Hays Companies Employee Benefits Presents: Upcoming Webinars in 2018

We are pleased to announce the upcoming Hays Companies Webinar schedule for the second half of 2018. Registration information for each webinar, actual dates and complete details will be made available closer to the event.  Please reach out to your Hays Companies representative with any questions.

Topics and dates are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Noteadditional webinars may be added due to legislative changes, rulings, guidance or other developments impacting employee benefits.

Interested in attending one of our webinars? Submit the form below to be notified when registration opens.

Andrew Williamson Joins Hays Companies of Wisconsin Benefits Practice

Hays Companies of Wisconsin is pleased to announce that Andrew Williamson has joined the Benefits Practice, where he will focus on employers with under 200 employees.  Williamson brings 15+ years of consulting and brokerage experience with similarly-sized employer groups.

“Our unique tools and industry-leading talent have led to expansive growth in our core business segment that focuses on larger employers,”  said Dan Robinson, Executive Vice President of Hays Companies.  “We are excited to share the tools and resources with middle market employers with under 200 employees.  With Andrew’s leadership, we expect to positively redefine the value that employers of this size in Wisconsin can expect from a benefits advisory partner.”

Hays Companies is one of the fastest growing, privately-held risk management, insurance and employee benefits advisors in the country. Our philosophy of delivering the highest-quality, customer-focused service has led to significant growth for 20 years. Today the company includes 700+ experienced professionals in more than 35 locations throughout the United States. Andrew’s addition to Hays’ Wisconsin office follows the eighth consecutive year Hays Companies has been recognized as one of Wisconsin’s Top 100 Workplaces.


Andrew received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Andrew maintains a Wisconsin Resident Intermediary License for Accident and Health plans and Life plans.

Contact Information:

Andrew Williamson

Middle Market Practice Leader

Phone: 414-290-3609

Email: awilliamson@hayscompanies.com 

Department of Labor’s Final Rule on Association Health Plans

On Tuesday, June 19th, the Department of Labor (DOL) released final rules for Association Health Plans (AHP).  In summary, the final rules will allow small businesses, including self-employed workers, to band together by geography or industry to obtain healthcare coverage as if they were a single large employer.  The intent is to provide greater negotiating power for coverage that is typically only available to large employers.

Companies without common ownership will be able to form an association with other companies if the companies have sufficient commonality of interest, defined as:

  • In the same trade, industry, line of business, or profession; or
  • Have a principal place of business within a region that does not exceed the boundaries of the same state (e.g., a city or county) or the same metropolitan area (even if the metropolitan area includes more than one state).

The final rule includes the criteria for forming a “bona fide group or association of employers,” including the requirement to have a “formal organizational structure with a governing body that has by-laws or other similar indications of formality.”  In other words, there will need to be formal documents establishing the group for the purpose of purchasing insurance.

Applicable dates:

  • September 1, 2018 – all associations (new or existing) may establish a fully-insured AHP under the new rule;
  • January 1, 2019 – existing associations that sponsored an AHP on or before the publication date of the final rule in the Federal Register may establish a self-funded AHP under the new rule; and
  • April 1, 2019 – all other associations (new or existing) may establish a self-funded AHP under the new rule.

Further guidance is necessary to determine the regulatory impact on self-insured Association Health Plans.

Do you have questions about how this ruling will impact your business? Contact your local Hays Representative or email us at info@hayscompanies.com.

By: Ben Graves, J.D., Director of Research and Compliance at Hays Companies.

Webinar: M&A Impacts on Benefit Compliance

Corporate transitions like mergers and acquisitions are continuing at a rapid pace. When considering how these transactions and changes will impact employee benefit compliance, time is often limited.

This 3o-minute webinar, presented by the Hays Benefits Research and Compliance Department, addresses the M&A impacts on Benefits Compliance. It covers common issues that companies need to be aware of if they’re in the merger and acquisition field.

Other topics this webinar will address:

  • Integration of similar benefit offerings
  • COBRA implications
  • FSA implications
  • Employer mandate considerations
  • And more

You can watch the webinar here. 

If you’re interested in accessing a PDF version of the presentation, please complete the form here to download.

Please contact your Hays Companies representative for more information.

2019 ACA Out-Of-Pocket Maximums and Health Savings Account Limits

As the Hays Research and Compliance team plans ahead, we want to inform our clients that there will be two plan design changes to consider for 2019:

  1. Affordable Care Act out-of-pocket maximum dollar limits, and,
  2. High Deductible Health Plan limits.

Affordable Care Act Out-Of-Pocket Maximum Dollar Limits

This April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 2019 HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters.  For plan years beginning in 2019, the annual cost sharing limitation for non-grandfathered essential health benefits will be $7,9000 for employee only (self) coverage, and $15,800 for other than employee only (family) coverage.

2019 ACA Maximum Out-Of-Pocket Expenses (non-grandfathered plans)

›     $7,900 for self-only coverage

›     $15,800 for family coverage

High Deductible Health Plan Limits

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released the Revenue Procedure 2018-30, which announces the inflation-adjusted limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) And High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) for 2019. These limits include:

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

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

It is important to note that the IRS limits for HSA contributions and HDHP cost-sharing (except catch-up contributions for individuals aged 55 and older) will increase for 2019:

2019 HSA & HDHP Design Maximums

›     HDHP minimum annual deductibles:

  • $1,350 for self-only coverage
    • $2,700 for family coverage

›     HDHP Maximum Out-of-pocket Expense Limit:

  • $6,750 for self-only coverage
    • $13,500 for family coverage

›     Maximum annual HSA contributions:

  • $3,500 for self-only coverage
    • $7,000 for family coverage
    • Catch-up contribution (Age 55 and older by the end of the tax year) $1,000

Action Steps

Because the cost-sharing limits for HDHPs (minimum deductible and maximum out-of-pocket) will change for 2019, employers that sponsor these plans may need to make plan design changes for plan years beginning in 2019. Also, if an employer communicates the HSA contribution limits to employees as part of the enrollment process, these enrollment materials should be updated to reflect the increased limits that apply for 2019.

NOTE: DOL, HHS and IRS guidance requires group health plans to embed an individual out-of-pocket maximum in the plan’s family coverage when the family out-of-pocket maximum exceeds the ACA’s out-of-pocket maximum for self-only coverage.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Hays Consultant or email us at info@hayscompanies.com.

By: Ben Graves, J.D., Director of Research and Compliance at Hays Companies

Disclaimer: This information is provided for general purposes only and should not be considered legal or tax advice or legal or tax opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. Readers and participants are urged to consult their legal counsel and tax advisor concerning any legal or tax questions that may arise. Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of (i) avoiding penalties imposed under the U. S. Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter