Benefitfocus Publishes Guide to Understanding “The Cadillac Tax”

October 27, 2015

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Entitled “Don’t Get Run Over by the Cadillac Tax,” the whitepaper explains how the tax works and what employers can do now to reduce exposure to the tax.

Charleston, S.C. – October 27, 2015 –  Benefitfocus, Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT), a leading provider of cloud-based benefits management software today published its latest whitepaper, “Don’t Get Run Over by the Cadillac Tax,” a guide to understanding the Cadillac Tax. Co-authored by Christopher E. Condeluci, Affordable Care Act (ACA) specialist and employee benefits attorney who participated in the development of portions of the ACA, including the Cadillac Tax; and BENEFITFOCUS® Benefitstore Vice President Jeff Oldham, this 18-page paper discusses how the tax will be levied and what employers can do now to mitigate exposure to the tax, which goes into effect January 2018.

“Now is the time for employers to take action, by providing their employees with the tools and education to allow them to be successful in the new consumer-driven health care world,” said Oldham. “Our research shows that nearly 50 percent of large employers (1,000 or more employees) on our technology platform offer a consumer directed health plan (CDHP), which is one way of mitigating the tax,” said Oldham. He explains in the paper how employers can apply a combination of health and wealth care tools and consumer-driven technology to gradually empower employees as they continue to assume greater responsibility for their health care.

Commonly referred to as the Cadillac Tax, and part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the tax is meant to discourage overly generous healthcare benefits by imposing a 40 percent excise tax on plans worth more than $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,500 for families. Proceeds of the tax, which would be assessed on insurers, administrators of self-insured benefits, and employers in certain cases, would be used to help fund the ACA’s coverage expansion. The paper is available for download on Benefitfocus.com.

 Policymakers could affect the long-term future of the Cadillac Tax

The paper offers a perspective on how Congress intended this new tax to work, and discusses recent guidance issued by the Department of Treasury (Treasury) on how the tax is to be implemented. Recognition is given to the policy debate in Washington, DC regarding repeal of the tax, in addition to efforts to carve-out from the tax’s calculation employee salary reduction contributions to a Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) and a Health Savings Account (HSA).

“It is important for employers and plan administrators to understand that repeal of the Cadillac Tax may not materialize anytime soon, and as a result, stakeholders should take the necessary steps to understand their potential tax exposure sooner rather than later,” said Condeluci. He adds that as the debate surrounding the tax continues to evolve, and as more guidance on implementation comes from Treasury, planning for a world where there is some sort of limitation on the tax-preference for employer plans is advisable.

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