What to expect for 2015- Company Benefits plans

As we wind down this year, you should be thinking about changes that are on the horizon, or have already happened – but maybe haven’t affected your business (yet).

The most recent is the recent administration ruling that plans without hospitalization do NOT qualify as minimum essential coverage.  Since the law did not list hospital coverage as a “minimum essential benefit (MEB)” (crazy as that is… reading the bill would have helped), there was a play to offer MEB plans without hospitalization as a way of keeping costs down.  That will not be allowed.

Reporting requirements are being amped up for companies with 50+ employees – you will have to report on both your employees and your benefits going forward.

Will the Supreme Court rule against premium subsidies in June?  The law only allows for premium subsidies to those enrolled in exchanges run by the States, with the expectation that every state would run its own exchange.  However, more than half of the country (27 states) only has the Federal Marketplace, and the law does not allow for subsidies for those people – although the administration has been awarding and paying them throughout 2014.  Another case of “reading the bill” would have helped, perhaps.  If the Supreme Court does overturn those subsidies – alot of people will be without coverage, and owe alot of money to the IRS.

Lastly – will the individual and employer mandate be delayed yet again?

It should be an interesting year.