IRS Says When Health Insurance Reimbursement Amounts Are Excluded From Income.

In this advice, the IRS concluded that an employer can exclude from an employee's gross income amounts paid for health insurance coverage that is provided through the group health plan of the spouse of the employee to the extent that the spouse paid for all or part of the coverage on an after-tax basis and not through a salary-reduction under an I.R.C. Sec. 125 cafeteria plan.  The payment can also include the after-tax amounts paid for both spouses by the employee's spouse.  Thus, an employer would be able to reimburse the payments tax free for the portion that represents the employee's cost and the portion that represents the cost of the employee's spouse.  While not addressed, it would appear that because the amounts in issue are tied to the spouse's employer's group health plan, the Obamacare restrictions would not come into play because the reimbursement plan is integrated with the group health plan.  However, Obamacare bars an insured plan from discriminating under the same rules as those that apply to reimbursement plans once regulations are promulgated that put the discrimination rules in place (See Notice 2011-1).  C.C.A. 201547006 (Oct. 7, 2015).