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Legislative Update: Recent Developments in the Federal ACA Appeal

Written by Julia Goebel | January 5, 2019

Recently we wrote about the decision by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in which he found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. To catch up on what this means for employers and insurance producers, as well as links to the legal decision in the federal record, review our commentary published here last month.

Now to the latest development:

While Judge O'Connor's December 14, 2018 decision is reviewed by higher courts through the appeals process, O'Connor issued a stay on his own ruling, on December 30, 2018. Read on to explore what this means to employers and covered individuals.


[Infographic] 2019 ACA Reporting Deadlines for the 2018 ACA Reporting Year

Written by Julia Goebel | December 16, 2018

As of this writing, a recent decision on December 15, 2018 by a federal court in Texas challenges the constitutionality of the ACA. Legal buffs can read the entire decision here. 

However, this decision is certain to be appealed in higher courts, and as the Associated Press (AP) states: 

"While the decision by the Republican-appointed judge in Texas was sweeping, it has little immediate practical impact because the Affordable Care Act remains in place while the legal battle continues, possibly to the Supreme Court."

The resolution is certain to be months in the making. And with that, the counsel of benefitexpress experts to employers and brokers is to continue with plans to meet the compliance requirements of the ACA, in order to avoid being assessed penalties by the IRS.

Use this infographic to mark these key 2019 IRS filing dates for the 2018 ACA reporting year. Print and post for your own reference -- and share with colleagues.


Legislative Update: Benefits and the Tax Bill | Planning a Compliant Wellness Program

Written by Allison Loehman | January 11, 2018

Every day on our LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages, we share need-to-know industry information for benefits pros. If you haven't joined the experts who follow us, here are the top stories from around the web.


Received an IRS Letter 226J? 6 Things to Do Next

Written by Kelly McMillen | January 9, 2018

This year, for the first time, the IRS is beginning to collect penalties from employers who did not comply with the ACA employer mandate - back in 2015. Employers are beginning to receive Letter 226J, stating what they owe for Employer Shared Responsibility Payments (ESRPs).


3 Ways the GOP Tax Bill Impacts Employee Benefits

Written by Rick Bakewell | January 8, 2018

In late December last year, the new tax bill, formerly titled "The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," was signed into effect. The 500+ page bill will have far-reaching impact across multiple industries. Particular focus has been placed on how the bill modifies employee benefits, including the Affordable Care Act. With that in mind, here are three key ways the bill will affect employee benefits in 2018.


[Infographic] 2018 Indexed Figures for Qualified Plans

Written by benefitexpress | October 17, 2017

Included in this infographic are the 2018 indexed figures for retirement limits, flexible benefit related limits, and transportation benefits.


Legislative Update | Trump's ACA Executive Order

Written by benefitexpress | October 16, 2017

On October 12, Trump signed an Executive Order to "reform the United States healthcare system to take the first steps to expand choices and alternatives to [ACA] plans," he announced in a White House press release.


IRS Releases Updated ACA Reporting Forms

Written by benefitexpress | October 6, 2017

The IRS has released their updated forms for the 2017 plan year, along with updated instructions. This is what you need to know.


IRS to Employers: "The ACA [Is] Still in Force"

Written by benefitexpress | September 20, 2017

On January 20th, an executive order directed agencies to reduce potential burdens on employers due to the Affordable Care Act. That announcement kicked off a series of dialogues, predictions, and proposals that left employers wondering how to proceed. It was widely speculated that the IRS would not enforce ACA reporting this year, and employers could disregard the individual and employer mandate requirements without fear of penalties. This is not the case.


EEOC Heads Back to the Drawing Board

Written by benefitexpress | September 14, 2017

We've written before about the EEOC's limits on wellness programs. For a wellness plan to be considered truly "voluntary", the incentives for participating (and therefore the penalties for not participating) can't be so high that they would compel an unwilling participant to join. To be compliant with the ADA and GINA, plans that require participants to disclose family medical history or undergo a medical screening can't have an incentive that exceeds 30% of their health insurance premium. That is, until now.