As we have done the past several holiday seasons, Sterling and our employees are donating to food banks in our markets throughout the country as a way of saying thanks to our members, clients and partners.
This year, for every new fan who likes our Facebook page – or current fan who posts a comment – we will donate $1, up to $5,000 in total, to support the following organizations selected by our employees. Two are also Sterling clients:
Like us on Facebook today and access information and resources on financing your healthcare, health & wellness tips, and more. And look for photos later this month as we present our donations in your honor.
Thank you for helping us put food on the table for many in need this holiday season.
In our latest video, the Director of Human Resources at the Los Angeles Mission discusses the benefits they’ve seen from their Health Savings Account program with Sterling Administration.
Learn more about HSAs and Sterling Administration. Watch HSAs: Client Success Story here.
The Internal Revenue Service announced the following new benefit plan limits for 2015. In addition, the IRS just issued an important change to Section 125 Cafeteria Plans. We’re notifying FSA clients about this change now.
Health Savings Account (HSA) Limits
- 2015 HSA contribution limits are $3,350 for self-only coverage and $6,650 for family coverage.
- High deductible health plan deductibles are $1,300 for individuals and $2,600 for families. Out-of-pocket expenses cannot exceed $6,450 for individuals and $12,900 for families.
Flexible Spending Account (FSAs) Limits
- Healthcare FSA: The annual maximum for Healthcare FSAs has increased from $2,500 to $2,550 for 2015.
- Dependent Care FSA: At this time, the IRS has not released information on contribution limit changes to these plans.
- Transit & Parking FSA: Contribution limits remain unchanged for 2015. The monthly limits are $250 for parking, $130 for transit and $20 for bicycle commuting.
IRS Issues Notice 2014-55 Allowing Additional Permitted Election Changes to Health Coverage Under Section 125 Cafeteria Plans
The IRS just issued Notice 2014-55 to expand the permitted election rules for health coverage under a Section 125 cafeteria plan. There are now two situations in which a Section 125 cafeteria plan participant is permitted to revoke her/his election during a period of coverage:
- The first situation involves a participating employee whose hours are reduced so that the employee is expected to average less than 30 hours of service per week, but for whom the reduction does not affect the eligibility for coverage under the employer’s group health plan.
- The second situation involves an employee participating in an employer’s group health plan who would like to cease coverage under the group health plan and purchase coverage through a competitive marketplace established by the ACA Exchange or Marketplace.
We are in the process of notifying FSA clients regarding amendment to their plan documents, if they choose. Read more about this change in this release from the IRS.
Please contact us if you have questions or need more information.
The IRS allows for withdrawal of funds from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) on a tax-free basis, if those withdrawals are used to pay for qualified medical, dental and vision expenses defined under the IRS statute. The rules governing disbursements are remarkably broad and allow for expenses not traditionally permitted by medical insurance, such as Lasik surgery, long-term care insurance premiums and dental care. We are frequently asked if the HSA can be used to pay for medical insurance premiums. The answer is yes, but only during periods of unemployment. Also remember that most over-the-counter drugs (such as aspirin) don’t qualify as a tax-deductible expense unless you have a doctor’s prescription.
There is no statute of limitations affecting disbursements from your account. That means you can reimburse yourself for qualified expenses incurred at any time after your HSA is set-up and funded. In case the IRS audits you, be sure to save receipts to justify your withdrawals. Sterling scans all receipts sent to us to provide copies if you need them.
Sterling will issue a debit card for you and your dependents (if you choose) to easily access the money in your HSA. You can also pay for qualified expenses and be reimbursed out of your HSA or even set up direct payment to your healthcare providers.
But it’s very important that you use the HSA money only for qualified expenses. There are BIG penalties for using it in ways that the IRS doesn’t allow. The IRS imposes taxes and penalties (20%) on disbursements that are considered not qualified. As your administrator, Sterling is required to report to the IRS any unqualified disbursements, such as funds returned to you should you close your account.
Visit our website for more information or contact customer service at 800-617-4729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cora M. Tellez
President & CEO