DOL Proposes to Expand Health Plan Options for Small Employers

Posted by Employer Flexible on February 4, 2018

On Jan. 5, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposed rule that would give small businesses and sole proprietors more freedom to join together as a single group to purchase health insurance in the large group market or to selfinsure. These benefit arrangements are called association health plans (AHPs).

The proposed rule would broaden the criteria for determining which employers may band together to form AHPs. Under the proposal, employers could form an AHP if they are in the same industry or have a principal place of business in the same state or metropolitan area.

The proposed rule would also allow working owners, such as sole proprietors, to join AHPs. The proposed rule includes requirements for AHPs that are intended to distinguish them from commercial insurance-type arrangements and prevent adverse selection.

ACTION STEPS
The DOL’s changes for AHPs are only proposed at this point. It is possible that the DOL will change the proposal before it is finalized, based on comments it receives on the proposed rule. Small employers and sole proprietors who are interested in AHPs should monitor the proposed rule for developments.

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Topics: compliance

IRS Issues New Tables for 2018 Tax Withholding

Posted by Employer Flexible on February 4, 2018

Starting Feb. 15, 2018, employers must use new tables to determine how much income tax to withhold from their employees’ paychecks. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the required new tables, in Notice 1036, on Jan. 9, 2018. The notice contains early release copies of the “Percentage Method Tables for Income Tax Withholding” that will appear in IRS Publication 15 (Employer’s Tax Guide).

According to the IRS, Notice 1036 is the first in a series of steps that the agency will take to help employers improve the accuracy of their tax withholdings under changes made by a new tax reform law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted on Dec. 22, 2017.

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Topics: compliance