For benefits pros, Uncle Sam can be as unpredictable as Mother Nature. Compliance issues, like the weather, are beyond our control.
In just the last month or so, the government has presented us with a few “holiday surprises.” Just before Thanksgiving, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finally announced the tax year 2019 annual inflation adjustments for more than 60 tax provisions, including the maximum salary contributions to health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs). While the timing of the IRS announcement was not ideal for many employers, especially those whose annual enrollment period had closed, Businessolver was ready to work with each of them on the best course of action. That’s because we generally hedge our bets on sudden announcements that seem to come out of nowhere, like a freak blizzard or summer squall.
You may also remember the other unexpected announcement from the IRS just last week that extended the due date for furnishing IRS Form 1095-B and 1095-C for Tax Year 2018. Based on experience, we figured this might happen, but we didn’t have all the details. Also on our radar was the possible extension of the good-faith transition relief from section 6721 and 6722 penalties. As soon as this news broke, we sent an alert to our clients, many of whom, we assume, got it on their phone alongside the latest severe weather warnings.
Like Mother Nature, the only thing predictable about Uncle Sam is that he’s unpredictable. But that’s what holiday gatherings are for, right? All the relatives are invited!
Even with a 24-hour weather channel and three apps on your phone, you never truly know what the weather will be like. If you’re like most people, though, you prepare for at least a couple scenarios before you leave the house. Maybe you take an umbrella, just in case. And dressing in layers is always smart.
As we move into 2019, it’s time to give some thought to how the winds of government might impact employee benefits compliance. No, there’s no app for that. But you can still prepare.
Learn about which compliance issues to be on the lookout for in the new year. Some, like standardized forms, likely won’t change. Other issues require some critical thinking and preparation, including:
- The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- Employee gender classifications
- Proposed guidelines for health reimbursement arrangements (HRA)
- Wellness program incentive limits
- Medicare drug reimbursement proposals
- Pharmacy “gag rules”
These topics and more will be featured in a rapid-fire discussion among me, Seyfarth Shaw Partner Ben Conley, and Businessolver Chief Strategy Officer Rae Shanahan. Hear from the experts, ask questions and get weather ready for 2019!
And, if you can't make the webinar, join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #CompliancePrep2019. We will be live tweeting and answering your questions there as well.