PCORI Fees Due to IRS No Later Than July 31

Fees to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) are due to the IRS no later than July 31, 2019 from employers who sponsor certain self-insured health plans, which includes all level funded as well as health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that are not treated as excepted benefits.

How to Pay PCORI Fees

Employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans (Level Funded) must report and pay the required PCORI fees via IRS Form 720 along with HRA plans, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Complete Part II, line 133. Employers should note “2nd Quarter” on the 720 form.

The fee applies to each Plan year that ends after October 1, 2012, and before October 1, 2019. “Plan year” refers to the plan year for your Level Funded Medical Plans or an HRA plan. Generally the plan year and the coverage period are the same. As an example, if your HRA benefit resets each January 1, your HRA plan year and your coverage period are generally a calendar year and end December 31.

Plan Year Ending Date Fee
October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018 $2.39
October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019 $2.45

There are three available methods that can be used to determine the average number of lives covered under a plan for the policy year. For an HRA plan it is acceptable to use the number of subscribers only. The most commonly used method is the Snapshot Method.

  1. Actual Count Method: A plan sponsor may determine the average number of lives covered under a plan for a plan year by adding the totals of lives covered for each day of the play year and dividing that total by the total number of days in the plan year.
  2. Snapshot Method: A plan sponsor may determine the average number of lives covered under an applicable self-insured health plan for a plan year based on the total number of lives covered on one date (or more dates if an equal number of dates is used in each quarter) during the first, second or third month of each quarter, and dividing that total by the number of dates on which a count was made.
  3. Form 5500 Method: An eligible plan sponsor may determine the average number of lives covered under a plan for a plan year based on the number of participants reported on the Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, or the Form 5500-SF, Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan.

Payments should be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and sent by July 31, 2019 to the applicable address on the attached instructions.

Tools to Assist you by Carrier:

All Savers

All Savers posts the employer group’s membership information to the employer website. The employer group is required to complete and file the IRS Form 720. For general questions please contact All Savers Broker Services at 1-866-405-7174.

Humana Level Funded

Click here.

Aetna Funding Advantage

This link takes you to your Producer World login and will assist in determining the fee due by your group.

LIVE TRAINING: Aetna’s AFA Springboard System

Cornerstone invites you to attend training on Aetna’s AFA Springboard System at the Cincinnati office!

Please join us for an overview of the Aetna Springboard process for new business submissions, presented by Aetna’s Jordan Finley and Lauren Horley.

DATE: Monday June 24, 2019

TIME: 2:00–3:30 pm

LOCATION: Cornerstone’s Cincinnati Office

2101 Florence Ave Cincinnati, OH 45206

Click here to RSVP.

Cornerstone is a Top Workplace for the Fifth Year in a Row!

We did it again!

For the fifth year in a row, Cornerstone has been named a Top Workplace by The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Top Workplace honors are awarded based solely on employee feedback gathered through an administered third-party survey. We continue to keep our top-ten standing, ranking #8 out of the 60 small businesses on the list this year.

Our exceptional employees are the driving force behind this accomplishment. Cornerstone fosters a culture of empowering our employees and creating pathways to success. Everyday we diligently work to satisfy our mission to be your trusted partner in solving complex benefit challenges.

“Every Cornerstone team member is committed to our culture. Each day, together, we determine the best solution for our partners who deserve to have their high expectations fulfilled. Every empowered member of our team of A+ players demonstrate examples of ‘perfect service’. Thank you to all who contribute to our continued success!”

Jennifer Agnello, President of Cornerstone

SAVE THE DATE: Cornerstone’s CE Program in NW Ohio

Cornerstone in NW Ohio is hosting a CE program for Cornerstone group agents on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, with 2 credit hours available at a location in Toledo:

 

PLACE

Swan Creek Metro Park

Yager Center

4301 Airport Highway

Toledo, OH  43615

TIME

9:00–11:00 am
9:00–10:00 am

Long-term Disability Products & Contracts

10:00–11:00 am

Voluntary Insurance Benefit Programs

RSVP

SHogan@crnstone.com

PLEASE NOTE: The class offered in Lima has been cancelled.

IMPORTANT: FormFire Annual Rate and Census Reconciliation Form Due March 31

Today, many of you received the important notice of the census reconciliation process required for all SOCA BP clients. This reconciliation must be completed by March 31, 2019. It has come to our attention that there was a programming error with regard to the census reconciliation process where you are unable to submit the month and year properly.

Please take note of the following information, which contains the fix to the programming issue in line 8 of the census:

  • To fix the error, right-click on the blue cells in line 8.
  • Right-click and select “Format Cells”.
  • Select “General”.
  • Click “OK”.

You must do this for both the “Month” cell and “Year” cell.

Click here to view the release from FormFire regarding the census reconciliation.

CMS Extends Transitional Relief Until January 1, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a bulletin extending non-enforcement policies against certain non-ACA-compliant non-grandfathered health insurance coverage in the small group and individual markets.

The extended transitional policy in this bulletin applies for policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2020, provided that all such coverage comes into compliance with the specified requirements by January 1, 2021.

Click here to read the full release from CMS.

Questions? Contact your Cornerstone representative for additional information.

RSVP Today: 3 Large Group CEs in Northwest Ohio

If you work with employer groups of 50 or more, self-funded solutions are a great way to keep benefit costs down and add value to your groups. Join Cornerstone for lunch and 3 self-funded CEs the afternoon of April 2. Each presenter will also provide a brief product update.

Location: Oak Openings Lodge | 5440 Wilkins Road | Whitehouse (Toledo), OH 43571

Please RSVP to Sharon Hogan by March 22, 2019

SAVE THE DATE: CEs Available in Toledo (April 2)

Working with groups of 50 or more? This is a CE day you won’t want to miss on April 2 at the Oak Openings Lodge. We’re putting together a program of three to four CEs for Cornerstone agents to learn more about self-funding and large-group requirements. The program will begin in the late morning and end at 4:30 pm.

Look for more details soon!

Have You Registered For Cornerstone’s 2019 Webinars?

Your favorite Cornerstone webinars are back in 2019, with the addition of the brand-new Group Corner.

But that’s not all that’s new this year…

We are also filling our webinar schedule with special guest presentations from Dennis Heywood, Hal Becker, and other industry experts!

Find the full schedule of 2019 webinars on the event calendar on the Cornerstone website.

Click here to find out more about the 2019 webinars.

Click here to view the full calendar.

Medicare Premiums: 2019 Threshold Changes for Higher-Income Beneficiaries

Social Security Solutions, LLCPlease read and share with your clients!

2019 has new (lower) thresholds for higher-income beneficiaries. Lower is not a good thing. The basic Part B premium went from $134 per month to $135.50 per month. All other threshold Part B and Part D premiums also increased. Additionally, they created two new thresholds with higher premiums.

Click here to view the rates.

You cannot avoid the issue by filing “married filing separately”. They added a threshold for this filing status. So if you file “Married Separately” with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) between $85,000 and $415,000 you pay $433.40 per month. If your MAGI is above $415,000 you pay $460.50 per month.

Don’t forget : These increased premiums for 2019 can be appealed and lowered for a “life-changing event,” the most common of which is loss of earnings. If high earnings from 2017 are no longer available because someone retired from their job or is self-employed, Social Security will lower the 2019 premiums based on your estimate of the 2019 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Other life-changing events are death of a spouse, divorce, marriage, loss of income producing property, reduction/loss of pension, and/or employer settlement.

REMEMBER: Your adjusted gross income affects your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums two years later (2019 AGI Affects 2021 premiums).

Please see the guide to Medicare premiums for higher income beneficiaries at www.Medicare.gov for the all the premium changes in 2019, or you can email me for a copy of the new rates.

Dennis Heywood, Social Security Solutions LLC

sshelp01@icloud.com | 513-235-8036 | SS-help.com

About Social Security Solutions LLC

Social Security Solutions provides direction, assistance, and information to financial advisers, couples, and individuals concerning Social Security retirement strategies, as well as survivor, disability, and Medicare issues. Services include pre-retirement Social Security analysis for individuals and couples; assisting individuals filing online claims for retirement, disability, and Medicare; conducting Social Security strategy presentations for financial/ health care advisors, businesses, and their employees.