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In September 2013, the IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance providing that certain health flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and arrangements reimbursing employee premiums for individual medical insurance (known as Employer Payment Plans) are group health plans and must comply with the Afford
As of January 1, 2015, the Federal Government took a major step in making employers with 100 or more full-time workers in the U.S. offer affordable, comprehensive insurance -- or face stiff penalties.
The 2014 midterm election results raised interesting implications for health care reform. Specifically, the dramatic shift to Republican congressional power will be balanced against a Democratic President with two full years remaining in office.
Health reform requires that larger employers offer full-time employees minimum essential coverage that provides minimum value, and is affordable, in order to avoid the liability of the $2,000 or $3,000 penalty of the employer mandate.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, during the first three years that state health insurance exchanges are operational, health insurance issuers and plan administrators (on behalf of self-insured group health plans) will be assessed a per-enrollee fee to finance a three-year transitional reinsurance program.
Employer plans without hospitalization benefits - we know the federal agency does not accept these very stripped down plans as satisfying all health reform requirements, but for some lucky early adopters, keeping these plans is permitted for now and will shield the employer from all health reform penalties.
The "skinny" health care plans are a bit more complex than they seem at first blush. The employer must self-fund them, which means a risk analysis as development of a method for calculating and maintaining reserves.
There are several versions of skinny plans as well as several different administrators.
Late in October 2014, the IRS announced a list of revised limits for 2015. Key among them is a new health FSA limit.
HHS has to delay the HIPAA-numbering requirement until further notice. This requirement was to apply for large plans by November 5, 2014 and small employers by November 5, 2015 -- but is now delayed for all indefinitely.
On August 29, 2014, the IRS published long-anticipated draft "instructions" to its PPACA reporting materials. Specifically, it issued instructions explaining the forms to be used by applicable large employers and insurers for reporting certain health care information.
The Federal agencies recently finalized regulations on "excepted benefits," which are exempt ("excepted") from almost all provisions of health reform.
On Thursday, September 18th, the IRS issued several Notices on issues of interest to employers sponsoring employee benefit plans. Get a brief update.
Are you taking advantage of the wellness opportunities created by Health Care Reform?
In August 2014, Federal agencies jointly issued proposed and interim final rules to establish new compliance alternatives for employers who object, on religious grounds, to providing ACA-mandated contraceptive coverage.
Under health care law, women are afforded coverage for recommended preventive care, including all FDA-approved contraceptive
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in late March regarding the federal health reform law. Although the Justices have already voted on the issue and their law clerks know the outcome, C-level executives, HR professionals, and benefits consultants remain in a holding pattern of sorts until the decision is released.
Many of our clients ask whether an employer could simply grandfather the executive medical plan portion of a program. Some carriers assert that is possible, but we have some specific concerns.
The health care reform act was a major campaign issue in the 2010 mid-term elections. Some politicians promised a repeal if they were elected; some threatened one if they weren’t. Now that the votes have been counted, will reform be repealed or changed?
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