2022 Wellness Professional Development Day

On June 1st, 2022 Smola Consulting in partnership with Finger Lakes Area School Health Plan Consortium hosted a one-of-a-kind Wellness Professional Development Day. This unique event encouraged wellness champions to learn best practices, network, participate in wellness activities and begin considering and planning wellness activities for their organization. Smola welcomed local leaders in well-being as…

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2022 Wellness Speaker Series Announcement

We are excited to announce our 2022 Wellness Speaker Series, themed ‘A Holistic Approach to Balanced Living’, and we’re starting off with a bang. Kicking off the series are Travis Eliot and Lauren Eckstrom, world-renowned yoga and mindfulness teachers and co-founders of the premium streaming platform, Inner Dimension Media TV. Balanced living in a do-it-all…

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The Good Life Challenge, National Spotlight

The article posted by national magazine, Community Health, spotlights the benefits of the Good Life Challenge hosted by Smola Consulting in partnership with Eat, Plants, Love. The 2022 challenge begins January 10th and ends on January 19th. This is the 6th Good Life Challenge with up to 3,600 participants annually. A Taste of the Good…

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Mary Cariola Center’s “Walking on Sunshine”

Smola Consulting was once again a titanium sponsor of Mary Cariola Center’s “Walking on Sunshine” fundraising event on Sunday, September 21st, 2021. We welcomed more than 1,000 supportive walkers for this family-friendly event, supporting children with multiple and complex disabilities. The Walk was full of fun activities that were enjoyed by all. The event raised…

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Dear Valued Partner, We understand that COVID19 has had significant and far-reaching impacts on all aspects of living, including broad shifts in workplace operations, culture, and benefits. Smola Consulting is continuing to monitor pandemic trends and explore resources to share best practices, raise public awareness, and support and advocate worksite vaccination efforts. As the COVID19…

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Smola Consulting Sponsors ABVI Summon the Spirits Gala

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired Hosted their Summon the Spirits Gala 2020 on October 15th. Smola Consulting was proud to be the presenting sponsor of this fantastic virtual fundraising event. The event was attended by the Rochester community from the comfort of their homes own Doug Emblidge of 13 WHAM TV led…

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2021 New York Paid Family Leave (PFL)

On September 1, 2020, the 2021 New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) employee contribution rates and updated annual cap were announced.  As of January 1, 2021 the following will take effect: Premium Deduction Rate:  0.511% (up from 0.270% in 2020) Statewide Average Weekly Wage:  $1,450.17 (up from $1,401.17 in 2020) Annual Contribution Cap:  $385.34 (up…

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HSA Cafeteria Plan

For clients who offer a qualified High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) allowing for pre-tax HSA contributions, you should have in place a separate written Cafeteria Plan for that HSA.  Cafeteria Plans are employee reimbursement plans that are governed by Section 125 of the IRS tax code.  When employers establish Cafeteria…

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2021 Limits For Health Savings Accounts (HSA) And High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP)

The IRS released the 2021 Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits, the minimum required HDHP deductibles, and the HDHP out-of-pocket maximums.  Each year, the IRS reviews these figures based on a cost-of-living adjustment.  The figures below pertain to HSAs and HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plans. 2021 Annual HSA Contribution Limits Single:  $3,600 ($50 increase from…

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FSA Changes

In response to COVID-19, the IRS released new relief affecting Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAPs). Extended Claim Period The claims period has been extended to apply unused amounts remaining in a Health FSA, or DCAP, for expenses incurred for those same qualified benefits, through December 31, 2020. Mid-Year Elections Participants…

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1095-B Changes

Form 1095-B is used to report certain information to the IRS and to taxpayers about individuals who are covered by minimum essential coverage.  Taxpayers are not required to include Form 1095-B with their tax return.  However, health insurers are required to make the form available to members for their records.   The IRS made changes…

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Cadillac Tax Repealed

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, repealing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Cadillac Tax.   The U.S. Senate voted 71-23 on December 19, 2019, to approve the spending bill that included a repeal of the ACA’s excise tax on high-cost, employer-sponsored healthcare plans, also known as the “Cadillac Tax.”​…

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2020 New York Paid Family Leave (PFL)

Recently, the 2020 New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) employee contribution rates and updated annual cap were announced.  As of January 1, 2020, the following will take effect: Premium Deduction Rate: 270% (up from 0.153% in 2019) Statewide Average Weekly Wage: $1,401.17 (up from $1,357.11 in 2019) Annual Contribution Cap: $196.72 (up from $107.97 in…

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2020 Changes to Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs)

On June 20, 2019, new Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) rules were released by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury, which can be found here.  The changes go into effect for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2020, and introduce two new types of HRAs: Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA)…

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2020 Limits For Health Savings Accounts (HSA) And High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP)

The IRS released the 2020 Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits, the minimum required HDHP deductibles, and the HDHP out-of-pocket maximums.  Each year, the IRS reviews these figures based on a cost-of-living adjustment.   The figures below pertain to HSAs and HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plans.   2020 Annual HSA Contribution Limits Single:  $3,550 ($50…

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2019 New York Paid Family Leave (PFL)

In October 2018, the 2019 New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) employee contribution rates and updated annual cap were announced.  As of January 1, 2019, the following will take effect. Premium Deduction Rate: 153% (up from 0.126% in 2018) Statewide Average Weekly Wage: $1,357.11 (up from $1,305.92 in 2018) Annual Contribution Cap: $107.97 (up from…

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The Power of Wellness in the Workplace

Clients enjoyed a morning of wellness on May 24th with Keynote Speaker Lisa Norsen, Chief Wellness Officer, UR Medicine Employee Wellness, followed by a Mindful Movement Activity with Marla Pellitier, Inward Office. Smola Consulting Clients, Seneca Falls CSD and Goodwill of the Finger Lakes also shared some “Proof Positive” wellness success from their organizations. Rick…

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2019 Limits For High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) And Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

The IRS released the 2019 Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits, the minimum required HDHP deductibles, and the out-of-pocket maximums.  Each year, the IRS reviews these figures based on a cost-of-living adjustment.   The figures below pertain to HSAs and HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plans.   2019 Annual HSA Contribution Limits Single:  $3,500 ($50 increase…

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2018 HSA Limits – Reverted Back

2018 Limits For High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) And Health Savings Accounts (HSA)   In May 2017, the IRS originally released the 2018 Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits, the minimum required HDHP deductibles, and the out-of-pocket maximums (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-17-37.pdf).  However, the December 2017 passing of the Tax Reform Bill led to a review of the…

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Smola Consulting Teams Up Again in 2018 to Support the Lollypop Farm Tails of Hope Telethon – March 2018.

The Tails of Hope Telethon is the annual fundraiser that helps to fund the many great programs for pets in need. Smola Consulting supports this important annual fundraiser so that Lollypop Farm can provide food, shelter, veterinary services, and other forms of compassionate care for hundreds of pets every day. We are committed to providing…

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Knighthawks and Smola Consulting Team Up to Support a Great Community Organization – Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI)- December 2017

Smola Consulting is proud to partner with the Rochester Knighthawks to benefit one of Rochester’s great community assets, The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired , an affiliate of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes.. Smola Consulting is donating $3 for each save the Knighthawks make during the 2018-2018 season. Smola Consulting is delighted to…

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Rochester’s Small Business National Philanthropy Award – November 2017

Steve Smola honored as 2017 Outstanding Small Business Philanthropist – Doing good things for the right reasons! On National Philanthropy Day, The Association of Fundraising Professionals – Genesee Valley Chapter held their annual awards luncheon on Friday November 3, 2017. Mary Cariola Children’s Center, a Smola Consulting Client nominated Steve Smola for this wonderful award.…

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2018 HSA Limits – Updated

In May 2017, the IRS originally released the 2018 Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits, the minimum required HDHP deductibles, and the out-of-pocket maximums (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-17-37.pdf). However, the December 2017 passing of the Tax Reform Bill led to a review of the limits. Each year, the IRS reviews these figures based on a cost-of-living adjustment.  …

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New Medicare Health Insurance Cards For Those Over Age 65 and Medicare Eligible

In an effort to prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and keep taxpayer dollars safe, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is removing Social Security Numbers (SSN) from Medicare cards in a year-long phased approach, beginning April 2018. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 requires the removal of Social Security Numbers…

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Final Regulations Released on New York Paid Family Leave (PFL)

On Wednesday July 19, 2017, the New York State Workers Compensation Board posted Final Regulations regarding New York Paid Family Leave (PFL), which takes effect on January 1, 2018. Final regulations can be found here: http://www.wcb.ny.gov/PFL/pfl-regs.jsp Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state has adopted regulations implementing New York’s Paid Family Leave program. These regulations…

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2018 Limits For High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) And Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

The IRS released the 2018 Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution limits, the minimum required HDHP deductibles, and the out-of-pocket maximums. Each year, the IRS reviews these figures based on a cost-of-living adjustment. The figures below pertain to HSA’s and HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plans. 2018 Annual HSA Contribution Limits Single: $3,450 ($50 increase from 2017)…

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Affordable Care Act Penalty Updates

The annual baseline budget projections by the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation (CBO), is projecting employer responsibility penalties to total $228 billion by the end of 2020.  The individual mandate penalty will yield a projected $28 billion. The high-premium employer plan’s Cadillac Tax is expected to yield $18 billion. These penalty estimates…

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Penalty Increases for Benefit-Related Violations

Recently, The Department of Labor published an interim final rule to adjust for inflation within the civil monetary penalties enforced by the Department of Labor. This Benefits Bulletin describes some of the adjustments made to the benefit-related civil monetary penalties enforced by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act…

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2017 Limits For High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) And Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

The IRS released the 2017 Health Savings Account contribution limits, the minimum required HDHP deductibles, and the out-of-pocket maximums. Each year, the IRS reviews these figures based on a cost-of-living adjustment. The figures below pertain to HSA’s and HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plans. 2017 Annual HSA Contribution Limits Single: $3,400 ($50 increase from 2016) Family:…

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Cadillac Tax Delayed

On December 15, 2015, Congress approved a two-year delay of the Cadillac Tax. The “tax extender” package and provision was signed by the President, making it official. The Cadillac Tax effective date will move from 2018 to 2020. The delay was included in a year-end tax and spending package that also makes the Cadillac Tax…

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IRS Reporting Requirements – Final Forms and Instructions

On 9/17/2015, the IRS issued final forms and instructions for employer reporting relating to insured health plan coverage. The forms will be used to enforce Affordable Care Act employer penalties and individual mandate and tax credit eligibility rules with mandatory reporting starting in 2016 for the tax year 2015. Large employers with 50 or more…

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HSA Contribution Extended to Veterans

Effective 1/1/2016, the ability to make Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions will be extended to veterans, provided both of these criteria are met: Care is received through a Veteran’s Administration (VA) program Care is specifically for a service-connected disability If the VA hospital care or medical services are specifically affiliated to a service-connected disability, veterans are…

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Supreme Court Upholds ACA Federal Subsidies

Below is an article released today from Washington (Associated Press), detailing the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s federal subsidies. The ruling holds that the Affordable Care Act authorized federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges, but also in the 34 states with federal…

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2016 Limits For High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) And Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

The IRS released the 2016 Health Savings Account contribution limits, the minimum required HDHP deductibles, and the out-of-pocket maximums. Each year, the IRS reviews these figures based on a cost-of-living adjustment. The figures below pertain to HSA’s and HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plans. 2016 Annual HSA Contribution Limits Single: $3,350 (unchanged from 2015) Family: $6,750…

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Employer Reporting – Final Forms Available

The IRS has issued final forms and instructions for employer reporting and notices relating to insured health plan coverage. The final versions are largely unchanged from the prior draft versions. The forms will be used to enforce Affordable Care Act employer penalties and individual mandate and tax credit eligibility rules with mandatory reporting starting in…

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