While we are awaiting an announcement from the IRS, the cap put on allowable employee contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts is expected to increase by $50. The cap index, which is based on the medical component of the consumer price index, did not increase last year. Inflation has been high enough to support an increase from the current level of $2,550 to $2,600 for 2017, however employers do not have to increase the limit. Some employers are increasing the limit prior to open enrollment, while others will likely hold off and make the adjustment for their 2018 plan year.
Most benefits administration and human resources professionals would agree that for decades, their benefits communication efforts have focused on education – helping plan participants understand their options and make more informed decisions at enrollment. Health care reform and increased pressure to control health care cost increases are forcing employers to become much more aggressive. Many are beginning to expand their role from communicator to marketer in an effort to help employees do their part to help manage costs and take control of their own well-being. Continue reading