Supreme Court to Determine if Same Sex Couples Have a Constitutional Right to Marry

January 19, 2015 at 10:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will take up the issue of  whether there is a constitutional right that allows for gay marriage. This issue is broader than the courts 2013 reasoning in the Windsor case, where the Court focused on whether the Defense of Marriage Act could limit the definition of marriage to one man and one woman. At that time, the Supreme Court declined to each the broader issue that it will take up this year. The court is hearing an appeal from a ruling of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which in November upheld bans on gay marriage in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. The 6th Circuit’s decision ended a streak of rulings striking down bans across the country  and compelled the Supreme Court to settle the split in lower courts. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice will file a brief urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of gay marriage. Court watchers expect another 5-4 ruling, but there is no consensus which way the Court will rule on the issue. A ruling is expected in June 2015.

Congress To Vote This Week On Changing ACA Definition of Full Time Employee From 30 to 40 Hours

January 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Republican legislators have promised a vote this week on changing the ACA definition of a full time employee from 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week. The legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate, is expected to easily pass the House, and likely faces a veto if it reaches President Obama’s desk. Last year a similar bill was introduced by Senators Collins (Me.-R) and Donnelly (In-D) but the Democratic leadership at the time never scheduled it for a vote.

As of January 1, 2015, under the ACA, employers with 100 or more “full time employees” must offer health insurance to any employee who, on average, are expected to work more than 30 hours a week. Employers with between 50 – 99 employees are required to offer health insurance to anyone working 30 hours or more a week, starting in 2016. The Republican bill would raise the 30 hour threshold to 40 hours a week.

Transitional Reinsurance Deadline Extended To December 5, 2014

November 17, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Posted in CMS, Compliance, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This past Friday, CMS extended the deadline for contributing entities to submit their 2014 enrollment counts for the transitional reinsurance program contributions.  The deadline has now been extended until 11:59 p.m. on December 5, 2014.  The January 15, 2015 and November 15, 2015 payment deadlines remain the same.

Click Here for the CMS announcement.

IRS Deputy Commissioner to Congress: IRS Agents Won’t Audit Individuals about Compliance with Individual Mandate

September 19, 2012 at 9:31 am | Posted in Federal Taxes, IRS, Regulations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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IRS Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller told a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 that IRS agents would not be used to enforce the individual mandate; there would be no audits. Miller testified that “In most cases, taxpayers will file returns reporting their health insurance coverage, and-or making payment, and there will be no need for further interactions with the IRS.”

Starting in 2014, individuals who are not exempt from the individual mandate will have to pay the IRS a flat $95 penalty, which the United States Supreme Court recently identified as a “tax.” The individual mandate tax will increase to $325 in 2015, $695 in 2016, and a cost of living adjustment will be added to the tax in 2017. The tax is only 50% of the stated amount for uninsured individuals under age 18. There are also family caps on the aggregate tax that range 1% to 2.5 % of a family’s income from 2014 through 2017.

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