Overview: Health care benefits are an important part of the overall compensation package and employee benefit program that employers use to attract and retain workers. Employees value health care benefits because they soften the financial impact of a catastrophic, unanticipated illness or injury.
Employees are typically provided an opportunity to participate in the employer's group health plan. Eligibility for participation may depend on a number of factors including working for a required period of time and/or an individual's employment status (e.g., full time or part time).
Most health care benefit packages include medical and prescription drug coverage, but many employers offer more comprehensive packages that include dental and vision benefits as well. Basic health insurance covers costs related to hospital care, including hospitalization, inpatient surgery and doctor fees related to the hospitalization.
Trends: The requirements of the Affordable Care Act pose some real challenges for HR professionals, and its requirements have a significant impact on how both employers and employees view health care benefits.
Author: Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor
Under the Health Care Security Ordinance, an employer with 20 or more employees must file an annual report by April 30 each year.
An employer that is liable for, or responsible for collecting, certain federal excise taxes must file Form 720 with the IRS for each quarter of a calendar year. Sponsors of self-insured health plans and health insurance issuers must report the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee on Form 720 annually by July 31.
Updated to reflect an extended deadline for providing the initial written notice for qualified small employer HRAs under the 21st Century Cures Act.
President Trump has nominated 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neal Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant since the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In many ways, Judge Gorsuch's record mirrors that of Justice Scalia.
Updated to reflect IRS FAQs clarifying how to calculate full-time employees.
Updated to include adjusted penalty amounts for 2017.
The 21st Century Cures Act will allow certain qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs), create W-2 reporting requirements, and include notice requirements.
XpertHR Legal Editors Michael Cardman, Marta Moakley and David Weisenfeld discuss what's likely to change for employers in the wake of the surprising 2016 election, including the ACA, agency enforcement and more.
HR guidance on understanding the value of health care benefits.