Participate in the Camphill Village 5K Coming up on May 12th

joggers

Diversified is proud to be a sponsor of the Camphill Village 5K Trail & Fun Run again in its 3rd season and we’d love to have YOU be a participant! The event takes place on Saturday, May 12th and there are three running options…

  • Run virtually from home! No matter where you participate, take to Facebook and Instagram to share photos and your reason for participating leading up to and during the run. Be sure to use the hashtag #Camphill5K, and they’ll feature your posts on their website and share them on social media. If you send your address, they will also send you a gift from their event to show their thanks.
  • Sponsor a runner or sign up to personally run the 5K Trail Run through the Camphill Village scenic woods and pathways.
  • Sponsor a participant or sign up to leisurely walk, jog or stroll around Ring Road at the Village in the Fun Run. (Kids 12 & under run the Fun Run for free!)

See – it’s easy for just about anyone to participate and support this wonderful cause. Through sponsorships, donations and registrations, this 5K and Fun Run will help to provide the programs and services that make Camphill Village the very special place it is for adults with special needs.

At Diversified Group, we’re helping to raise awareness of this event and this cause and hoping to make virtual participation even larger! The Camphill Village 5K has attracted virtual runners from all over the country and raised more than $40,000 to benefit the lives of people who call Camphill Village their home.

To run virtually, all you have to do is click below to visit the website, go to Runner Sign Up and be sure to select “Outside of the Village” when registering.

About Camphill Village

Camphill Village in upstate New York is 615 acres of wooded hills, gardens and pastures. Adults with special needs and long- and short-term service volunteers live and work together as equals in extended family homes throughout the area. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to our mission of being an integrated community where people with developmental differences are living a life of dignity, equality and purpose. Through sponsorships, donations and registrations, this 5K and Fun Run will help to provide the programs and services that make Camphill Village the very special place it is for adults with special needs.

2018 Massachusetts EMAC Payment Update

In August of 2017, Massachusetts passed H.3822 “An Act Further Regulating Employer Contributions to Health Care”. The purpose of the act is to reinforce the finances of the Commonwealth’s Medicaid and Children’ s Health Insurance (CHIP) programs (MassHealth). Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many states have seen health coverage shift from private employers to the state’s Medicaid program. Primarily due to expanded Medicaid eligibility, many more employed individuals are taking subsidized care through the exchanges and Medicaid versus their employer’s plan. Currently Massachusetts covers 1 in every 4 residents on MassHealth.

To help ease some of this fiscal burden, effective January 1, 2018, the Commonwealth has instituted a temporary, two year, two tiered assessment on employers expected to collect $400 million over 2018 and 2019.

Employer Assessments:

    • Tier One – An increase in the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC)* rate currently paid by employers, resulting in a maximum per employee annual contribution of $77 in 2018 and 2019 instead of the current $51;
    • Tier Two – A separate, targeted EMAC payment requiring employers to pay an additional 5% of wages on the first $15,000 in annual earnings ($750 maximum per employee) for each non-disabled employee who is enrolled in a state-subsidized health plan, MassHealth or ConnectorCare – regardless of whether the employer offers a group health plan or whether the employee is a full or part-time employee.

*EMAC is a MA payroll tax paid by employers. Its purpose is to help finance the cost of subsidized care for low income MA residents. The EMAC was effective 1/1/14 to replace the MA Fair Share Contribution when it was repealed in lieu of the ACA. EMAC applies to employers with 6 or more employees in a quarter. Contributions to EMAC are paid on the first $15,000 of each employee’s wages.

The program will be administered by the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The DUA will match quarterly wage reports with MassHealth and ConnectorCare records to determine which employers owe the assessment and how much. The amount owed will appear on the employer’s DUA statement in the section showing the employer’s Unemployment Insurance liability. Payment is due on or before the last day of the month succeeding the quarter in which wages were paid and reported. Employers can check to see if the state’s calculations match their own records online after the EMAC Supplement is calculated.

For more information/FAQs from the DUA, click here.

HIRD Form is Back
Employers will be required to annually submit a new version of the HIRD (health insurance responsibility disclosure) form, also beginning in 2018 to verify information that is currently self-reported by individuals who apply for public health insurance programs. The new Massachusetts healthcare coverage form is an annual report on the employer’s offer of health insurance to its employees, including information on eligibility, cost, benefit design and employee contributions. The final version of the form and regulations governing its completion will be available in early March for employers to use in their 2018 healthcare reporting. More guidance on the form and when/how to file will be forthcoming. Employers who knowingly falsify the form or fail to file it face a penalty of $1,000-$5,000, according to state law.

IRS Reverses HSA Family Contribution Limits – Again!

In March, due to the new inflation-adjustment calculations required under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill Act, the IRS announced in revenue ruling 2018-27 that the previously released (in May 2017) $6,900 family contribution limit would be reduced to $6,850. Since excess contributions are subject to a 6% excise tax, many employers and individuals who front-loaded their HSA contributions in January were now looking at a penalty for overfunding their HSA for 2018, as well as income tax due on the excess. The IRS received enough complaints from stakeholders asserting that implementing the $50 reduction to the limitation would impose numerous unanticipated administrative and financial burdens that they have actually reversed their decision and will go back to the $6,900 family contribution limit for 2018. The revised inflation-adjustment calculation established under the Tax bill has been put on hold until 2019.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 28th

Prescription

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, April 28th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, especially medications including opioids such as codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine or fentanyl, to safely dispose of those medications.

Since the first Take-Back day in 2010, over 9 million pounds of unwanted or expired medications have been surrendered for safe and proper disposal at over 9,000 sites. Click here to find a collection site near you.

Diversified Group Gives Back This Holiday Season by Supporting Operation E.L.F.

dgb-operation-elf

Operation E.L.F. (Embracing Lonely Families) was established as a gesture of support to military families who are separated during the holiday season. Supporting this movement is meant to show support of the men and women in uniform and of their families. During this season of giving, Diversified Group staff decided to support Operation E.L.F. for the second year in a row.

We collected new toys and gift cards for grocery and department stores and seasonal services and donated them to either the Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc. or the Connecticut National Guard Service Member and Family Support Center. Military families in Connecticut receive these holiday gifts and warm wishes at a time when they may be unable to provide for their children as much as they would like to.

At Diversified Group, we believe in the importance of giving during this time of year. And, we are proud to have been able to make Christmas a little brighter for some of these families in need.

To learn more about Operation E.L.F. visit their website at http://ct.ng.mil/ELF/Pages/default.aspx.

Donate at Diversified

DG Food Bank

Diversified Group is holding a food drive for our local food bank, the Food Bank of Marlborough, Connecticut. This is the time of year when the food banks are in the most need. Therefore, we will be collecting donations until mid-December. We hope that you will take the time to donate this holiday season. Below is a list of some suggested items:

Cake Mixes
Frostings
Pie Crusts (Boxed)
Muffin Mixes (Pumpkin, Cranberry, Blueberry are recommended at this time)
Cranberry Sauce
Stuffing Mixes
Flour
Sugar
Any Baking Items
Any Canned Goods
Spray Shortening (Pam)
Salt & Pepper
Rice Packages (Flavor or Regular)
Any Cereals/Bars
*Please no Paper Goods

Please drop off all donations to our offices at 369 North Main Street in Marlborough, Connecticut. If you would like more information on the Food Bank, you can find more details here: http://www.foodbankofmarlborough.org/.

The IRS Announces Plan to Enforce ACA Employer Mandate Penalties

On November 8, 2017, the IRS announced that, for the first time, it would begin enforcement of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (i.e., the assessment of tax penalties against large employers failing to provide affordable, minimum value health coverage to substantially all employees). The initiation of active enforcement efforts now comes as a surprise, as many anticipated that the IRS would not begin such efforts under the Trump administration.

Over the next few weeks, affected employers will receive an assessment letter to all employers the IRS believes owe ANY penalty under the ACA’s employer mandate. From guidance we have received, this could be due to:

  • Anticipated and appropriately assessed tax
  • Unanticipated, but appropriately assessed tax
  • ACA reporting errors

Any employer anticipating they COULD be receiving an assessment should be on the lookout. If you receive an assessment letter, ACT QUICKLY.

Questions? Concerns? Call Us!

We’re here to help, please contact Carol Parda-Ziolko at (888) 322-2524 ext. 427 or by email.

DG Compliance