The new state health insurance mandates – why this is the most important financial planning issue today

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Affordable Care Act, Financial Planning, Taxes

So far three states – New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont – have passed laws that add a health insurance mandate with tax penalty for not having coverage. The new laws kick in when the federal insurance mandate law expires in 2019. Other states are considering similar laws. Some things are not clear yet: – what […]

Ignoring tax and insurance law is a big deal

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance, Taxes

The announcement today by Jeff Sessions that the U.S Justice Department will not defend parts of federal tax and insurance law related to health insurance is a big deal but not only for the reasons that most news reports (like this report from Reuters on the bizarre legal logic that the law is unconstitutional) are focusing […]

Avoid IRS penalties with assertive strategies

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Affordable Care Act, IRS, Taxes

Many of the penalties that IRS asserts on individual taxpayers and small businesses can be avoided with the right strategic response. Some or the penalty waiver procedures are straightforward, while some are not. Yet the strategies are not always apparent and sometimes even seasoned tax professionals are surprised by the favorable results. Tax penalties that […]

HRA for spouse of business owner?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Health Insurance, Small Business

Can a business with only one employee – the spouse of the sole proprietor – be eligible for a Health Reimbursement Arrangement? I can not give that assurance but at least one popular tax speaker says that he can and you are welcome to rely on that advice. In this situation, I would prefer to […]

2018: The year for a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

Posted 8 CommentsPosted in Accounting, Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits

Summary: Small businesses with middle-income employees may use a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) to help cover out-of-pocket medical costs or individual insurance premiums as one of the easiest ways to cut 2018 taxes at minimal administrative and setup cost. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act increases the incentive for middle-income workers to look for alternate ways […]

Overview of post-ACA federal health insurance law affecting small businesses

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Small Business

After the sweeping changes brought by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that were phased in over the following several years, these federal actions then further molded small business health benefit plans: IRS Notice 2013-54 – restrictions on employer health care reimbursements not coordinated with ACA insurance plans. IRS Notice 2015-17 – restricts an employer […]

The latest on small business health plans

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefits, Health Insurance, Small Business

With all of the tax hubbub lately small business owners and their advisors have had a tough time keeping up with all of the changes. Small business health plans have evolved through a rapid succession of changes over the past year and a half. Yet relatively few employers have taken the time to sort through […]

Watch out for these two latest online scams

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Affordable Care Act, cryptocurrency, Social Media, Taxes

Scams always require two components: the media and the message. CPAs are indoctrinated with specific education and are required to maintain an attitude of “professional skepticism”. As a result, I tend to be more likely to notice and document emerging dangerous trends. Based on this experience, I’ve covered online consumer finance scams1 in this blog for […]

How to cope with out-of-network medical providers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance

A friend asked a question about coverage with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. This is not a carrier I run into often in the areas I work but it is a major insurance in the region. A description of Highmark Blue Cross plans and 2018 rates is published online. The question was what to do when […]