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 IRS has launched a helpful new resource on its website chock full of information for employers that qualify as applicable large employers (ALEs) under the Affordable Care Act - ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs).
The IRS has released the final 2015 versions of Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C, and instructions that an employer may use for fulfilling Affordable Care Act annual information-reporting requirements.
This How To will help an applicable large employer correctly file and furnish IRS Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C for Section 6055 and Section 6056 purposes under the Affordable Care Act.
This How To will help a self-insured employer correctly file and furnish IRS Form 1094-B and Form 1095-B for Section 6055 purposes under the Affordable Care Act.
This section assists HR professionals in understanding the different types of health benefit plans (e.g., traditional indemnity, managed care), the benefits that may be offered (e.g., prescription drug, dental, vision), how cafeteria plans work and the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
An employer may apply for an extension of time for filing IRS information returns.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that forcing religiously-affiliated employers to offer contraceptive coverage to their employees, even indirectly, would violate those employers' religious freedoms. The decisions in two related cases could set up another Supreme Court challenge involving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as they conflict with all other federal appellate court rulings on the issue.
HR guidance on understanding the value of health care benefits.