Sterling Featured in California Broker Magazine’s “View From the Top”

Sterling is proud to announce we were included in an executive Q&A on the current marketplace in the February 2016 issue of California Broker Magazine. Jim McCabe, Vice President of Sales Strategy participated on behalf of Sterling. To read the article, click here.

Sterling’s Jim McCabe Featured in California Broker Magazine on Consultative Selling

We are very proud to announce that Jim McCabe, Sterling’s Vice President of Sales Strategy is featured in the February 2016 issue of California Broker Magazine, with a bylined article on consultative selling. A thirty year veteran of leading employee benefits sales teams, he’s learned a few things along the way about how to create and deliver value; and how to earn trust for the long term.  To read the article, click here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ACA and TAX INFO FOR IRS FORM 1095-C

Beginning in 2015, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires certain organizations to report certain health care coverage information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as well as to their own employees. Part of this new reporting requirement includes providing full-time employees with the new IRS Form 1095-C. You will need this form to complete your tax return for the 2015 tax year. Please see below for more information about the Form 1095-C and answers to frequently asked questions on this new ACA reporting requirement.

What is the 1095-C form? The ACA requires Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), or employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, to offer healthcare coverage to their full-time employees, or be subject to potential penalties, and provide the Form 1095-C form to all employees who were full-time employees or enrolled in health insurance at any point in 2015. The form includes information about the health plan coverage your company offered you that the IRS will use to determine whether your employer is in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.

When will I get my Form 1095-C? If you are eligible to receive a Form 1095-C, your employer is required to send your Form 1095-C for the 2015 tax year on or before March 31, 2016.

What should I do with my Form 1095-C? Retain this form with your other important tax records. You will use your Form 1095-C to complete your 2015 individual tax return. If you were not eligible to receive a 1095-C, then you will not need one to complete your tax return.

Do I need to wait to receive my 1095C form before I file my taxes?  You do not need to wait to receive the form to file your taxes.  If your form arrives after you have filed your taxes, you do not need to amend your taxes.  Retain a copy of the form with your other important tax documents for reference.

If I changed jobs in 2015, will I get more than one Form 1095-C? If you switched jobs in 2015 and enrolled in coverage with both employers, you should receive a 1095-C from each employer. If you worked for an employer with different franchises or companies, you may also receive a 1095-C from each company.

What information is on the Form 1095-C? There are three parts to the form:

  1. Employee and Employer Information (Part 1) reports information about you and your employer.
  2. Employee Offer and Coverage (Part 2) reports information about the coverage offered to you by your employer, the affordability of that coverage, and why you were or were not offered coverage by your employer.
  3. Covered Individuals (Part 3), if applicable reports information about the individuals (including dependents) covered under your employer’s plan if it was a self-insured plan.

Could I get a penalty if I didn’t have coverage in 2015? Your 2015 federal return form will ask if you (and/or dependents) were enrolled in qualifying coverage during the 2015 calendar year. If you were without such coverage at any time during 2015, you could be assessed a penalty.

Where can I get additional information? For information regarding the 1095-C form and ACA-related tax filing requirements, please visit the IRS Website at http://www.irs.gov/ACA. We will continue to send out reminders regarding the data collection.  Please feel free to reach out to your Sterling representative if you have questions – or you may email our ACA team at ACA.services@sterlingadministration.com.

HSA 2015 and 2015 Limits and FAQs

Contribution and Out-of-Pocket Limits for
Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans
For 2016 For 2015 Change
HSA contribution limit (employer + employee) Individual: $3,350
Family: $6,750
Individual: $3,350
Family: $6,650
Individual: no change
Family: +$100
HSA catch-up contributions (age 55 or older)* $1,000 $1,000 No change**
HDHP minimum deductibles Individual: $1,300
Family: $2,600
Individual: $1,300
Family: $2,600
Individual: no change
Family: no change
HDHP maximum out-of-pocket amounts (deductibles, co-payments and other amounts, but not premiums) Individual: $6,550
Family: $13,100
Individual: $6,450
Family: $12,900
Individual: +$100
Family: +$200
* Catch-up contributions can be made any time during the year in which the HSA participant turns 55.
** Unlike other limits, the HSA catch-up contribution amount is not indexed; any increase would require statutory change.

See more at: http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/articles/pages/2016-hsa-limits.aspx#sthash.f7mnrowa.dpuf
Chart courtesy of SHRM.

HSA FAQS
We polled our HSA Client Services team and asked for the most frequently asked questions we are getting from our accountholders. Here are the most popular four, along with the answers.
Q: How do I check my balance?
A: To check your available balance please call Toll Free: 800-617-4729 and enter your Sterling account number.
You may obtain your Sterling account number by contacting customer service at Toll Free: 800-617-4729, or via email at customer.service@sterlingadministration.com. Your Sterling account number is located in your Welcome Letter.
Q. How do I unlock my account?
A. Please contact customer service to unlock your online account. Toll Free: 800-617-4729 or via email at customer.service@sterlingadministration.com
Q. What is the annual contribution amount for 2015?
A. For 2015, the maximum is $3,350 for individuals and $6,650 for families. Catch-up contributions may be made by individuals 55 and over up to $1,000.
Q. When is the last day to make a 2015 Contribution?
A. April 15 2016. If members are sending checks, check must be postmarked by April 15, 2016.

Please let us know at customer.service@sterlingadministration.com if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!

Sincerely,

The Sterling Team