Important Open Enrollment Information

While we highly suggest those of you applying for Healthcare Coverage through the Marketplace speak with a Trained and Licensed Broker to make sure you are getting the right coverage for your particular situation, we know some of you prefer to apply directly. So with that in mind, we wanted to send out a reminder that every Sunday from 12am until 12pm during Open Enrollment (Except December 9th), scheduled maintenance will happen on the site. This means during those periods you may not be able to access the site to apply for coverage. Please be mindful of this when looking over your options. Also please note, Open Enrollment ends on December 15th. While it seems like you have “plenty of time” you don’t want to rush through this and should start seriously looking into your benefits now. If you decide to do nothing by December 15th and are currently enrolled on a MarketPlace plan, you will be auto-enrolled onto another plan.  If your issuer will be participating in the Marketplace in 2019, you will be re-enrolled on a plan by that Issuer, but it may have different benefits from the previous year. Any Individuals currently enrolled in plans through issuers that will not be participating in the Marketplace for 2019, will be matched with an alternate plan from a different issuer. This means you can get stuck with a policy you do not want, so it is best to review your options and choose your own policy. Give us a call at 215-355-2121 if you have any questions about which policy would work best for you!


New 2019 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

On November 1, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2018-83 announcing cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limits for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. Many pension plan limits will change next year because the increase in the cost-of-living index . Other items, however, will remain the same.

For 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plans:

  • The elective deferral (contribution) limit increases from $18,500 to $19,000 for 2019.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in these plans does not change and remains at $6,000.

For individual retirement arrangements (IRAs):

  • The limit on annual contributions increases from $5,500 to $6,000 in 2019.
  • The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over remains $1,000 for 2019.

For simplified employee pension (SEP) IRAs and individual/solo 401(k) plans:

  • Elective deferrals increase to $56,000 for 2019, based on an annual compensation limit of $280,000 (up from the 2018 amounts of $55,000 and $275,000).
  • The minimum compensation that may be required for participation in a SEP remains unchanged at $600 for 2019.

For savings incentive match plan for employees (SIMPLE) IRAs:

  • The contribution limit on SIMPLE IRA retirement accounts increases from $12,500 to $13,000 for 2019.
  • The SIMPLE catch-up limit remains unchanged at $3,000 for 2019.

Other Changes

  • The basic limitation on the annual benefits under a defined benefit plan is increased from $220,000 to $225,000 for 2019
  • Highly-compensated and key employee thresholds:
    • The threshold for determining “highly compensated employees” increases from $120,000 to $125,000 for 2019.
    • The threshold for officers who are “key employees” in a top-heavy plan increases from $175,000 to $180,000 for 2019.
  • Social Security cost of living adjustment: In a separate announcement, the Social Security Administration stated that the taxable wage base will increase to $132,900 for 2019, an increase of $4,500 from the 2018 taxable wage base of $128,400. Thus, the maximum Social Security tax liability will increase for both employees and employers.


The Market Place Numbers

Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges started November 1st and runs until December 15th. Industry observers will be watching to see how the Trump Administration’s zeroing out the individual mandate affects sign-ups compared to previous years. With the individual mandate gone, people have argued that there will be Premium increases and the amount of coverage options will decrease. This is something to look at in the years to come. For now, here are stats on the ACA’s policies. If having trouble viewing, you can find the graphic here.