July 31 is fast approaching! That’s the deadline when Form 5500 Filings must be completed for groups of over 100 plan participants under a health and welfare plan with a plan year that ends December 31, 2012. We can help and just need for you to sign up for our Form 5500 Filing service and provide your information by July 1, 2013 in order to avoid additional charges for a filing extension.
All employers with over 100 plan participants are required to file Form 5500 within 7 months of the end of their plan year, so be sure to check when your plan year ends and contact us at least one month prior to help with your Form 5500 Filing.
Sterling Health Services Administration can complete the Form 5500 Filing, whether or not we administer your benefit plans, HRA or FSA. Among the Form 5500 Filing services we offer are:
- All documents, including Form 5500, Schedule As, and Schedule Cs available for employer review on a secure, password-protected portal. Employers can choose to file electronically or let Sterling file for them.
- Preparation of IRS Form 5558 to request a filing extension, if needed.
- Working with employers to amend past incorrect or insufficient filings to ensure IRS compliance.
- Records maintenance for future reference in the event of questions from the IRS or Department of Labor.
Check here for more information, including a Form 5500 application and information on our Form 5500 Filing services and fees. Contact your broker or Sterling sales representative to get this process started before July 1, 2013.
And Don’t Forget Your ERISA Wrap
Sterling also prepares ERISA Wrap plan documents for employers with large and small groups to comply with ERISA relating to your group-sponsored benefits. The federal ERISA law mandates that employers comply with strict requirements for disclosing plan information to all eligible employees. Using a “wrap document” to bundle benefits into one plan can make it much easier for employers to document benefits for legal compliance and to effectively communicate with employees.
Visit our website for complete details of our Standard and Optional ERISA Wrap administration services, and to download the employer application and services and fees collateral. Talk with your broker or Sterling sales representative to help with this compliance service as well.
SB 299, which went into effect early in 2012, amends California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDL). The PDL, which applies to employers with five or more employees, guarantees an employee up to four months’ leave if she is disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
SB 299 makes it unlawful for an employer to refuse to maintain and pay for group health coverage for employees throughout their PDL leave. Employers are now required to maintain group health coverage for employees on PDL leave at the level and under the conditions that coverage would have been provided if the employee had remained working (although the employer need not maintain and pay for coverage beyond four months).
So, the question is, are employers also required to continue employer HSA
contributions if providing to actively employed employees?
According to Roy Ranthum, Mr. HSA, the answer is yes – employers must also continue employer HSA contributions for employees on this specific type of leave.
However, if it is a COBRA leave, the employer is not required to continue contributions.
Did you know that under the COBRA law, one of an employer’s responsibilities is to provide benefit eligible employees and their dependents with an initial notice of their rights under COBRA? The law states that:
The plan sponsor of group health plans must give each employee and each covered spouse and/or dependent of an employee who becomes covered under the plan a general notice describing COBRA rights. The general notice must be provided within the first 90 days of coverage. The regulations require that notices must be furnished using “measures reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt of the material” and mailing the notices by first class mail is the recommended method. Records of mailings should be kept in case of Department of Labor (DOL) audit. If the employee has a covered spouse or dependents not residing at the employee’s primary residence, an additional notice must be mailed to the addresses of these covered dependents.
As just one of our many compliance services, Sterling can send these notices for employers, if COBRA is administered through us. It’s an optional service for a nominal fee and includes sending a generic COBRA General Rights (Initial) Notice to each covered employee and their covered dependents. We’ll also keep records of all mailings in case of a DOL audit.
We offer a full suite of COBRA services that are competitively priced for large and small groups:
- Bundled fees represent all costs to the employer for standard services, making it easy to plan and budget.
- There are no set-up fees, monthly fees, or minimums.
- Services include installation and set-up, qualifying event, ongoing administrative, and comprehensive open enrollment support.
- We offer standard and optional COBRA services. Our fees are based on the employer’s choice of services and the total number of COBRA eligible employees in the company.
To see detailed pricing and a list of our services, click here.
Sterling Health Services Administration also offers robust, yet easy-to-use, online tools for employers and qualified beneficiaries to access reports and manage COBRA accounts.
Please contact a Sterling sales representative or account manager for more information. Customer service can also be reached at 800-617-4729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor Note: This article originally appeared here.
Roy Ramthun, also known as “Mr. HSA,” has confirmed and finalized his predictions for the 2014 contribution limits and high deductible health plan requirements for HSAs. “Today’s release of the March inflation figures by the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided the final data element, so the projections can be finalized with certainty,” Ramthun said.
The U.S. Treasury Department is required to publish the inflation-adjusted amounts for HSAs for the upcoming year by June 1 each year.
As Ramthun predicted in February, the maximum HSA contribution (not including catch-up contributions) will increase to $3,300 for individuals with self-only coverage and $6,550 for those with family coverage in 2014. The annual catch-up contribution for individuals age 55 or older is set by statute and will remain $1000 per person for 2014.
Ramthun said that most HSA-qualified insurance plans will not need to make changes to their plan designs for 2014. “The minimum deductible for HSA-qualified plans will not change for 2014,” he said. But the out-of-pocket limits for 2014 will increase to $6,350 for singles and $12,700 for persons with family coverage.
“Although the annual limits on out-of-pocket expenses will rise for 2014, the limits HSA plans are using today would fall within the limits for 2014 so no changes will be required,” says Ramthun. He also notes that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be applying the HSA out-of-pocket limits for 2014 to all health plans starting January 1, 2014.
Visit our website for more information on Health Savings Accounts and Sterling Health Services Administration.