Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Monthly Newsletter July 2019

Posted by on July 1, 2019 in Newsletters

Dear Valued Clients and Associates,

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable time celebrating our Country’s Independence this week.

When was the last time you had someone other than your current Group Benefits Broker look at the Medical and Ancillary plans available for your organization? A second set of eyes is always a good business decision when it comes to one or your biggest Company expenses and staying compliant.

Contact me now and I’d be happy to see if there are plans you haven’t been shown before, that would be a better fit for your goals. No obligation.

Here is your July 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!



IRS Releases Inflation-adjusted Limits for HSAs and HDHPs for 2020

On May 28, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2019-25 to announce the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2020. These limits include:

  • The maximum HSA contribution limit
  • The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs
  • The maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs

These limits vary based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under an HDHP.

HSA Contribution Limits for 2020

The IRS limits for HSA contributions increase for 2020. Eligible individuals with self-only HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $3,550 for 2020, while eligible individuals with family HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $7,100 for 2020. The $1,000 catch-up contribution limit that applies to HSA-eligible individuals who are age 55 or older will remain unchanged.

HDHP Cost-sharing Limits for 2020

For self-only coverage in 2020, the HDHP minimum deductible will increase to $1,400 and the out-of-pocket maximum will increase to $6,900. For family coverage, these limits will increase to $2,800 and $13,800, respectively.

Action Steps

Because these limits change for 2020, employers that sponsor these plans may need to make plan design changes for plan years beginning in 2020.



1 In 6 Insured Hospital Patients Get A Surprise Bill For Out-Of-Network Care

by Rachel Bluth – Kaiser Health News

On average, 16% of inpatient stays and 18% of emergency visits left a patient with at least one out-of-network charge, most of those came from doctors offering treatment at the hospital, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

To read more click here.



Making Emotional Intelligence Work for You

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand and manage your emotions, as well as others’. It’s similar to empathy, but the ability to manage the emotions effectively is key.

Many businesses are flocking to high-EQ individuals for their attractive leadership style. Leaders with high EQ are able to communicate their feelings effectively, look at a situation from all perspectives and maintain a positive outlook regardless of the situation.

Do We Need EQ Here?

Effective managers tend to have higher EQ than others, so you may already have leaders like them on board. They have good people skills, can self-regulate and lead by example.

Managers who operate by more authoritarian practices get a much different view of their workplaces than high-EQ leaders.

Authoritarian managers are identified by their lack of self-awareness, making them hard to confide in. You want employees to feel comfortable talking to their managers.

If your managers have high EQ, they will likely have a better rapport with employees and be able to manage their needs more effectively.

Most importantly, fostering high EQ invites more democratic corporate management, which is critical for effectively managing differences in opinion. You don’t have a shouting match when your leaders are able to have a mature discourse.



To Care for Others, Care for Yourself First

Make small,positive changes in your routines

TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie’s battle with depression prompted his next mission: He plans to launch a self-help toolkit next year “to help people live their best lives.” In the closing general session of the SHRM 2019 Annual Conference & Exposition, Mycoskie urged HR professionals to focus on self-care as well, so they can continue to help others.

To read more click here.



Don’t Forget About PCORI Fees

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a fee on health insurance issuers and self-insured plan sponsors in order to fund comparative effectiveness research. These fees are widely known as Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees.

The PCORI fees were created to help patients, clinicians, payers and the public make informed health decisions by advancing comparative effectiveness research. Fees paid by health insurance issuers and sponsors of self-insured health plans fund the institute’s research, in part. The PCORI fees apply for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012, but do not apply for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2019. For calendar year plans, the fees will be effective for the 2012 through 2018 plan years. Therefore, the 2018 plan year is the last plan year that these fees will be effective, for calendar year plans.

Issuers and plan sponsors must pay PCORI fees annually on IRS Form 720 by July 31 of each year. The fee will generally cover plan years that end during the preceding calendar year. For the 2018 plan year, PCORI fees are due by July 31, 2019.

How Much Are the PCORI Fees?

On Nov. 5, 2018, the IRS published Notice 2018-85 which increased the PCORI fee amount for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2018, and before Oct. 1, 2019 (that is, 2018 for calendar year plans), to $2.45 multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan.

Who Must Pay the PCORI Fees?

The entity responsible for paying the PCORI fees depends on whether the plan is insured or self-insured.

  • For insured health plans, the issuer of the health insurance policy is required to pay the fees.
  • For self-insured health plans, the fees are to be paid by the plan sponsor.

Although sponsors of fully insured plans are not responsible for paying PCORI fees, issuers may shift the fee cost to sponsors through a modest premium increase.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has advised that, because the PCORI fees are imposed on the plan sponsor under the ACA, it is not permissible to pay the fees from plan assets under ERISA, although special circumstances may exist in limited situations. On Jan. 24, 2013, the DOL issued a set of frequently asked questions regarding ACA implementation that include a limited exception allowing multiemployer plans to use plan assets to pay PCORI fees (unless the plan document specifies another source of payment for the fees).

Whats Next?

PCORI fees are reported and paid annually using IRS Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return). These fees are due each year by July 31 of the year following the last day of the plan year. This means that, for plan years ending in 2018, the PCORI fees are due by July 31, 2019. Covered employers should have reported and paid PCORI fees for 2017 by July 31, 2018.



Employers Boost Thier Benefits to Win and Keep Talent

Decide which changes will work best for your company

Student loan aid, telemedicine and telecommuting are among the employee benefits that are becoming more common, while fewer employers are providing disability insurance and domestic partner benefits, SHRM’s 2019 Employee Benefits survey shows.

To read more click here.



12 Science-Backed Ways To Improve Your Health By Changing Your Mind

David DiSalvo – Forbes.com

Action starts with a thought. Not necessarily much thought, it might only last a few seconds, but typically how we think sets the stage for what comes next. When it comes to improving health, challenging our mindset can result in significant benefits if we can commit to the challenge of following through. Here are 12 changes in mindset that science suggests can lead to physical health benefits when action follows.

To read more click here.



Despite Naysayers, Trump’s Executive Order on Health Care Transparency Is a Breakthrough

Leah Binder – Forbes.com

President Trump signed an executive order (EO) Monday calling for price transparency in health care, aiming for patients to learn the price of a treatment before they undergo it. It is ridiculous that this EO is necessary at all—what other business routinely conceals its prices until after the sale?

To read more click here.



HR Action Steps for Employee Name Changes

With the summer wedding season underway, many employees may soon be changing their names. As a result, in the coming months, it is critical for employers to ensure that each employee’s name is accurately reflected on required forms and internal records. Watch the video below to learn how to stay compliant.

For additional HR guidance, visit our Human Resources section.



I am constantly looking for ways to improve this newsletter and suggestions are welcome. Thank you!


Brandi Bowers | Benefits Consultant
PF Compass Employer Guidance & Benefit Solutions

461 Somerset St. North Plainfield NJ 07060
Tel (732) 258-1032


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Source Credits: Copyright © HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved., Forbes.com, Keiser Health News, Shrm.org

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