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Archive for November, 2012

30
Nov

IRS Changes HSA Eligibility

Written by dreilly. Posted in Blog, compliance, education

The IRS has changed the eligibility rules for health savings accounts (HSAs).  Effective January 1, 2013, the minimum health plan deductible rises from $1,200 per person to $1,250 per person, or for families from $2,400 to $2,500. 

This means that to continue contributing to an HSA you must have a health plan with a deductible at least equal to or above the new minimum.   Those who maintain a deductible below the new minimum will no longer be able to contribute to an HSA and will therefore lose the tax advantages associated with future savings. 

Health plans have been notifying plan participants for several months of this pending change.   A variety of notices have been released from a variety of insurance carriers and administrative vendors, much to the confusion of plan participants.  Here are three important clarifications for HSA participants to know.

1)      As an HSA holder you do not lose the value of your account regardless as to whether you change your health plan deductible.  Your HSA balance is separate from your insurance plan and remains yours to save or spend as you wish on future medical expenses.  Remember, you own and control your own savings account. 

2)      The higher deductible requirement applies to new plans or plans that renew on or after January 1, 2013.  It also applies to plans that have deductibles that start over on the calendar year beginning January 1st.  If your deductible starts over on January 1st, then you must select a health plan with a deductible equal to, or higher than, $1,250.  If you do not, then you may no longer contribute to your HSA.  Once again, your balance remains your to save or spend down.

3)      Many participants have plans with deductibles that do not start over on january 1st.  Instead the deductible may start over at a later date in 2013.  For example, consider an employer plan that began on July 1, 2012 that runs through June 30, 2013.  Even with a lower$1,200 deductible, participants in this plan could continue to fund an HSA past the January 1, 2013 date through the end of the plan year up to May 31st.  A mid-year plan need not immediately increase the deductible on January 1st for participants to maintain HSA eligibility through the end of the plan year.   However, in order to maintain the ability to contribute to an HSA after the end of the current plan year, the plan would have to increase the deductible to meet the new minimum requirements.

Also of note, in addition to the deductible changes, the IRS has increased the maximum HSA contributions for calendar year 2013.  Beginning January 1st, eligible single HSA holders may contribute a maximum of $3,250 per year.  This is an increase from $3,100 in 2012.  For families the maximum contribution increases from $6,250 to $6,450.  Those who are over the age of 55 may contribute an additional $1,000.

06
Nov

Plans Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

Written by dreilly. Posted in Blog, education

Health plans in Maryland are now amending contract language to include eligibility for spouses in same-sex marriages performed in other states.  This comes as a result of changes in Maryland law.

In May 2012 the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that Maryland law recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states that allow for such unions.  The ruling further states that both participants to the marriage are considered spouses under Maryland law. 

In July 2012 the Attorney General of Maryland subsequently concluded that health insurance policies that offer coverage to spouses must include coverage for legally recognized same sex spouses.   Therefore, health plans must amend their contract language to allow spousal eligibility for same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.   

The amendment to health plan contracts is unrelated to the same-sex marriage referendum on the Maryland 2012 ballot.   In the event the Maryland same-sex marriage referendum fails, the law will continue to recognize spouses of same-sex marriages legally performed in other states, and health insurance plans will continue to provide same-sex spousal eligibility.  If the referendum passes, then spousal recognition will then expand to also include same-sex partners of marriages performed in Maryland.

Many Maryland health plan contracts already allow for domestic partner eligibility.

06
Nov

Ewaski Joins Reilly Benefits

Written by dreilly. Posted in Blog

Reilly Benefits, Inc. is pleased to announce that April S. Ewaski has joined the firm as an associate.      

As a healthcare consultant Ms. Ewaski will be responsible for business development and will lead the agency’s expansion into the exchange-based programs scheduled to roll out in the fall of 2013.

“April fills a pivotal position for us at a time when healthcare reform is quickly creating new opportunities,” said David Reilly, President of the firm. “Her determination to succeed and eagerness to work with people makes her a perfect fit for this role.”

Ms. Ewaski is a graduate of University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.  She resides in Annapolis, MD, where she teaches dance as a hobby and remains a member of a professional modern dance company. 

Please help us welcome April to the Reilly Benefits Team.  She can be reached at aewaski@reillybenefits.com.

April S. Ewaski joins the firm of Reilly Benefits, Inc. as a healthcare consultant.

Testimonials

'The commitment Reilly Benefits makes to our company to ensure our benefits and claims are handled promptly and correctly goes beyond that of any agency I have seen in my 20 years of working with insurance brokers.'

Karen Siebert, CFO
Great Mills Trading Post
'Our experience with Reilly Benefits has been very positive. The courteous and friendly staff has taken care of our every need. Their knowledge and dedication have afforded us the opportunity to thoroughly explain the benefits and importance of insurance coverage to our employees. I would highly recommend this organization to any individual or business for all types of insurance or tax planning.'

Dottie Wyatt, Controller
Atlantic Cycle & Power
'The commitment Reilly Benefits makes to our company to ensure our benefits and claims are handled promptly and correctly goes beyond that of any agency I have seen in my 20 years of working with insurance brokers.'

Karen Siebert, CFO
Great Mills Trading Post

'Our experience with Reilly Benefits has been very positive. The courteous and friendly staff has taken care of our every need. Their knowledge and dedication have afforded us the opportunity to thoroughly explain the benefits and importance of insurance coverage to our employees. I would highly recommend this organization to any individual or business for all types of insurance or tax planning.'

Dottie Wyatt, Controller
Atlantic Cycle & Power

'We rely on the recommendations of Reilly Benefits to provide plan options for our employees in a way that controls our costs and we feel great relief knowing that they keep us abreast of health care legislation and other issues that affect the managemnent of our plans.'

Regina Anderson
Vice President
Dennis Anderson Construction

Benchmarks

Reilly Benefits, Inc. works with employers in a wide variety of industries. This allows us to understand the uniqueness of specific benchmarks within certain industries and among different market sizes.

Our ability to help employers compare and contrast a benefit plan to these benchmarks provides our clients an advantage in the ultimate goal to attract and retain quality employees.

Professional Employee Benefits Specialists

Contact us

Reilly Benefits, Inc

5419 Deale-Churchton Rd. Churchton, Md. 20733

Professional Employee
Benefits Specialists

Telephone: 1-410-867-0261

Fax: 1-410-867-0262
info@reillybenefits.com

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