May 14, 2018
Premium pricing for commercial property/casualty lines experienced slight increases during Q1 2018, according to The Council’s Commercial Property/Casualty Market Index Survey. Average premiums across all sized accounts increased by 1.7 percent, compared to a 0.3 percent increase in Q4 2017. This marks the second consecutive quarter of increased premiums, following three years of soft market conditions.
IRS Issues Guidance on Eligibility for Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit for 2017 and Later Years
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released a notice providing relief to certain small employers and allowing them to claim the small business health care tax credit for 2017 and later years. A copy of the notice can be viewed here.
Under the Affordable Care Act, certain small employers are eligible to claim a tax credit for two consecutive, taxable years (i.e., the credit period) if they, among other things, offer a qualified health plan (QHP) to their employees through a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange. In recent years, however, employers have been unable to offer employees a QHP through a SHOP exchange for all or part of the credit period because SHOP exchanges in certain counties do not have QHPs available for eligible small employers. As such, since 2014, the IRS has offered transition relief to otherwise eligible small employers, allowing them to treat certain health insurance coverage as qualifying for the credit.
The notice aims to provide relief to eligible employers who claim the credit for all (or part of) a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2015, but are unable to offer a QHP through a SHOP exchange. Specifically, it provides that, to properly claim the credit, the employer must offer coverage through a SHOP exchange or coverage meeting the requirements for relief under an earlier IRS notice. The employer then may calculate the credit for the remainder of the credit period by treating the coverage provided to employees as qualifying for the credit, as long as that the coverage would have qualified for the credit under the rules applicable before January 1, 2014. Finally, the notice specifies that it does not alter the credit period (i.e., even if a plan year to which relief applies extends into a third taxable year, the employer cannot claim the credit for a third taxable year).
The notice does not affect previous notices that separately provide transition relief for 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Webinar Recording Now Available: GDPR at the Eleventh Hour
This 60-minute webinar on the impending Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) helped brokers assess their firm’s and their clients’ preparedness for the new data collection and data transfer regime in Europe. Legal experts from BDO and Steptoe & Johnson shared their views on GDPR’s effects on the insurance sector.
Come Out and Play
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