By Tanya L. Burns, LUTCF, RHU, LTCP
Tanya L. Burns and Associates, Inc.
Article submitted by Tanya L. Burns, LUTCF, RHU, LTCP, to share a health insurance update. If you’d like to submit an article, email Kelly Sawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a new member of Central Florida MGMA, it is my privilege to share health insurance updates and articles in your Member Monthly Newsletter. Information is provided to me directly from Washington, D.C. through The National Association of Health Underwriters. NAHU has a “seat on the Hill” and works very diligently on behalf of insurance brokers and employers.
I have served as a past president of our local Central Florida Association and may ask for your support and input when NAHU sends us “Calls To Action” or “Operation Shout.”
FIGHTING TO SAVE THE EMPLOYER EXCLUSION
Recently, several members of Congress have begun the process to eliminate or cap the Employer Tax Exclusion for health insurance. Currently, an employee is not taxed on the contributions to health insurance premiums made by their employer for either income or payroll tax purposes.
Eliminating this tax exclusion would remove the incentive for employer-sponsored health insurance.
Capping it would decrease the benefit while serving as a tax increase for middle-class Americans.
When an employee’s taxable income increases due to this new “taxable” consequence, the employer’s Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) match would also increase. For each new dollar of taxable income to the employee, employers would be responsible for 7.65 percent in new taxes until the employee reaches the social security wage base.
We will continue to lobby on behalf of employers for the continuation of the employer-based health insurance system. Watch for more updates to come.
EMPLOYER HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE MAILINGS FROM DEPARTMENT OF HHS
Beginning in early summer, 2016, The Health Insurance Marketplace (Department of Health & Human Services) will be mailing notices to employers whose employees have applied and received a “government subsidy” resulting from the employee’s purchase of Individual Health Insurance through the Healthcare Exchanges.
When an employee purchases an individual health policy through The Exchange, they are required to provide the name and address of their current employer at the time of application. This is the government’s way of checking with employers to see if the Employer did – in fact – offer health insurance coverage to those people receiving subsidies.
Most people who do apply for a government subsidy and work for a small employer (defined as having fewer than 50 “full-time equivalent employees or FTEs”) do not qualify for a premiums subsidy.
Many were made aware of this when filing their 2015 Personal Tax Return. If a subsidy was paid by the government and the employee did have an opportunity to enroll in an employer group plan, the employee was required to “pay back” the subsidy. These mailings to employers will continue through the fall of 2016.