Serving over 200 companies and more than 2000 families since 1988

2882 Sand Hill Rd. Ste. 119 - Menlo Park, CA 94025 - (650) 854-8963 - (800) 564-4476

Posts made in August, 2018

Beginning in 2022, many employers will face an excise tax on high-cost healthcare plans, commonly called the Cadillac Tax, as a part of the continuing changes rolled out by the Affordable Care Act. Congress has also debated plans to completely eliminate the tax, an idea often touted by President Trump, but so far the tax stands. Employers who want to make changes to avoid the Cadillac Tax are getting started now. The tax won’t apply to everyone. It was specifically designed to target employer-provided healthcare plans that exceed certain annual thresholds for contributions from both employers and employees. Currently, that threshold remains at $10,200 for individual plans, and $27,500 for family plans, in most situations. Payments above those amounts will be taxed at a rate of 40 percent. However, deductibles and co-pays are not included within these limits. For certain situations the thresholds will be higher, such as when the majority of employees are engaged in high-risk professions, or for retirees who haven’t reached the age of 65 (Medicare eligibility). In order to avoid the Cadillac tax, many employers are considering a switch to higher-deductible, lower-premium plans. These plans do assign more responsibility for healthcare costs to the employee, but we have ways of mitigating that situation. A common option, which has proven effective, is to pair a high-deductible healthcare plan with a tax-exempt health savings account. This pairing keeps costs lower for both employer and employee, while allowing the employee to set aside pre-tax money in a savings account to handle the annual deductible. If the money in that HSA is not used in a particular year, it rolls over to the next year. In fact, unused funds in an HSA can be rolled over all the way to retirement, when the money can then be used for qualified medical expenses. Employers are also exploring other improvements to reduce overall healthcare costs, such as worksite clinics or tele-health options. In many cases, these cost reductions result in more convenient healthcare for employees; a win-win situation for everyone. For more information on the Cadillac Tax, and how it will be calculated, give us a call. We can assess your current healthcare expenditure, anticipate future increases, and help you assess your options to keep costs in line with your...

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Believe it or not, it’s almost that time of year again! Soon your enrollment period for Individual & Family health insurance will open, depending upon which type of insurance you have, so now is the time to begin evaluating your options. But before we get into that, let’s review the two types of enrollment periods, with regard to health insurance. If you are a Medicare recipient… Your Annual Election Period will begin October 15 and run through December 7. During this time you can switch from Original Medicare to an Advantage plan, or vice versa. Or, you can change from one Advantage plan to another. This is also the time to evaluate whether you need Part D (prescription drug) coverage, and opt in or out of that. Opting out will lead to a penalty when enrolling later on. If your current coverage will be changing at all, you will receive a letter about those changes. Watch your mail for notices from Medicare or your Advantage plan administrator. Then, you can decide whether this plan continues to meet your needs, or if you need to make a switch. If you like your current plan, you don’t have to do anything. You will be automatically re-enrolled. If you have any other type of health insurance… Open Enrollment for Individuals & Families runs from November 1 through December 15. Take note of this end date. In the past, Open Enrollment periods have extended into January, but now you only have about a month and a half to make your decision. If you don’t want to make changes to your plan, you will be automatically re-enrolled in the same one. Keep in mind that premiums and various elements of your coverage can change from one year to the next, so do your research carefully (and open any mail you receive from your provider). If you miss the Open Enrollment deadline of December 15, you can’t enroll in a new plan or make changes to your current plan unless you experience a qualifying life event at some point next year. That’s why we’re reminding you of Open Enrollment now. Start evaluating your healthcare plan, and considering your future needs, right now. Then when November rolls around you will be ready to make a decision. Make sure to remind your family and friends of this year’s Open Enrollment dates, and tell them to call us if they have any questions. We appreciate and value your...

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