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"Serving as your professional advisor in preparation for Health Care Reform, now & in the future."
Read more about Health Care Reform here...
The IRS has launched a new website to help Large Employers with questions and concerns about the Affordable Care Act and also the upcoming reporting. Their new site is “ ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers ( ALEs).

The web page includes the following sections:

  • What’s Trending for ALEs
  • How to Determine if You are an ALE
  • Health Care Tax Tips
  • Resources for Applicable Large Employers, and
  • Outreach Materials.

The website can be reached through:
http://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Employers/ACA-Information-Center-for-Applicable-Large-Employers-ALEs
 
2015 Health Care
2015 health careThis past year continued to bring changes to the area of employee benefits. The International Foundation of Employiee Benefit Plans, has provided “Employee Benefits Year in Review 2015”. Click on the attached link to find a summary of all the changes as it relates to:

1. ACA Compliance
2. ACA Reporting
3. ACA Cadillac Tax
4. ACA Legal Rulings: King V. Burwell
5. Same-Sex Marriage

Read More: Employee Benefits Year in Review 2015

As we move into 2016, we anticipate additional delays and minor changes to the Affordable Care Act, and naturally will keep you well informed!
 
Why Mills Benefit Group?

Mills Benefit Group has over 28 years of experience in the designing, implementing and servicing of employee benefit solutions and assists clients with their employee benefit programs. At Mills Benefit Group, we build relationships to ensure communication remains at the center of all benefit decisions, objectives and solutions. On January 1, 2013 Mills Benefit Group, merged  with the Lighthouse Insurance Group. This merger will allows us to continue with the highest level of consulting during this time of transition for employer sponsored health plans. The Lighthouse Group is a superior team of professionals dedicated to the same philosophy as Mills Benefit Group: Take care of the client, and everything will fall in to place. As a privately held organization, our focus is providing the best possible service to our clients. The Mills Benefit Group Business Concept means that we:

  • Are committed to our clients
  • Partner with our clients as members of "their" team
  • Have a strong work ethic
  • Are experts in the employee benefit arena
  • Allow you to put your focus on your core business
 

Lighthouse Insurance Group/Mills Benefit Group, is recognized as the Top Area Employee Benefits Consultant in West Michigan.

Click here to learn more.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT:
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ACA Reporting Deadlines Delayed

As you know the ACA reporting deadlines for Section 6055 and 6056 has been delayed. As many employers were still working out the technical aspects of the reporting, the IRS felt the extension was necessary. Although the reporting provides relief for some insurance carriers and employers it may be an unknown burden to employees as the information on the forms helps in determining eligibility for tax credits. Also, Individuals who do not have ‘essential health coverage” as required by the legislation have a tax penalty. If a refund is issued and it is later determined by Form 1095 C or 1095 C, that the individual did not have the required coverage, the penalty will be applied. The tax refund that might have paid that penalty, could have been spent. The coordination between the refund and the potential penalty or credit, was to be coordinated. This delay may in fact cause more confusion, but it is in place.

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Healthy Michigan: Michigan Medicare Expansion
The Michigan Medicare Expansion continues to grow. The Healthy Michigan plan’s goal was to enroll 420,000 by 2020. The current enrollment stands at 579,000 as of July 6, 2015. If your employees qualify for the Healthy Michigan plan, it does not impact you under the Affordable Care Act. There is no employer penalty if an employee declines coverage under your plan because they qualify for the Healthy Michigan Plan. This should be communicated during the 2016 open enrollment period.

For more information on the eligibility rules: www.michigan.gov/healthymiplan.
 
Two Big Supreme Court rulings with impact on Employee Benefit Programs:
# 1: Supreme Court upholds the subsidies extended under the Affordable Care Act:

The Supreme Court on Thursday June 25th, 2015 upheld one of the main tenants of the Affordable Care Act, continuing subsidies to participants who elected individual health coverage through a federal exchange. The 6-3 ruling, preserves benefits for an estimated 6.4 million Americans who are currently purchasing coverage through the federal exchange, known as Healthcare.gov. The King v Burwell case centered on the fact wording in the ACA legislation only pointed to subsidies being allowed through a state run exchange versus a the federal exchange. The defense argument was that subsidies were always meant to be distributed through both State and Federal exchanges, and the Supreme Court agreed.

This decision comes after the Supreme Court ruled in 2012, that the “individual mandate”, the portion of the law that requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, was constitutional. Had the subsidies not been available in the majority of the States that utilize the Federal Exchange, many Americans would not be able to adhere to the requirement of the “individual mandate”. This also means the new reporting requirements required by employers to demonstrate who actually is covered under their health plans will move forward.

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# 2: Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide

The Supreme Court ruled on 5-4 on June 26th, that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation to marry. The Justices found that under the 14th Amendment, states must issue licenses to the same-sex couples and recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states. Legal spouses, married under the laws of each State, will have the same protection regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Employee Benefit plans which extend eligibility to spouses, will now consider same-sex spouses on the same basis as opposite sex spouses.

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The Launch of Health Care Reform:
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HHS announces updated rules on COBRA Guidance:


Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor have issued new COBRA Guidance for Individuals and Families. The release was published to clarify situations in which a COBRA qualified beneficiary may enroll in a qualified health plan (QHP) through an Exchange and receive subsidies for that coverage.

COBRA and CHIP Model Notices Announcement

Read more...
 
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Lighthouse Group Merger

Mills Benefit Group merged with The Lighthouse Group and will now be the largest privately held insurance agency in Michigan. To learn more about our new partner, please visit http://www.lighthousegroup.net

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Mission Statement

To assist our clients with their employee benefit programs through exceptional service and guidance, thereby allowing our clients the time and energy they need to concentrate on their corporate objective.

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Mills Benefit Group
1115 Taylor Avenue N, Suite 112
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
Phone (616) 459-1069
Toll Free (888) 823-0334
Fax (616) 459-7492