Health care

A&A

Fewer Healthcare Insurance Choices for Self-employed

Fewer than one-quarter of professional and small business associations still offer basic health care plans, long the choice of self-employed professionals, contractors and freelancers, according to the American Society of Association Executives, the Los Angeles Times reports. Many, including the American Bar Association, which dropped its health care benefit last year, say they would like to offer these plans and may resurrect them.
Tax

Health Tax Credit Tips for Pension Clients

If you have clients receiving pensions from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation or benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, they may be eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC). The HCTC pays 65 percent of qualified health plan premiums for eligible individuals. These individuals can choose to have the 65 percent credit applied either monthly directly to their health plan as their premiums become due, or yearly on their federal tax return as a refund or credit against taxes owed.
Community News

Massachusetts Extends Deadline for Expanded Health Coverage

Massachusetts, one of the first states to pass a universal health insurance law, requires all residents, including uninsured adults, to purchase some kind of health insurance policy by July 1, 2007 or face a fine; but businesses and individuals will be given until January 1, 2009 to sign on for what the state considers a “minimum standard of care,” the Associated Press reports. The additional time was needed to allow employers, workers and insurers to make the transition to the new standards, which will include prescription drug coverage.
A&A

HSA Rollover Transition Deadline

The Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury recently issued guidance regarding how employers can rollover their health Flexible Spending Arrangements (health FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for their employees. The guidance provides a special transition rule for transfers for 2006. Under the transition rule, the amendment, election and transfer must take place by March 15, 2007.The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-432, enacted Dec.
Practice Management

Accounting for Employee Health

When Canadian employees at PricewaterhouseCoopers get sick, they can call up a new internal website that offers help and an unusual personal invitation -- to walk into the CEO's office and talk confidentially about their health challenges, reports The Globe and Mail.PwC is not alone in its desire to be recognized as a leader in building a wellness into its culture. Conference Board of Canada surveys reveal that health information and promotion programs are quickly becoming important components of human resource strategies.

Have Your Clients Really Saved Enough for Retirement?

Financial advisers may be scratching their heads over two recent news stories that appear to be contradictory: Americans spend more than they save, yet many are saving enough for retirement.Not long after a news report that the national savings rate for all of 2006 was a negative 1 percent, new research came out that suggested many Americans are well prepared for their golden years.The personal savings rate does not reflect increases in the value of assets such as houses, said economist John Karl Scholz, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.“This doesn't necessarily

Survey Says: Retirement Planning Is Job One

Retirement is the number one personal financial planning concern, regardless of age, according to an informal survey of CPAs at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) 2007 Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Conference.Surprisingly, it is a major concern for career builders — those 25 to 34 years of age — with the more immediate pressures of education, home buying and debt management following close behind.

New State Health Plans Include Children

Both employers and employees are feeling the pinch from rising health insurance costs. In the annual survey by Compensation Data of more than 5,300 employers, results show that 41.2 percent of families can expect to pay over $250 a month on premiums.

States Looking at Universal Health Care

State legislative agendas are primed to consider universal heath care options this year that would give access to health care to millions of uninsured Americans. The editors of State Net Capitol Journal predict that at least eight states are poised to introduce universal health care measures. "The push to find a way to provide medical insurance for some of the estimated 45 million Americans currently without such coverage is not new," said editor Rich Ehisen of Capitol Journal.
Tax

The Formula Business Is Waiting For: IRS Reveals How to Calculate Excise Tax Refund

“Businesses and tax-exempt organizations generally have more varied phone usage patterns than individuals,” Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Mark Everson explained in a statement announcing a formula businesses and tax-exempt organizations can use to estimate their federal telephone excise tax refunds. “The IRS has met with a number of businesses and tax-exempt organizations to understand their concerns.

States Must Report Health Care Liabilities for Retired Employees

State and local governments, long generous to employees with promises of health care in retirement, often in exchange for pay increases, are struggling to estimate these costs for financial statement purposes, according to new rules issued by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

National Medical Support Notice: Guidance for Employers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers employers guidance for responding to a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN).

Savings Possible as American Hospital Bill Approaches $800 Billion

The nation’s hospital bill, representing 39 million hospital stays, totaled more than $790 billion in 2004, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). At the same time, the National Scorecard on U.S.

September 11 Significantly Altered Healthcare Usage

After a marked decline in the three weeks following September 11, 2001, healthcare claims rose above expected levels, according to a new report providing a comprehensive picture of healthcare usage in the New York City region in the months following the terrorist attacks.

Don't Touch That Dial

One hundred years ago, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death, but germs are not a thing of the past, they are flourishing in our modern tech society, at work and at home.Advertisement

States Facing ‘Unmanageable’ Retiree Health-Care Liabilities

A new accounting standard has states and local governments worried about their ability to borrow money, while employees fear their benefits may be cut.Advertisement
Education & Careers

Fewer Plans to Hire Leaves Accounting Professionals Feeling Less Confident

The Hudson Employment Index™ for Accounting and Finance workers declined 3.6 points, to 107.2 in May.

Penalties for Missed Medicare Drug Deadline May be Eliminated

Lawmakers are pushing to eliminate penalties for seniors who failed to enroll in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit by the May 15 deadline.Tens of thousands of seniors hustled to call Medicare's customer service operators or enroll online before the midnight cut-off time, but many were so overwhelmed by the complexity of Medicare Part D and the variety of choices available, that they couldn't make a decision.
Technology

Healthcare Audit Resource Center Launched

A multiple-component membership center, the Healthcare audit Resource Center, designed to help auditing and compliance professionals build and maintain an effective auditing process, was launched this week by HCPro, Inc.

American Companies Can’t Continue Offering Adequate Pensions

A new survey from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) indicates that the vast majority of CPA’s in executive positions, such as corporate chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs) and Controllers, believe American companies can’t continue providing pensions that adequately cover their employees’ retirement years.

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