Hamilton Headlines
February 22, 2016

Benefits Notices Checklist

This checklist is designed to help companies review the key reporting and notice requirements that may apply to their employer-sponsored group health plans under ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act). Please note that this list is for general reference purposes only and is not all-inclusive.

Note : ERISA's requirements are complex, and your plan's responsibilities may vary depending on the individual circumstances surrounding your company's plan. Employers who have questions are encouraged to consult with their plan administrators, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, or a knowledgeable employment law attorney for further guidance.
IRS Clarifies Integrated HRA Rules

Issued at the end of last year, Notice 2015-87 provided detailed guidance on a host of topics. The notice has been referred to colloquially in some quarters as the "pot luck" notice. Among other things, the notice, in Q&A 4, clarifies the circumstances under which a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) will be treated as "integrated" with a group health plan where the HRA covers spouses and dependents. This is important because an HRA that is not integrated-i.e., a "stand-alone" HRA-will trigger penalties under certain of the Affordable Care Act's insurance market reforms. As is often the case, however, while clarifying some issues, the notice raised other issues that practitioners and agency representatives are now addressing, and which are the subject of this post.

According to Notice 2015-87, Q&A 4, an HRA is integrated with an employer's group health plan coverage for purposes of the application of the ACA insurance market reforms "only as to the individuals who are enrolled in both the HRA and the employer's other group health plan."
Full Article    


-- ACA Reporting  
Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to be filed with the IRS by May 31, 2016 (instead of February 29, 2016) or June 30, 2016 (instead of March 31, 2016), if filing electronically.

Forms 1095-C are due to employees by March 31, 2016 (instead of February 1, 2016).

-- D.C. Commuter Benefit
The January 1, 2016 effective date has received a 90-day grace period. Employers must have benefits in place by 4/1/2016.  

Questions A bout
You can  reach  us by 
clicking here!

Delay of New Health Law Forms May Confuse Some Taxpayers
As the 2015 tax filing season gets underway, tax preparers said a delay in new health law tax forms is causing confusion for some consumers, while others want details about exemptions from increasingly stiff penalties for not having insurance.

Under the law, most people must have health insurance or pay a fine. In 2015, the penalty was $325 per adult and $162.50 per child up to $975, or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater. This is the first year that employers, insurers and government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are required to send consumers tax forms that report whether they offered or provided health insurance that was considered affordable and adequate under the law. The forms, 1095-B or 1095-C, are designed to help consumers in filling out their taxes but don't need to be filed with their tax returns. The issuers also send copies to the Internal Revenue Service.

Some consumers, however, may not receive the forms until shortly before the April 15 tax filing deadline because the IRS has pushed back the due date from Jan. 31 to March 31 for employers and others that provide insurance.
9 Physical and Emotional Ways Heart Disease Is Different for Women

Heart disease is the number-one killer of women (and men) in America, but men are more likely to be diagnosed and women are more likely to die. Here, why heart symptoms, red flags, risk factors, and treatments can be different for women, and what you can to reduce your risk.

"Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, " Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU's Langone Medical Center, told the American Heart Association . "Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue." Even though heart disease is the number-one killer of women in America, women don't always immediately suspect heart attack when some or all of these symptoms strike. They may mistake them for acid reflux, the flu, or normal aging, according to the AHA.

Women may have a different type of heart disease

Part of the reason heart attack symptoms can present differently in women is because there's a difference in plaque and blockage patterns between men and women, according to cardiologist C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Women's Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. On the center's website , Dr. Bairey Merz explains that women's heart disease should be called ischemic heart disease, which indicates a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart. (The kind of heart disease that primarily affects men should remain coronary artery disease, which indicates plaque build-up in the arteries near the heart). "Women with ischemic heart disease generally have major arteries that are clear of plaque, but the smaller coronary blood vessels cease to constrict and dilate properly, creating the lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart," according to the site. Women can have normal angiograms and stress tests even if they have ischemic heart disease; doctors should pay attention to symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath instead of just looking at test results, Dr. Bairey Merz says.
Connect With Us On Social Media!

Like us on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter     View our profile on LinkedIn 

Please note that Hamilton Insurance does not provide legal advice, and this does not constitute advice of any kind for any 
particular situation. Instead, this is intended as non-comprehensive general information serving as a starting point for further 
discussion. Please contact your tax and/or legal advisors for information about how these issues affect you.  
About Us
H amilton Insurance , a top ranked independent broker in the Washington DC/Metropolitan Area and the nation, has over 35 years of experience in providing insurance brokerage, risk management and employee benefit solutions. It represents a full suite of commercial, health & welfare, and personal insurance solutions, supported by risk compliance and group benefit administrative services. 

Hamilton Insurance Agency
4100 Monument Corner Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
p) 800.275.6087
f) 703.359.8108