health care updates mason and associates

Healthcare Reform Updates


The Treasury Department announced yesterday (2/10/14) that the employer mandate for employers 50-99 will be delayed until 2016.  Employers with 100 or more employees will still be subject to the mandate for calendar year 2015.

Here are three things to keep in mind:

1) For large employers will 100 or more employees, 70% of employees must be offered coverage in 2015 and in later years at least 95% of employees must be offered coverage. Employers that do not meet these standards will be subject to tax penalties.

2) Employers with 50 to 99 employees will have an extra year, until 2016, to provide coverage or pay tax penalties.

3) Nothing has changed for small  businesses with fewer than 50 employees. These companies will not be required to provide coverage.

Please contact me if you have any questions specific to your business. 

If you know of anyone else who can benefit from this email please pass it on. 


Employer Mandate:

Beginning in 2015, employers with 50+ full-time employees or full-time equivalents must offer medical coverage that is "affordable" and provides minimum value to full-time employees and their children up to age 26 or face penalties.
In the absence of regulatory guidance, employers with non-calendar year plans should consider complying with the Employer Mandate with their plan year beginning in 2014 to avoid having to make mid-plan year changes on January 1.
Coverage is “affordable” if employee contributions are less than 9.5% of:

• Employee's W-2 wages
• Employee’s monthly wages (hourly rate x 130 hours per month),
• Federal Poverty Level for a single individual

A plan must pay 60% of the cost of covered health services to provide "minimum value."
The minimum value calculator is available online at


November 4th, 2013 – Cafeteria Plan Rollover for FSA

The Internal Revenue Service announced last Thursday, October 31, 2013, that cafeteria plans may now allow participants to rollover up to $500 for medical expense reimbursements from 2013 contributions to 2014. Previously, no rollover was allowed and any funds remaining in an account at year end were lost by the participant. Business groups have hailed this announcement as excellent news that makes cafeteria plans much more attractive to participants. As a reminder, cafeteria plans will need to be amended to reflect this change and notice will need to be given to participants. The cap on an annual contribution to a medical expense reimbursement account remains at $2500; so theoretically, a participant could have an amount up to $3000 to draw from in 2014. We are ready to help you with questions about cafeteria plans or any other health insurance compliance questions.

Model Notices for Exchange Coverage Options

Effective October 1st, 2013 employers of all sizes are required to inform all employees of the medical insurance 
coverage options available to them through the "California Marketplace," which is the forum to support the 
2014 referendum of the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare). Below are some of the guidelines required by 
the Department of Labor. For more detailed information please visit:


– The notice must be provided to all employees regardless of part-time or full-time status. 
– For existing employees hired before October 1st, 2013 employers are required to provide the notice no 
later than October 1,2013.

– Employers are required to provide the notice to each new employee at the time of hiring beginning 
October 1st 2013. For 2014, employers must give notice to new hires within 14 days of an employee’s 
start date.

The Department of Labor has provided a model notice for those employers who offer coverage and for those 
who do not.

A model notice (for employers sponsoring a plan) can be found at:

and a model notice (for employers NOT sponsoring a plan) can be found at:

These forms are also available in Spanish. 
We have attached a copy of the notices for your convenience. 
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We will be happy to assist your employees with any 
questions they may have.

Disclaimer: The above information is not legal, tax, or financial advice. Employers should consult their own legal counsel and 
tax and financial experts for specific guidance related to these requirements. In all cases on this page, the requirements are 
applicable to the employers, there is no action required of Charles W. Mason and Associates Insurance Services.