Give to the Max Day 2017

What is Give to the Max Day?

Minnesotans have a reputation for being a community that comes together to support those in need. We don’t like to brag, but when given the opportunity, Minnesotans have a track record of success. There’s no better way to demonstrate this than with the upcoming, 8th annual, Give to the Max Day. Started in 2009, Give to the Max Day is a chance for Minnesotans (and our out of state friends) to have an easy way to donate to our favorite charities. Give to the Max Day consistently generates over thirteen million dollars in donations. We’re hoping this year will be larger than ever!

What we do?

Morgan Planning Group has long been a supporter of local charities. Give to the Max Day is just another chance to allow us to demonstrate that commitment. We make donations to several charities and non-profits on Give to the Max Day (including the Wayside Recovery Center). In addition, in the last year Morgan Planning Group has matched over $3,000 in employee donations. Our commitment to local charities and non-profits is strong.

What can you do?

November 16th, 2017 is the 8th annual Give to the Max Day. If you’re interested in making a donation, please visit www.givemn.org. You can create an account, search for charities, and see if there are any matching contributions. With your help, we can make Give to the Max 2017 the best one yet!

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FSA Limit to Increase in 2018

Overview:

Currently, The ACA imposes a limit on contributions to a health FSA. A flexible spending account is an account that allows a person to set aside money. The account owner can then use those funds to reimburse themselves for medical expenses.  In 2017, the ACA and IRS limited contributions to $2,600. These limits are flexible; designed to increase according to the cost of living. Due to this, the IRS announced that the limit for 2018 would raise to $2,650 for 2018.

What are the Changes?

First, the new limits apply only to voluntary contributions. So if an employee receives contributions from their employer, these do not count toward the limit. Further, employers are still able to limit their employees contribution to a smaller amount. They could, for example, limit employees to $2,500. These limits also only apply to medical FSA’s. An FSA for dependent care assistance or adoption care assistance will remain unaffected by the new limit. Finally, the new limit remains a per employee limit. If two employees are married, and both have an FSA, they are both allowed to contribute the maximum to their FSA. If you have questions about updating your employee benefit materials, or would like more info about FSA’s, please reach out to us. You can reach us at info@morganplan.com, or by phone at 612-492-9320.

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What does the new executive order mean for the ACA?

Overview

On October 12th, President Trump signed an executive order relating to the attempt to repeal and replace the ACA. The goal of the order is to relax regulation on association health plans. Further, the order requests of various government agencies to expand the availability of short term plans and HRA’s. Ultimately, the end goal is to expand on the choices available to consumers. What does all this mean, and how will it impact you?

Association Health Plans

Association Health Plans are an already existing product on the market. Businesses can pool together as a way to purchase insurance for their employees. Because of this structure, being in an Associated Health Plan can give small employers more buying power. The ACA subjected these plans to additional regulation, including essential health benefits and premium rating restrictions. What does the order do in relation to these plans? First, it asks agencies to expand access to these plans. It could allow employers to form associations across state lines. It could also allow them to avoid certain ACA requirements. This is part of an attempt to drive down prices by increasing market competition.

Specifically, the order instructs the departments to allow common geography or industry be a factor in the creation of the associations. So, companies across the border from one another could form an association, for example. Or, a group of small manufacturers would be able to form an association in order to create a larger pool to lower their premium cost and increase their options.

Short Term Plans

The executive order further directs the government to consider lifting restrictions on short term plans. The ACA limited these plans to coverage for under 90 days. Further, it mandated that these policies could not be renewed. These policies are usually cheaper than regular health insurance. The order seeks to expand the time that a short term plan can exist. It also seeks to allow for the renewal of short term plans.

HRA’s

Finally, the order seeks to direct the departments to expand the use and availability of HRA’s. An HRA is an employer paid account that reimburses employees for their medical expenses. This can include deductibles and premium. The order seeks to allow the use of HRA’s with individual health plans.

What to do

For the time being, the executive order is a directive to the departments that oversee the various aspects of managing the ACA. Until these departments decide to revise their rules and regulations, there are no changes to the ACA.  These renewed solutions to the order may follow it directly, or there may be other solutions. As a result, it’s hard to guess what changes will be made.  However, if/when those changes occur, we’ll have a look at them. For the time being, the order gives the departments 60 days to draft new regulations for associations and short term plans. So we should see those changes by December 11th, 2017. The order gives 120 to draft changes to HRA regulations, so we should see those plans by February of 2018. As always, check back in to see what changes are coming, and if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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Hurricane Harvey Donations

We know many of our clients are thinking about, or already have, many donations to help the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. For those who want to make a donation, the following are links to some reputable charities that are using the donations to go directly toward the relief effort. Please do consider making a donation to the following:

American Red Cross

Houston Food Bank

Greater Houston Community Fund

And if you want to make a donation for the furry victims of the Hurricane, please consider the following.

SPCA of Texas

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Morgan Planning Group

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Minneapolis, MN 55402
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