Category: For Employers

From the Archives: A Healthy Memorial Day Menu

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and the longer, warmer days mean fresh peaches, berries and peppers are finally in season.

Many of us enjoy a long Memorial Day weekend and will host – or attend – an outdoor party. Whether you’re grilling in the backyard or heading out for a picnic at the park, our collection of healthy Memorial Day recipes is delicious for every celebration.

Mediterranean Portobello Burger
Topped with a luscious Greek-style salad.

Find the recipe here.

Barbeque Raspberry Hoisin Chicken
A wonderful Chinese-inspired marinade and dipping sauce.

Find the recipe here.

Country Potato Salad
Updated with nonfat buttermilk in place of mayonnaise.

Find the recipe here.

Seven Layer Salad
A makeover of a Midwestern classic.

Find the recipe here.

EatingWell Deviled Eggs
Replaces some of the egg yolks with nonfat cottage cheese.

Find the recipe here.

Peach Custard Pie
Low-fat milk and nonfat Greek yogurt comprise the creamy custard.

Find the recipe here.

IRS sets 2016 Health Savings Account contribution limits

Editor note: This article was originally published on May 5, 2015 by Business Insurance and can be found here.

The maximum contributions that can be made to health savings accounts in 2016 will increase $100 for families, but remain unchanged for individuals.

The Internal Revenue Service announced Monday that the maximum contribution that can be made next year to an HSA linked to a high-deductible plan will be $6,750 for employees with family coverage, up from $6,650, while the maximum contribution for those with single coverage will remain at $3,350.

However, maximum out-of-pocket expenses will increase in 2016 for both categories.

Maximum out-of-pocket employee expense, including deductibles, will rise $100 next year to $6,550 for single coverage, and increase $200 next year to $13,100 for family coverage.

For 2016, a high-deductible health plan is defined as a one with an annual deductible of least $1,300 for self-only coverage and $2,600 for family coverage.

Increases in the HSA limits, which are detailed in Revenue Procedure 2015-30, are tied to changes in the cost of living.

Learn more about Health Savings Accounts.

HSAs: Client Success Story – Practice Fusion

In our latest video, the Benefits Manager & HRBP at Practice Fusion 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 – LA Mission here.
Watch HSAs: Client Success Story – Northern California Teamsters Trust here.

4 PPACA Pitfalls You Can’t Overlook

by Gentrie Pool, CSA, REBC, RHU, SGS

Editor Note: This article was written by Sterling’s Director of Sales Gentrie Pool and originally published here, by benefitspro.com – the #1 online destination for benefits professionals.

As we know, the Department of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services (collectively referred to in this article as the “Agencies”) are regularly releasing healthcare reform regulations and clarifications. Below is a brief summary of only some of the points that came out of 2014 from the Agencies.

What did healthcare reform give us in 2014?

1) 4980H Employer Shared Responsibility Requirements (often called “pay or play”)

  • One year delay to 2016 for excise taxes for applicable large employers (ALEs) with less than 100 full-time equivalents in 2014. They still have (Section 6056) reporting requirements for 2015 though. Note: group size is not the only requirement for the delay.
  • The look back measurement period (LBMP) applies to all employees within the same class (e.g. salaried or hourly) of applicable large employers (not just variable employees, for example).
  • An applicable large group employer member is not considered to have made an offer of coverage to a full-time employee unless the employee had the opportunity to elect coverage for his/her dependent children, if any, That coverage, if elected, would extend through the end of the month in which the child turns 26 (or if earlier, the date the coverage ended for the employee).

2) Section 6056 Reporting

  • This requires applicable large employer members to file an IRS form (similar to and in addition to a W-3) which identifies each of the employees who were full time at least one month of the calendar year and what, if any, coverage was offered. A form is also to be furnished to those full-time employees (similar to and in addition to a W-2)  – Forms (1094 and 1095-C).

3) Section 6055 Reporting

  • This requires minimum essential coverage providers to file an IRS form identifying each individual enrolled at least one day during that year. This applies to any employer who offers a self-insured plan and to individuals covered under the plan. The form also must be provided to covered individuals. Fully insured carriers will satisfy this obligation with respect to individuals covered under the policy. Employers sponsoring a self-insured plan are obligated to satisfy the requirement with respect to all individuals enrolled – Forms (1094 and 1095-B).

4) 2014 Health Insurance Reforms: Waiting Period Limitation and Out of Pocket Maximum Requirements

  • PHSA Section 2708 generally limits waiting periods for otherwise eligible individuals to 90 calendar days. Regulations clarify that terms of eligibility generally cannot be based solely on the passage of time. Eligibility based on accumulated hours, not to exceed 1200, or a “measurement period” is permissible. Employers may implement a 30-day orientation period for employees who otherwise satisfy the eligibility requirement, after which the waiting period can begin.
  • In referencing FAQs provided by the agencies, there was no mention of the dollar amount associated with out-of-pocket requirements for “reference-based pricing arrangement.” According to the FAQs, plans my treat providers who accept the plans “reference base pricing” as the only in-network providers, if certain conditions are satisfied. If those conditions are satisfied, then all services or treatment given by providers who did not accept the plans reference base pricing, including network providers, can be treated as out-of-network in the cost sharing for such services and fall outside the out-of-pocket maximum limitation. This is an important distinction because typically the out-of-pocket maximum imposed by health care reform applies to all cost sharing with respect to services or treatments provided by in-network providers, Cost sharing for out-of-network providers does not have to be applied to the out-of-pocket maximum.

Source for information in this article: Employers Council on Flexible Compensation: John Hickman, Esq., Ashley Gillihan, Esq., and Merdith Gage, Esq., Alston & Bird, LLP