Wishing you good times, good cheer, and a memorable new year.

All of us at Lincoln Insurance Services want to thank you for your business, loyalty, and support in 2016.
2017 HSA and Health FSA Contribution Limits 
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the inflation-adjusted contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs) for tax year 2017.
2017 Contribution Limits
The tax year 2017 contribution limits for HSAs and health FSAs are as follow
  • HSAs: The annual limitation on deductions for an
    individual with self-only coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) is $3,400 (up from $3,350 for 2016). The annual limitation on HSA deductions for an individual with family coverage under an HDHP is $6,750 (unchanged from 2016). For 2017, an HDHP is defined as a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,300 for self-only coverage or $2,600 for family coverage (unchanged from 2016), and annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) that do not exceed $6,550 for self-only coverage or $13,100 for family coverage (unchanged from 2016).
  • Health FSAs: The annual dollar limitation on employee contributions to employer-sponsored health FSAs rises to $2,600 (up from $2,550 for 2016). 
New Form I-9 Released
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals who may leg
ally work in the United States--either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining Form I-9.
New Form I-9 Dates
The new Form I-9 is dated November 14, 2016 and has an expiration date of August 31, 2019. Employers may continue using a Form I-9 with a revision date of March 8, 2013 (or may use the new version) through January 21, 2017. Beginning January 22, 2017, however, employers must use only the new version.

Employers should also continue to follow existing storage and retention rules for all of their previously completed Forms I-9.
Note: The instructions for completing Form I-9 are now separate from the form.

Deadlines Extended for Furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C in Early 2017
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadlines for furnishing 2016 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to covered individuals and full-time employees, respectively, from January 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017.
Applicable large employers (generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents or FTEs), must use Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to report information to the IRS and to their full-time employees about their compliance with the employer shared responsibility provisions ("pay or play") and the health care coverage they have (or have not) offered in a calendar year. Forms 1094-B and 1095-B are used by insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties that provide minimum essential health coverage (regardless of size, except for large self-insuring employers) to report information on this coverage to the IRS and to covered individuals.
Reporting entities are required to report in early 2017 for coverage offered (or not offered) in calendar year 2016.   
Furnishing Deadline Extension
The IRS has extended the deadline for furnishing 2016 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to covered individuals and full-time employees, respectively, from January 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017. However, the deadline to file 2016 Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C with the IRS was not extended, and remains February 28, 2017 (or March 31, 2017, if filing electronically).

Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Granted Against New Federal Overtime Rule

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new federal overtime rule, which was set to become effective on December 1, 2016. The injunction prevents implementation and enforcement of the final rule on a nationwide basis. Please monitor this DOL webpage for the latest legal developments.  
Is your group plan California-COBRA (Cal-COBRA) or Federal COBRA? How do you tell?
For an employer to be covered by Cal-COBRA, that employer must have employed 2-19 eligible employees on at least 50% of the working days in the preceding calendar year. If the employer was not in business during any part of the preceding calendar year, the employer must have employed 2-19 eligible employees (or monthly full time equivalents) at least 50% of the working days in the preceding calendar quarter.  If you qualify for Cal-Cobra, your medical insurance carrier will contact an employee upon their termination to offer continuation of coverage at the employee's expense. 
If an employer has more than 20 employees, federal COBRA applies.  Employees that become newly eligible for benefits must be given an Initial Notice of Cobra Rights (also referred to as a General Notice) and upon leaving employment, an employee must be given an election notice, allowing them to continue their coverage at their own expense.  Please contact your Lincoln Insurance Services Account Manager for copies of these notices or for assistance in selecting a vendor to help you manage your federal COBRA responsibilities. 
Thank you for selecting Lincoln Insurance Services!  
As always, if any question should arise, feel free to contact us.
Your Lincoln Insurance Services Team:
Doug Dalziel, Mary Stoddard, Leslie Holm, Grant Horn,
Deanna Cipriani, Lil Ignacio, Maureen Thomas, Edna Burgos,
Denise Caldwell, and Jerrie Walton.
Lincoln Insurance Services
(877) 433-2097  |  lis@lincolnis.com
1660 Olympic Blvd., Suite 201
Walnut Creek, CA 94596