Author Archives: Debbie Sparks
HSA expansion: Not yet passed by House and Senate but in discussions
We continually monitor what happens in Washington regarding HSA regulations and legislation. There is discussion on expanding the benefits of HSAs in several key areas. Although not yet fully enacted, we wanted to share with you what is on the Legislative agenda and what is being discussed. The $92 billion package and new expansions to the HSA below still need to be passed by the full House and Senate and are not in effect today.
To summarize some of the key areas being discussed, here is what we know:
- Gym membership as potential qualified medical expense: The House Ways and Means Committee has passed a bill (H.R. 6312) allowing taxpayers to treat the amounts paid for membership at a fitness facility and gym classes as medical expenses. The bill is known as the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. It adds qualified sports and fitness expenses to the definition of qualified medical expenses. The committee approved the bill by a 28 to 7 margin, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- HSA Expansion package: Other bills in the Ways and Means Committee package focuses on allowing more people to invest in HSAs or expanding the medical services and insurance coverage HSA owners can pay for with their funds. One bill (H.R. 6309) would let Medicare Part A beneficiaries currently prohibited from contributing to their existing HSAs once they turn 65 to maintain their accounts. Another bill (H.R. 6199) would allow over-the-counter medicines to count as qualified HSA expenses.
- Increasing maximum HSA limits: One of the bills approved (H.R. 6306), sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), would increase the maximum HSA contribution limits so that the limits would be matched to the combined amount of the annual deductible and out-of-pocket limitation of high deductible health plans (HDHP). The current limits on annual contributions that can be made to an HSA for 2018 is $3,450 for self-only coverage and $6,900 family coverage, but under the legislation those limits would nearly double, rising to $6,650 for self-only coverage and $13,300 for family coverage. The legislation would also allow both spouses to make catch-up contributions to the same HSA. Under current law, married spouses who are at least 55 years old can only make a $1,000 catch-contribution to his or her own HSA, but the legislation removes that allocation rule. Thus, spouses would be permitted to contribute their basic and catch-up contribution amounts to one spouse’s HSA.
If you are interested in learning more, here are several articles you can read:
- House committee advances legislation providing tax break for gym membership https://www.accountingtoday.
com/news/house-ways-and-means- committee-advances- legislation-providing-hsa-tax- break-for-gym-membership
- House approves HSA expansion package that also takes aim at Obamacare taxes http://www.modernhealthcare.
- Ways and Means moves on HSAs http://www.asppa-net.org/News/
Outstaffing and Paylocity are committed to keeping your data secure, and we are continually updating our security to deliver on this promise. On July 11, Paylocity will be conducting a security upgrade, which may result in our clients and employees being prompted to re-authenticate your account either by multi-factor authentication or by answering your challenge questions when logging into the system.
We appreciate your cooperation as we continue to evolve to bring the best security to our clients.
Employees: Have YOU signed up for your Paylocity account? If not, we urge you to take advantage of this service.
You can see various facets of your pay, view your check history; you can view and print your check stub, and your W2’s – plus more!
Now members can choose electronic ID cards
A new feature is available to your employees that gives them the option to choose electronic ID cards only, rather than getting a hard copy card in the mail. They’ll get this electronic-only option when their plan renews for 2018. If they choose this electronic option, they’ll use our mobile app, Anthem Anywhere, to access their ID card on a smartphone. This works even when there is no internet connection. Our electronic ID cards look just like our physical cards, so members will no longer need to carry a plastic card in their wallet.
Today, members can use the Anthem Anywhere app to get their electronic ID cards, but we still mail them an ID card. Once the new program launches, they’ll no longer get physical cards, if they select the electronic-only option. Of course, members who prefer hard copy ID cards will continue to have that option.
When visiting a doctor or other health care provider, members can show either an electronic or a physical ID card. Either is fine to use. And if the provider’s office needs a copy of the card, members can email or fax a copy right from the Anthem Anywhere app.
The 2018 HSA family contribution limit is back to $6900
On April 26th, the IRS updated its decision to decrease the 2018 maximum contribution limit for family coverage only. The maximum annual contribution limit for family coverage limit is now back to $6,900.
Earlier this year, the IRS had adjusted the maximum contribution limit for family coverage from $6,900 to $6,850. Yesterday the IRS updated its decision. To view the official IRS announcement, please visit the Internal Revenue Service press release.
In response to the IRS update, Outstaffing has updated its systems to ensure compliance with the IRS updated decision.
Here are up-to-date 2018 contribution limits:
• $6,900 for family coverage
• $3,450 for individual coverage
Note: There is no change for the individual coverage annual contribution limit
I sometimes feel sorry for the people in the telemarketing business – they must get tired of being hung up on (or worse) 9.9 times out of 10! But I think I can safely predict that we all hate those calls. And don’t even mention those annoying “Robo-Calls.” There’s probably no way to stop them all, but you may be able to decrease the number that you get. Have you registered your number with the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry? Register your number at www.donotcall.gov
The IRS has released the 2018 W-4 Form and updated the withholding calculator to help you determine the appropriate allowances for the 2018 tax year. The IRS recommends checking your withholdings if one of the following pertains to you:
- Families with more than one earner
- Those with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year
- Those with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit
- Those with older dependents, including children age 17 or older
- Those who itemized deductions in 2017
- Those with high incomes and more complex tax returns
This new form will be available this Saturday, March 17 in Web Pay. It will be updated in Onboarding on Tuesday, March 27.
Paylocity cannot provide tax advice or advise on tax withholdings. Please speak to your tax advisor if you have questions about how the new form may affect you. However, if you have questions about updating your withholdings with Paylocity, contact your Account Manager.
IRS adjusts 2018 HSA amounts
The new tax reform plan has changed the 2018 contribution limit for family coverage only. The new contribution limit is now $6,850 (previously set at $6,900). To review the official IRS announcement, visit the Internal Revenue Bulletin (part III, section 4).
Outstaffing’s priority is to keep you informed of information that may impact your financial planning and benefits.
2018 Optum, Inc. All rights reserved
Drug list changes coming April 1
Anthem BC/BS: We believe a sound review process for keeping our drug lists up to date is key to improving members’ health and controlling drug costs. It also helps make sure our members have access to medications they need.
Through our quarterly formulary (drug list) review process, we regularly add or remove drugs or make tier changes to our drug lists. This maintains the highest level of clinical integrity, while delivering cost savings to you and your employees. Medications may move to a higher tier or be removed from our drug lists twice a year. Our next update is coming soon, and the updated drugs lists* will be available as of April 1.
|Weekly Withholding Tax Savings||$18.99|
|Wage Less Allowances||$47,950.00||$47,850.00|
|Tax Bracket Base||$27,300.00||$30,600.00|
|Wages in Excess of Base||$20,650.00||$17,250.00|
|Additional Over Base|
(15% for 2017, 12% for 2018)
|Base Withholding Plus Excess||$$4,962.50||$3,975.00|
|Weekly Withholding (Divided by 52)||$95.43||$76.44|