Health Savings Account Answer Book answers over 600 questions in a format that's quick and easy to use. It tells you virtually everything you have to know to profit from HSAs - from how they work, what they offer participants, and how they can benefit employers to helping you determine how well they will fit your company or clients. It answers key questions on all aspects of HSA establishment, administration, and compliance - including rules and penalties, medical coverage, contributions and deductions, distributions, rollovers and transfers, and more.
Text of FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part V and Mental Health Parity Implementation
Among the items covered by the FAQs: automatic enrollment in a group health plan (prescribed by ACA for employers with more than 200 full-time employees) will not be required until regulations are issued; the requirement that 60 days' notice be provided before a material modification is made to a group health plan will not apply until guidance is issued about the ACA's requirement of a summary of benefits and coverage; an example is provided that illustrates how a co-payment requirement can be waived for persons under age 19 despite the new requirement that benefits for dependent children not vary due to age except for children over 26, because the age 19 waiver is available to employees and spouses also covered by the plan; clarifies that small employers (i.e., fewer than 50 employees) still are exempt from the mental health coverage parity requirements despite changes to the definition of small employer made under the Affordable Care Act; and clarifies that the nondiscrimination rules under HIPAA for wellness programs do not apply to a program operated as an employment policy separate from the employer's group health plan, such as payment for gym memberships.
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)
Text of IRS Notice 2011-1: Delay of Nondiscrimination Rules for Insured Group Health Plans (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "Because regulatory guidance is essential to the operation of the statutory provisions, the [IRS, DOL and HHS] have determined that compliance with [the nondiscrimination requirements of] § 2716 [of the Affordable Care Act] should not be required (and thus, any sanctions for failure to comply do not apply) until after regulations or other administrative guidance of general applicability has been issued under § 2716. In order to provide insured group health plan sponsors time to implement any changes required as a result of the [upcoming] regulations or other guidance, the [IRS, DOL and HHS] anticipate that the guidance will not apply until plan years beginning a specified period after issuance. Before the beginning of those plan years, an insured group health plan sponsor will not be required to file IRS Form 8928 . . . ."
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)
IRS Pushes Back PPACA Nondiscrimination Compliance Date
Excerpt: "Specifically, Notice 2011-1 states that [Treasury and the IRS, as well as DOL and HHS], have determined that compliance with the non-discrimination requirements of § 2716 [of the Affordable Care Act] should not be required (and thus, any sanctions for failure to comply do not apply) until after regulations or other administrative guidance of general applicability has been issued under § 2716."
Health Care Reform Implementation Timeline
Excerpt: "In 2011, several key provisions of the health care reform law will take effect that will affect Medicare, Medicaid, employers, and private insurers. Find out which provisions of the health reform law will be implemented using the [interactive Implementation Timeline] on the Health Reform Source."
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)
District Court Rules PPACA's Individual Mandate Is Unconstitutional
Excerpt: "As noted in the ruling: 'This case ... turns on atypical and uncharted applications of constitutional law interwoven with subtle political undercurrents. The outcome of this case has significant public policy implications. And the final word will undoubtedly reside with a higher court.'"
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)
DOL's Lactation-Break 'Preliminary Interpretations'
Excerpt: "The material says that the 'reasonable break time' required should be evaluated according to individualized considerations of both the time spent expressing milk and 'steps reasonably necessary' to that activity."
(Fisher & Phillips LLP)
Health Care Reform Checklist
Excerpt: "As the year draws to a close, employers should review what actions they've taken with respect to health care reform for 2010 and begin planning for changes in 2011. This checklist will hopefully make the daunting task a little easier."
(Warner Norcross & Judd LLP)
Selected CBO Publications Related to Health Care Legislation, 2009-2010
Excerpt: "In the course of the deliberations over health care legislation, the Congressional Budget Office . . . provided a wide variety of estimates and other analyses regarding the impact of proposals on the federal budget and on aspects of health care and health insurance that were of interest to policymakers. In many cases, those estimates and analyses were produced in collaboration with the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation . . . . That process began in early 2009 and continued past the enactment of the legislation in March of this year. Responding to many requests, this report compiles a set of those estimates and analyses for easy reference."
(U.S. Congressional Budget Office)
Current State of External Claim Review Process Is Examined
Excerpt: "Twenty-six individuals and organizations responded to a request for comments on operational issues associated with implementation of a federal external claims review process in states that do not have their own external review process."
Video: Pay Attention to Accountable Care Organizations
Excerpt: "UMR's Tony Anastasia discusses the growing role of Accountable Care Organizations in the U.S. health care system and why they need to be on employers' and advisers' radars in 2011."
(Employee Benefit Adviser; one-time free registration required)
Virginia Law Review Article Considers Issue of 'Employer Dumping'
Excerpt: "An analysis written by researchers at the University of Minnesota Law School and set to publish in the Virginia Law Review in 2011 examines the risk of 'employer dumping,' where employers might structure health plans that favor low-risk employees and encourage high-risk employees to join the new health insurance Exchanges."
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)
Implementing Health Reform: Employer and Consumer Issues (PDF)
Excerpt: "Under the health reform law, employers must decide whether to keep their existing health benefits intact ('grandfather' the plan), and thus avoid some mandates of the reform law. Doing so, however, requires that the firm not significantly cut benefits or raise employee out-of-pocket costs. (They can switch insurers, however.)"
(Alliance for Health Reform)
Law Prompts Some Health Plans to Cut Mental-Health Benefits .
Excerpt: "[A small number of unions, employers and insurers are scrapping treatment for mental-health and substance-abuse] benefits for their enrollees because of a 2008 law that requires that mental-health and substance-abuse benefits, if offered, be as robust as medical or surgical benefits. By dropping such coverage, providers can circumvent the requirements."
(The Wall Street Journal)
Benefits in General; Executive Compensation
Text of IRS Notice 2011-02: Deduction Guidance on Payments to Insurance Providers by Highly Compensated (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "This notice provides guidance on the application of section 162(m)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code . . . . Section 162(m)(6) limits the allowable deduction for remuneration for services provided by individuals to certain health insurance providers. Section 162(m)(6) was added to the Code by section 9014 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119, 868 (2010))."
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)
IRS Expansion of Scope of Section 409A Relief Under Notice 2010-80
Excerpt: "This additional guidance is helpful, but areas of uncertainty remain. In particular, relief would be helpful with respect to linked nonqualified and qualified plans where linked time and form of payment issues may not have been recognized."
(Dorsey & Whitney LLP)
Distribution of Top-Hat Plan Funds to Participants Was Not Permitted Until Determination of Employer's Solvency
Excerpt: "The appellate court found that its interpretation of the plan did not conflict with any other provision of the plan. Just because plan assets became 'payable' upon plan termination did not mean the employer could actually pay the participants if the employer was insolvent at the time of payment. The court explained that the plan provided that the employer could not distribute plan assets to the participants under those circumstances."
Treasury's 2010-2011 Priority Guidance Plan (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "The Treasury and the IRS have issued their 2010-2011 priority guidance plan. The plan is released annually and reflects the guidance that IRS and Treasury have issued or intend to issue between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. Treasury has already released some of the employee benefit-related items."
Webcasts and Conferences
Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs
Subscribe to the BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, Too!
This email has been published by:
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park FL 32789
Fax: (407) 644-2151
Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.; except that you can
forward this email in full (including this boilerplate part) or
otherwise reprint this email in full (including this boilerplate
part) without obtaining our permission.
Anyone can subscribe to this newsletter.
Other useful links: