediately following the calendar year to which the statements relate. Extensions may be available in certain limited circumstances. However, an alternate deadline generally is not available for ALEs that sponsor non-calendar year plans.

FEBRUARY                                            
DEADLINE REQUIREMENT DESCRIPTION
Feb. 28

(March 31, if filing electronically)

 

Section 6055 and 6056 Reporting Under Section 6056, ALEs subject to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility rules are required to report information to the IRS about the health coverage they offer (or do not offer) to their full-time employees. ALEs must file Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C with the IRS annually.

Under Section 6055, self-insured plan sponsors are required to report information about the health coverage they provided during the year. Self-insured plan sponsors must generally file Form 1094-B and Form 1095-B with the IRS annually.

ALEs that sponsor self-insured plans are required to report information to the IRS under Section 6055 about health coverage provided, as well as information under Section 6056 about offers of health coverage. ALEs that sponsor self-insured plans will generally use a combined reporting method on Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C to report information under both Sections 6055 and 6056.

All forms must be filed with the IRS annually, no later than Feb. 28 (March 31, if filed electronically) of the year following the calendar year to which the return relates. Reporting entities that are filing 250 or more returns must file electronically. There is no alternate filing date for employers with non-calendar year plans.

MARCH
DEADLINE REQUIREMENT DESCRIPTION
March 1 (calendar year plans) Medicare Part D Disclosure to CMS Group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals must disclose to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) whether prescription drug coverage is creditable or not. In general, a plan’s prescription drug coverage is considered creditable if its actuarial value equals or exceeds the actuarial value of the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Disclosure is due:

  •  Within 60 days after the beginning of each plan year;
  • Within 30 days after the termination of a plan’s prescription drug coverage; and
  • Within 30 days after any change in the plan’s creditable coverage status.

Plan sponsors must use the online disclosure form on the CMS Creditable Coverage webpage.

 JULY                      

DEADLINE REQUIREMENT DESCRIPTION
July 31 PCORI Fee Deadline for filing IRS Form 720 and paying Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees for the previous year. For insured health plans, the issuer of the health insurance policy is responsible for the PCORI fee payment. For self-insured plans, the PCORI fee is paid by the plan sponsor.
July 31 (calendar year plans) Form 5500 Plan administrators of ERISA employee benefit plans must file Form 5500 by the last day of the seventh month following the end of the plan year, unless an extension has been granted. Form 5500 reports information on a plan’s financial condition, investments and operations. Form 5558 is used to apply for an extension of two and one-half months to file Form 5500.

Small health plans (fewer than 100 participants) that are fully insured, unfunded or a combination of insured/unfunded, are generally exempt from the Form 5500 filing requirement.

The DOL’s website and the latest Form 5500 instructions provide information on who is required to file and detailed information on filing.

SEPTEMBER
DEADLINE REQUIREMENT DESCRIPTION
Sept. 30 Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Rebates The deadline for issuers to pay medical loss ratio (MLR) rebates for the 2014 reporting year and beyond is Sept. 30. The ACA requires health insurance issuers to spend at least 80 to 85 percent of their premiums on health care claims and health care quality improvement activities. Issuers that do not meet the applicable MLR percentage must pay rebates to consumers.

Also, if the rebate is a “plan asset” under ERISA, the rebate should, as a general rule, be used within three months of when it is received by the plan sponsor. Thus, employers who decide to distribute the rebate to participants should make the distributions within this three-month time limit.

Sept. 30 (calendar year plans) Summary Annual Report Plan administrators must automatically provide participants with the summary annual report (SAR) within nine months after the end of the plan year, or two months after the due date for filing Form 5500 (with approved extension).

Plans that are exempt from the annual 5500 filing requirement are not required to provide an SAR. Large, completely unfunded health plans are also generally exempt from the SAR requirement.

OCTOBER                                        
DEADLINE REQUIREMENT DESCRIPTION
Oct. 14 Medicare Part D—Creditable Coverage Notices Group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals must disclose whether the prescription drug coverage is creditable or not. Medicare Part D creditable coverage disclosure notices must be provided to participants before the start of the annual coordinated election period, which runs from Oct. 15-Dec. 7 of each year. Coverage is creditable if the actuarial value of the coverage equals or exceeds the actuarial value of coverage under Medicare Part D. This disclosure notice helps participants make informed and timely enrollment decisions.

Disclosure notices must be provided to all Part D eligible individuals who are covered under, or apply for, the plan’s prescription drug coverage, regardless of whether the prescription drug coverage is primary or secondary to Medicare Part D.

Model disclosure notices are available on CMS’ website.

ANNUAL NOTICES
TYPE OF NOTICE DESCRIPTION
WHCRA Notice The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) requires group health plans that provide medical and surgical benefits for mastectomies to also provide benefits for reconstructive surgery. Group health plans must provide a notice about the WHCRA’s coverage requirements at the time of enrollment and on an annual basis after enrollment. The initial enrollment notice requirement can be satisfied by including information on WHCRA’s coverage requirements in the plan’s summary plan description (SPD). The annual WHCRA notice can be provided at any time during the year. Employers with open enrollment periods often include the annual notice with their open enrollment materials. Employers that redistribute their SPDs each year can satisfy the annual notice requirement by including the WHCRA notice in their SPDs.
CHIP Notice If an employer’s group health plan covers residents in a state that provides a premium subsidy under a Medicaid plan or CHIP, the employer must send an annual notice about the available assistance to all employees residing in that state. The annual CHIP notice can be provided at any time during the year. Employers with annual enrollment periods often provide the CHIP notice with their open enrollment materials.
Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Group health plans and health insurance issuers are required to provide an SBC to applicants and enrollees each year at open enrollment or renewal time. The purpose of the SBC is to allow individuals to easily compare their options when they are shopping for or enrolling in health plan coverage. Federal agencies have provided a template for the SBC, which health plans and issuers are required to use.

The issuer for fully insured plans usually prepares the SBC. If the issuer prepares the SBC, an employer is not also required to prepare an SBC for the health plan, although the employer may need to distribute the SBC prepared by the issuer.

The SBC must be included in open enrollment materials. If renewal is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days prior to the first day of the new plan year. However, for insured plans, if the new policy has not yet been issued 30 days prior to the beginning of the plan year, the SBC must be provided as soon as practicable, but no later than seven business days after the issuance of the policy.

If you have any questions or concerns about the above information, please call our office at 775-828-7420.

 

 

 

 

 

 

House and Senate Pass Tax Reform Bill

On Dec. 20, 2017, the tax reform bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is now expected to be signed into law by President Trump by the end of the day.

This tax reform bill, drafted based on a tax reform plan that was developed in consultation with the Trump administration, will make significant changes to the federal tax code. Specifically, the tax reform bill will have a substantial impact on businesses.

For example, it:

  • Lowers the corporate tax rate—Beginning in 2018, the bill reduces the corporate tax rate to 21 percent (down from 35 percent) and eliminates the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), in an effort to make American corporations more competitive globally.
  • Creates a new tax deduction for small businesses—The bill establishes a new 20 percent tax deduction for all businesses conducted as sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and S corporations.
  • Allows “expensing” of capital investments—The bill allows businesses to immediately write off (or “expense”) the cost of new investments for at least five years.
  • Repeals or restrict many existing business deductions and credits—Because the bill substantially reduces the tax rate for all businesses, it also eliminates the existing domestic production (Section 199) deduction, and repeals or restricts numerous other special exclusions and deductions (including those for employer provided transportation and commuting benefits). However, the bill explicitly preserves business credits related to research and development and low-income housing, as well as deductions or exclusions for employer provided dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs), education assistance programs and adoption assistance programs.
  • Ends “offshoring” incentives—The bill ends the incentive to offshore jobs and keep foreign profits overseas by exempting them when they are repatriated to the United States. It imposes a one-time, low tax rate on wealth that has already accumulated overseas so there is no tax incentive to keep the money offshore.
  • Repeals the individual mandate tax penalty imposed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), effective in 2019.

However, the tax reform bill does not affect the following tax provisions:

  • Tax treatment of employer-sponsored health plans; and
  • The ACA’s Cadillac tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage.

Clark & Associates of Nevada, Inc. will continue to monitor the tax reform process for any future updates.

Click Here to Download the Document:  House and Senate Pass Tax Reform Bill 12-20-17