IRS Confirms that Employer Payment Plans Will Not Work

Has your company been told that it can use an “employer payment plan” to provide pre-tax dollars to employees to buy individual health insurance policies in the public health exchanges? And by doing so, this is supposed to allow your company to terminate its health plan? Our clients have passed onto me several examples of such solicitations by so-called “benefit professionals.” Such schemes can be enticing, as every human resource/benefits professional would love to eliminate the hassle and work that goes along with maintaining a health plan. Unfortunately, the old saying, “if is sounds too good to be true it probably is,” applies here. While some in the benefits community continue to peddle the idea of an “employer payment plan” (pretax payments to employees to cover the cost of individual health insurance policies), the reality is that under IRS rules, an employer cannot provide employees with pre-tax dollars to buy individual coverage.

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What’s In A Name?

In our world, we name things. We name streets, and towns, people, pets, boats, and buildings, among others. We not only do this so we know what to call things, but we also do this to assign meaning. These names, depending on history can evoke memories, feelings, even endearment.

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