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Showing posts from February, 2023

Benefits Breakdown - February 2023

  The Trendiest Benefits for 2023 There’s no denying that employees’ needs have changed in recent years. Employers are striving to offer benefits to meet evolving worker needs shaped by the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a tight labor market and rising inflation.   Benefits have always been crucial for attracting and retaining top performers. In 2023, many employers are looking to offer more than just a healthcare plan. With workers paying more attention to their benefits and wondering how to stretch their dollars further, the following benefits could be popular offerings in 2023: voluntary benefits, such as accident and critical illness insurance; financial wellness benefits, including health savings and flexible spending account contributions and financial planning assistance; healthcare full premium coverage; and family-friendly benefits. Organizations can start optimizing benefits packages by evaluating employee preferences through surveys and thinking about ways to im

Benefits Buzz - February 2023

  Congress Extends Telehealth Relief for HDHPs The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA) extends the ability of high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to provide benefits for telehealth or other remote care services before plan deductibles have been met ─ without jeopardizing health savings account eligibility. This extension applies for plan years beginning after Dec. 31, 2022, and before Jan. 1, 2025. Background In general, telehealth programs that provide free or reduced-cost medical benefits before the HDHP deductible is satisfied are considered disqualifying coverage for purposes of HSA eligibility. However, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act allowed HDHPs to provide benefits for telehealth or other remote care services before plan deductibles were met, effective for plan years beginning before Jan. 1, 2022. A spending bill extended this relief to telehealth services provided in months beginning after March 31, 2022, and before Jan. 1, 2023. The CAA further

SECURE 2.0 Discussion Series: Session One

SECURE 2.0 provisions: What we know and what’s still up in the air The SECURE 2.0 Act, signed into law in late December 2022, has factored heavily in retirement industry discourse since the final legislation was published. As with any legislation of this depth and breadth, there’s a lot to digest and the industry takes time to adjust. Our team of experienced advisors recently met to discuss some of the more nuanced provisions of the legislation, such as changes to Roth contributions, and what they could mean for plan sponsors. Panel participants included the following HBS team members: Noah Buck, Christina Bauer-Dobias, Sean Bayne, Vincent Bocchinfuso and Kathleen Coonan. Highlights of our panel’s conversation below should serve to help guide plan sponsor thinking. On Roth employer contributions NB – In addition to deferring pre-tax or Roth, plan sponsors can now allow employer contributions to be classified as Roth, is that right? VB – Correct. This is immediately available to plan s

Attraction & Retention Newsletter - Q1 2023

Each quarter, the  Attraction and Retention Newsletter  offers statistics about the employment market, suggestions on securing top talent and insight to attract and retain workers. The  first quarter edition explores: how employee quits and job openings are trending, and what employers should prepare for in 2023; how to identify and retain key employees; and how to retain employees amid the “quick quitting” trend. In 2022, the employment landscape saw record-high employee quit rates and job openings as employers struggled to attract and retain workers. Some of these numbers have eased heading into 2023, but they are still considered high against historical standards, which indicates that the labor market remains competitive for employers. As quick quitting emerges as the latest trend, the importance of retaining new hires is even more apparent. Attraction and retention challenges remain and employers need to continue exploring strategies to better meet the desires of today’s workforce

Answers to your top five ACA IRS reporting questions

Are you ready for 2022 Affordable Care Act-required reporting to the IRS? Do you need to verify the accuracy of prior year forms? With "transitional good faith relief" in the rear-view mirror, the industry is anticipating an increase in penalty letters, which will likely lead to more audits. Employers cannot afford to get their 1094s and 1095s wrong. Check out the top five pressing questions from clients on ACA IRS reporting and the answers from our benefits experts. Q1. We didn’t know about ACA reporting before now. What if we did not file in prior years? The best course of action is to retroactively file for prior years. You should also contact legal counsel. Q2. What if we discover a mistake made in a prior year filing, such as missing a newly eligible employee? The best practice is to file retroactively. You'll need to carefully recalculate the employee’s eligibility based on whatever measurement periods your organization selected. You should also contact legal counse

Understanding the Employer Shared Responsibility Rules

The Affordable Care Act requires applicable large employers (ALEs) to offer affordable, minimum-value health coverage to their full-time employees or pay a penalty. This provision is also known as the “employer shared responsibility” or “pay or play” mandate. ALEs need to understand how this mandate works to avoid costly penalties and ensure compliance with the ACA. Determining if an ALE is liable for a pay or play penalty An ALE is only liable for a pay or play penalty if one or more of its full-time employees receive a subsidy for coverage under an ACA exchange. If the health coverage offered by an ALE meets certain requirements, then it will be considered affordable and compliant with the pay or play rules. Specifically, under the pay or play rules, an ALE’s health coverage is considered affordable if the employee’s required contribution to the plan does not exceed 9.5% (as adjusted) of the employee’s household income for the taxable year. For plan years beginning in 2023, this affo