The implementation of health care reform legislation continues to move forward.
HR Knowledge, Inc., a leading human resources Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast with offices in Mansfield and Waltham, outlines the highlights from the past few months:
Court challenges to the law. Federal district courts in Virginia and Florida ruled as unconstitutional the individual mandate contained in the health care reform. In their opinion, Congress did not have power under the Constitution to require citizens to purchase health insurance. Both of those cases have been appealed by the Obama administration to the U.S. Courts of Appeals covering those states. It’s anticipated the U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately decide this issue. In the meantime, the administration continues to implement and enforce the law.
W-2 reporting requirement modified. Guidance issued by the IRS has modified the timeline for employers to begin reporting the value of employer-sponsored health coverage on employees’ W-2 forms. Employers will be required to begin reporting this information in January 2013 for amounts paid during the 2012 calendar year. However, employers who file fewer than 250 W-2 forms for the 2011 calendar year will not be required to report prior to January 2014 (for amounts paid during the 2013 calendar year). Remember, although these amounts are reported on a W-2, this doesn’t mean the amounts are taxable to employees. The reporting requirement is for information only and is intended to provide useful and comparable consumer information to employees on the cost of their health care coverage.
Repeal of requirement for employers to provide “free-choice vouchers” to certain employees beginning in 2014. As part of the budget bill for the 2011 budget year, Congress repealed the requirement in the health care reform legislation requiring employers provide “free-choice vouchers” to certain employees beginning in 2014, when the health insurance exchanges are established. This would have required employers who paid any portion of the cost of health insurance for their employees to give “qualified employees” a voucher for the amount the employer would pay. The employee could then use that voucher to purchase health coverage from the exchange. For purposes of this requirement, a qualified employee was one whose required
contribution for the employer-sponsored coverage was between 8 and 9.8 percent of the employee’s household income for the tax year. Employers were concerned this requirement would cause healthy employees to leave the employer plan to purchase less expensive coverage through the exchange.
Repeal of requirement that businesses report payments made to all vendors on Form 1099. Congress passed a law repealing the requirement that businesses report payments made to all vendors, including corporate vendors, on Form 1099. This requirement was uniformly criticized as being overly burdensome, especially for small businesses.
“These are fairly significant changes and its imperative that companies stay abreast of them,” noted Kenneth Bettenhauser, President of Brokerage Services at HR Knowledge.
The HR Knowledge blog provides the most recent information on healthcare reform legislation and other HR issues. For more in-depth information, contact HR Knowledge at (508) 339-1300.
About HR Knowledge, Inc.
HR Knowledge, Inc. is a leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) serving emerging to mid-sized companies throughout the Northeast. HR Knowledge has the experience and technology to efficiently provide best-in-class integrated HR services at an affordable cost to clients.
HR Knowledge’s leaders have more than 100 years of combined experience and provide expert guidance in Human Resource management, Group Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Processing & Managed Services, Financial Services and Recruiting and Hiring Process Management (HPM).
Through their comprehensive Human Resource Services, HR Knowledge helps organizations minimize operational risks, reduce administrative costs and better serve their people.
HR Knowledge has been recognized as a Gold Level Broker by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare. The company is headquartered at 905B South Main Street, Suite 203 in Mansfield and their second office is located at 890 Winter Street, Suite 208 in Waltham, MA. For more information, contact (508) 339-1300 or visit their website at www.hrknowledge.com