Have You Used All of Your 2023 Employee Benefits?
As the end of 2023 approaches, we wanted to provide a series of crucial reminders for Human Resources and your Employee Benefits Programs. Here are some key areas to review before 2023 ends:
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): If your organization offers Flexible Spending Accounts, ensure that you’ve completed non-discrimination testing and made necessary adjustments before the end of your FSA plan year. This step will prevent potential complexities on employee W2s and taxable wages.
- Employee Required Notices: For companies operating on a January 1 plan year, make certain that all mandatory employee notices have been timely distributed to employees and dependents. Be mindful that California companies may have additional notice requirements.
- Self-Insured Employers: If your organization is self-insured (including level-funded plans), remember to complete your first Gag Clause Attestation with CMS by December 31, 2023. It’s essential to note that carriers handle this reporting solely for their fully insured clients.
- State and Local Laws for 2024: Check for new state and local laws that will take effect in 2024. Take proactive steps to ensure compliance for the coming year. Update policies, procedures, and Employee Handbooks as necessary.
- Domestic Partner Benefits: If you provide benefits to Domestic Partners, verify that your taxation setup complies with State and Federal IRS rules. This ensures that employees’ W2s are accurate for the 2023 plan year.
- Update Plan Documents: Review and update your Wrap Summary Plan Document and Summary Plan Descriptions for 2024 as required.
- Affordable Care Act Compliance (for employers with over 50 Full Time Equivalent employees):
- Adjust employee and employer contributions for medical plans to meet the ACA’s lowered affordability threshold for plan years beginning on 1/1/2024, reduced from 9.12% to 8.39%.
- Consider engaging a vendor to prepare your ACA reporting due in the first quarter of 2024. Early preparations will streamline the process when the deadline approaches.
As we approach 2024, companies are focusing on their Total Rewards Strategy, with some trends taking the spotlight:
- Family Planning Assistance: Many companies are offering services like Carrot, Maven, Progyny, and more to support family planning journeys. Some carriers are even incorporating these services into their offerings for members, so it’s worth checking with them first.
- Lifestyle Spending Accounts: Lifestyle Spending Accounts are gaining traction as a solution to assist employees not only with family planning but also in their personalized wellness journeys.
- Wellness Programs: Wellness programs are gaining momentum. Integrating wellness platforms into tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom can make it easier to deliver cutting-edge, global, and inclusive wellness programs. Many large group carriers are also willing to subsidize these costs, making it a cost-effective option for employers.