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7 End of Year Compliance Deadlines Every Biz Must Know

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 8:35
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(Before It's News)

By Jessica Jennings
Regulatory Compliance Manager, Benefit Services

As hard as it may be to believe, 2016 is quickly coming to a close.  The end of the year brings with it many compliance deadlines for all employers.  Those employers with end of year plan renewals have additional compliance tasks that need to be completed.  Below is a list of upcoming compliance deadlines to assist with mapping out activities for the months ahead.

Upcoming Open Enrollments – Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)

Employers with December or January Plan Years that are preparing for Open Enrollment need to ensure that a Summary of Benefits and Coverage is distributed to all participants and prospective enrollees with Open Enrollment materials, or, if enrollment is automatic, at least 30 days prior to the start of the new plan year.  While an insurance company can complete this activity on part of the plan, the employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring that these materials are provided.


Please Note:  A new SBC template will be effective for Plan Years that begin April 1, 2017.  Employers with Plan Years beginning after that date will want to ensure their SBC provider will be in compliance with the new template guidelines. 


October 14, 2016

All employers offering prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible employees, regardless of whether they are retired, must provide notification to those employees as to whether the drug coverage is Creditable (meets or exceeds the value of coverage available under Medicare Part D) or Non-Creditable.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed template notices for employers to use in providing this information to employers.  In lieu of distributing this notice only to Medicare eligible employees, many employers distribute the Creditable or Non-Creditable Notice (whichever applies)  to their entire employee population in Open Enrollment communications or via a separate all employee communication. 

Please Note:  A separate disclosure of Creditable Coverage to CMS about the employer’s prescription drug coverage is due 60 days following the start of the employer’s Plan Year.  The disclosure can be completed online via the CMS webpage.


October 17, 2016

The 2015 Form 5500 is due for employers who filed an extension for their calendar year plan.


November 15, 2016

Payment arrangements for the final Transitional Reinsurance Fee (TRF) are due for self-insured employers (insurance companies will make arrangements on behalf of fully-insured plans).  Self-insured employers will need to submit medical plan enrollment counts via to calculate the amount due for the Transitional Reinsurance Fee (TRF) for 2016 and schedule their payments of the fee in 2017.  CMS has announced that payments for 2016 are $27.00 per covered life.  Employers have the choice to pay the fee in one installment in January 2017 or in two installments, the first installment being due in January 2017 and the second installment due in November 2017. 

Those employers who decided to pay their 2015 Transitional Reinsurance Fee in two installments will pay their second installment by November 15, 2016.


December 1, 2016

The new overtime rules take effect.  The white collar exemption increases to $47,476 annually or $913/week and the Highly Compensated Employee threshold increases to $134,004.  In order for an employee to be exempted from overtime, he/she will need to be paid on a salaried basis, meet the minimum white collar exemption salary level of $913 per week and pass all of the functions of one of the duties tests.  Read more about the overtime rule changes here.


December 31, 2016

Plan Administrators must distribute CHIPRA and WHCRA notices by the end of the year.  These notices have annual distribution requirements under ERISA.  Many employers include these notices in their Open Enrollment materials that are provided to all employees.


Looking Ahead…


January 1, 2017

New ADA and GINA wellness regulations go into effect.  The new rules update the wellness programs operations, including incentive limits and notification procedures.  You can read more about these rules here.


January 31, 2017

Applicable Large Employers (ALE’s) must provide the Form 1095-C to full-time employees as part of Employer Mandate reporting under the Affordable Care Act.  The Form 1095-C fulfills the obligation of an ALE to provide an information return that reports on the type of medical coverage offered to all full-time employees.  Though the IRS did extend the deadline to provide this information to employees until March 31 this past year, employers should not expect similar action for 2017 and should be prepared to complete and provide these forms by January 31.



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