Monday, January 30, 2012

New W-2 Reporting Requirements of Health Care Reform

Last week I participated in a webinar to learn about the new W-2 reporting requirements of healthcare reform. This information will have to be reported on 2012 W-2s which will be provided to employees in January 2013. Here are the basics:
  • Organizations only have to report this information if they issued 250 or more W-2s for the 2011 calendar year. 
  • You do not have to report for retirees or anyone else that doesn't receive a W-2. 
  • Generally speaking, you have to report on any benefits you are required to offer COBRA for, however, vision and dental are exempt for 2012. 
  • Voluntary benefits do not have to be reported. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) benefits do not have to be reported (even though you do offer COBRA) unless the employer contributes. Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) are also not included. 
  • Something that doesn't seem to be common knowledge --  EAPs that offer direct counseling and treatment, rather than just referrals, are regulated under ERISA and subject to COBRA.  So, this would have to be reported.
  • Report the premium charged or the COBRA cost without the 2% administrative fee. (This reflects the total cost of the coverage, not just the employer portion.)
  • Wellness Programs will have to be reported if they qualify as a group health plan. The programs that qualify as group health plans generally seem to have onsite clinics. 
  • The amount reported must reflect changes in coverage during the year -- individual to family etc... Ideally we'd input the cost of coverage when we set up the deductions in payroll, but we're going to have to play catch up this year. Guidelines weren't released by the IRS until this month, so most payroll providers aren't yet set up to track the information.
  • If the final pay period straddles two reporting years, employers may use a reasonable allocation method to divide the cost between the two years, or treat the coverage period as occurring either entirely before December 31 or entirely after December 31. 
  • This isn't something you want to mess up because the penalties are huge -- $30 to $100 per day per W-2. 
These benefits are not taxable at this time, but it seems to be laying the ground work for the government to tax "Cadillac" plans in the future. 

Thanks to Mark Sager at Alliant, our broker, for inviting me to join in the webinar with him. 

Update: The IRS published this chart that details what needs to be reported. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

An Interview with Winter Pudge -- Sign Up for the Biggest Loser

We have 32 people signed up to participate in this years' Biggest Loser program so far. Hopefully this last minute push from Kristin Howard will get a few more of our colleagues to join in the fun. Many thanks to Kristin for starting today with a laugh. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Biggest Loser 2012

We're kicking off another Biggest Loser Campaign and applying all the lessons we've learned from the past two years to make this a fun, engaging and successful program.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Six Simple Steps to Meaningful Goal Setting

Too often the process of setting and evaluating goals becomes transactional. When the big picture is lost, we rarely accomplish something that makes us proud. This simple process helps us anticipate the needs of our organization and develop meaningful team and individual goals. 

Step One: DEAR Time (Drop Everything And Read.) This helps us back away from the day-to-day things we are dealing with and look from a broader perspective. I usually find one article that forecasts HR trends that we all read and then we each pick things that sound interesting. We spend a hour or so reading. 

Step Two: Brainstorm trends and observations that may impact our work in the future. The last time we did this exercise, we came up with ten workplace trends that are impacting our work

Step Three: Brainstorm team goals. We mind map ours. 

Step Four: Select two people to work on each goal and identify the point person. (This stems from my belief that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.) We each pick a different color marker. I circle the goals with the color selected by the people that will work on them.

Step Five: Convert your mind map into a nice neat spreadsheet that linear thinkers can read and you can use to track progress. If you have a lot of goals, categorize them by priority. 

Step Six: Develop individual goals in whatever format you use in your organization. At this point it’s helpful to note any resources that will be needed or any learning that will need to occur to accomplish each goal. Many people in our organization also focus on how they will measure and evaluate each goal at this time. I find that we are pretty in sync after completing the steps above and that this is not essential for us. 

I'm a believer in sharing your goals whether they're team goals or individual goals, but I explored another perspective on that in this post. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who's your willpower role model?

I enjoyed a story on the Today Show this morning about how to boost your willpower to achieve your goals. They interviewed Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., a Standford University lecturer. This five minute video segment provides a pretty good framework for considering willpower. And, I love the question they posed -- Who's your willpower role model?

Related Posts: 

Got Grit? 
Self Control and the HR Candy Jar