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
The Affordable Care Act Cadillac tax that was to go into effect in 2018 has been postponed to 2020.
Affordable Care Act information-reporting due dates for 2015 have been extended.
The US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin has ruled that wellness programs that are part of an insurance benefit plan may fall under the "safe harbor" exception to the Americans with Disabilities Act's (ADA) general prohibition that a covered employer require a medical examination, unless the examination is job-related and consistent with business necessity.
Overview of the spectrum of California labor and employment law requirements HR must follow.
On December 29, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2016-4, which extends the time an employer has to provide employees with Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, or Form 1095-B, Health Coverage. The deadline for filing the forms (also required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)) with the IRS has been extended, as well.
President Obama has signed an omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) that will significantly impact payroll operations. The Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), which represents half of the bill, permanently extends parity between qualified (tax-free) employer-provided parking and commuter benefits and substantially revises the rules for filing Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which is the other half of the omnibus bill, amends the Affordable Care Act.
The health care reform resource page can be used as a tool to help subscribers comply with the complex requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury have jointly published comprehensive final rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which essentially combine and solidify interim rules, several pieces of guidance and Questions and Answers issued since 2010, when the ACA was first enacted.
The Affordable Care Act's automatic enrollment provision was repealed by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.
President Barack Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which repeals the automatic enrollment requirement mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), increases OSHA penalties and addresses employer premiums with respect to pensions.
HR guidance on understanding the value of health care benefits.