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New Rule Loosens Current Restrictions

Effective October 2, 2018, a new rule will allow individuals to purchase short-term, limited-duration health insurance coverage for a period of less than 12 months, and renew such coverage for up to 36 months. Under current law, the maximum coverage period for short-term, limited-duration health insurance is less than 3 months, and these policies cannot be renewed.

Notably, short-term, limited-duration health insurance is:

  • Not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act's ban on pre-existing condition exclusions and lifetime and annual dollar limits.
  • Not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act's essential health benefits requirement, which requires individual health insurance policies to cover, among other things, hospitalizations, emergency services, and maternity care.
  • Not "minimum essential coverage," meaning that policyholders may remain liable for an individual mandate penalty for any month in 2018.

View the new rule and download the fact sheet.

Check out our Health Care Reform section for more on the Affordable Care Act.

Rate Will Increase for Regular & Tipped Employees

Effective January 1, 2019, Ohio employers will generally be required to pay a minimum wage of at least $8.55 per hour to regular employees and $4.30 per hour to tipped employees. Currently, Ohio employers are generally required to pay a minimum wage of at least $8.30 per hour to regular employees and $4.15 per hour to tipped employees.

For more information visit the Ohio Department of Commerce website.

Form Instructions Also Released

The IRS has released the Forms 1094-C1095-C1094-B, and 1095-B that employers will use in early 2019 to report on the group health insurance coverage they offered in the 2018 calendar year. Instructions on how to complete Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and Forms 1094-B and 1095-B have also been released.

As a reminder, employers with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) generally must furnish a Form 1095-C to all full-time employees by January 31, 2019, and file Form 1094-C and all Forms 1095-C with the IRS by February 28, 2019 (or March 31, 2019, if filing electronically). Meanwhile, self-insured employers with fewer than50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) generally must furnish a Form 1095-B to all responsible individuals by January 31, 2019, and file Form 1094-B and all Forms 1095-B with the IRS by February 28, 2019 (or March 31, 2019, if filing electronically).

For more information, check out our Information Reporting section.

An employee's first day on the job can be very stressful for both the employee and employer. While trying to set up the employee with his or her parking pass, email account, and other necessities, employers should also remember that completing the following forms is just as important.

  1. Form I-9: Under federal law, employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining Form I-9. Newly hired employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment. Click here to download Form I-9.
  2. Federal Form W-4: An employee must complete federal Form W-4 in order for the employer to withhold the correct federal income tax from the employee's pay. Click here to download federal Form W-4.
  3. State Form W-4: In states with a state income tax, an employee must complete a state Form W-4 or its equivalent in order for the employer to withhold the correct state income tax from the employee's pay. To obtain a state Form W-4, contact your state's taxation department.
  4. Basic Employment Information Sheet: Employers should keep certain basic information about each of their employees on file, including their addresses, phone numbers, and emergency contacts. Click here to download a Basic Employment Information Sheet.
  5. Direct Deposit Authorization Form: It is now easier than ever for an employer to directly deposit an employee's paycheck into his or her bank account. Such deposits, however, must be specifically authorized by the employee. Click here to download a Direct Deposit Authorization Form.

Our Recruitment & Hiring section features more great hiring tips.

The Affordable Care Act's medical loss ratio (MLR) rules require group health insurance issuers to provide rebates if their MLR—the percentage of health insurance premiums spent on health care and activities to improve health care quality—falls short of the applicable standard during a reporting year. Each year's rebates must be issued to plan sponsors by September 30 of the following year. As a result, plan sponsors should be looking for these rebates to arrive in the coming weeks.

Employer Distribution

The MLR rules provide that issuers must pay any rebates owed to persons covered under a group health plan to the policyholder, who is then responsible for distributing the rebate to eligible plan enrollees. In general, there are several ways rebates may be distributed by plan sponsors to plan enrollees, including:

  1. A rebate check in the mail;
  2. A lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that was used to pay the premium if it was paid by credit card or debit card; or
  3. A direct reduction in future premiums.

In addition to the above methods, employers may also apply the rebate in a way that benefits employees. However, decisions on how to apply or expend the plan's portion of a rebate are subject to the general standards of fiduciary conduct under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Visit our section on Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Rebates & Employer Responsibilities to learn more.

RBSK Payroll
RBSK Payroll Partners