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Marriage ruling streamlines benefits administration

Marriage ruling streamlines benefits administration

By Nick Otto, Employee Benefit News   Friday’s landmark ruling on gay marriage could pose both challenges and benefits to employers, as the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision irons out the patchwork system of laws across the country, but brings up new questions on current domestic partnership policies. In a 5-4 ruling, the court determined that states must issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples, as well as recognize same-sex...

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Employer’s Paying for Individual Insurance

Employer’s Paying for Individual Insurance

Employers ditching their group policies and forcing employees to shop the state-based and federally facilitated exchanges, has been a big concern with the Obamacare rollout, especially in low-wage jobs where people are most likely to be eligible for subsidies. And, indeed, it has been happening. Some employers have even paid employees to shop for health insurance on their own. Prohibited The IRS prohibits employers from giving (or...

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Three Health Benefit Cost Drivers Central to Battling Rate Increases

Three Health Benefit Cost Drivers Central to Battling Rate Increases

Most employers are encouraged to “deal with” rate increases, not solve them. Hoping to halt spiraling costs, they search fruitlessly for some magical carrier who somehow has an inside line on “the best discounts” in the medical provider network. In the end, most find that it’s the same old cost shifting shuffle: the bulk of the so-called lower rate increase is passed along to employees through higher deductibles, higher co-pays, higher...

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IRS Issues Guidance on Cadillac Tax

IRS Issues Guidance on Cadillac Tax

The IRS issued Notice 2015-16 which is intended to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage under § 4980I of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Section 4980I, which was added to the Code by the Affordable Care Act, applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Under this provision, if the aggregate cost of “applicable...

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Open Enrollment Is Coming To An End

Open Enrollment Is Coming To An End

The end of the 2014-2015 Individual Open Enrollment is about to end for those looking to get individual/family medical coverage as well as SHOP Coverage through the Federal Exchange as well as through the Private market.  If you or someone you know is trying to get the process completed through either avenue it must be done by the 15th or you better get ready for a year without coverage!  The only way coverage can be completed after the...

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Calculating Employer Size for 2015

Calculating Employer Size for 2015

What is an “Large Group Employer” and why does it matter?   The ACA requires Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) to offer affordable, minimum value coverage to their Full Time Employees or face thousands of dollars in penalties. An Applicable Large Employer (ALE) is an entity (including a single employer or group of employers un-der common control) that employs an average of 50 Full Time Employees, including Full Time...

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