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December 27, 2013          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs


Webcasts and Conferences

Marketplace Payment Processing User Group Series: Interim Payment Reporting Session
January 7, 2014 WEBCAST
(Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS))

Top 10 Plan Designs for the Small Employer, and Creative Plan Corrections – Appleton
January 24, 2014 in WI
(SunGard Relius)

Making Private Exchanges Work for Insurers
February 25, 2014 WEBCAST
(Atlantic Information Services, Inc)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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official guidance, jobs, webcasts and more.
[Guidance Overview]

ACA Minimum Essential Coverage and Shared Responsibility Reporting and Disclosure Requirements
"Key points for plan sponsors to remember: [1] Insurance companies will be responsible for the reporting and disclosure for insured plans; employers will be responsible for the reporting and disclosure for self-insured plans but may outsource the requirement to their third party administrator. [2] The reporting is on a calendar year basis regardless of the plan or policy year.... [3] A written statement must be provided to the individuals/employees included in the IRS reports.... The reports and statements are first due in 2016; ... the filing due date is the same as W-2 and 1099 reporting." (ERISAdiagnostics, Inc.)  


[Advert.]

The New Health Care Reform Law: What Employers Need to Know

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP)

This popular reference guide covers the full range of health care reform issues in a helpful question-and-answer format. It will help employers and service providers comply with dates, deadlines and coverage mandates under the law. Order Now!



[Guidance Overview]

More Post-DOMA Guidance from the IRS: Cafeteria Plans, FSAs and HSAs
"Although not stated in the Notice, presumably if the language of the cafeteria plan restricted the definition of spouse for such purposes as an opposite-sex spouse, the plan should be amended, although it is not known by when. The Notice also provides that if a plan sponsor chooses to permit election changes that were not previously provided for in the plan document, it must amend no later than the last day of the first plan year beginning on or after December 16, 2013 (December 31, 2014 for calendar-year plans). This amendment should be retroactive, even though generally retroactive amendments to cafeteria plans are not allowed." (Benefits Bryan Cave)  

[Guidance Overview]

Calculating the Health Care Individual Mandate Penalty
"If the CBO estimate is accurate, for taxpayers whose actual premiums are at or perhaps even to some extent below the average, those costs are likely to be more -- perhaps much more -- than the monthly penalty amount for all but high-income taxpayers, who are likely to have coverage anyway." (Journal of Accountancy)  

[Guidance Overview]

Agencies Propose Broader Scope of Excepted Benefits
"HIPAA rules already excepted certain benefits from its coverage-related requirements. Under 2004 guidance, dental and vision benefit plans are considered excepted benefits if the benefits offered are limited in scope and are either issued under a separate policy, or not otherwise considered integral to the health plan. Excepted benefits have taken on new meaning because they are exempt from newer insurance market requirements under health care reform. The proposed rule expands those exemptions and applies them to [1] limited scope dental and vision benefits, [2] employee assistance plans and [3] 'limited wraparound' plans." (Thompson SmartHR Manager)  

[Guidance Overview]

Agencies Proposes to Treat Certain EAP, Dental- and Vision-Only Plans as ACA- and HIPAA-Excepted Benefits
"The definition of 'excepted benefits' is critical for employers and insurers as HIPAA and ACA exempt from certain of their mandates arrangements that qualify as excepted benefits under the Agencies rules.... The Proposed Regulations would amend current regulations to treat certain EAPs as excepted benefits, effective immediately.... Similarly, ... vision and dental benefits provided by employers on a self-insured basis would be able to qualify as excepted benefits effective immediately under the conditions specified in the Proposed Regulations, even if they do not require contributions from employees.... Effective for plan years starting in 2015, the Proposed Regulations also would treat as excepted benefits certain limited coverage provided by plan sponsors that 'wraps around' an individual market policy." (Solutions Law Press)  

Utah State Employees' Same-Sex Spouses Can Get Benefits
"Following a landmark federal ruling striking down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage, the agency that insures tens of thousands of Utah public employees will extend benefits to newly legal spouses.... The Public Employees Health Program (PEHP) provides benefits for Utah state government, one of the largest employers in the state. An independent state agency, PEHP covers about 50,000 employees, including those at 300 Utah cities, counties, school districts and other public agencies. Counting dependents, it insures some 140,000 people." (The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Dermatology Practice to Pay $150,000 to Settle Charges It Breached HIPAA Breach Notice Rule
"The [Adult & Pediatric Dermatology (APDerm)] Settlement marks the first settlement with a covered entity for not having policies and procedures in place to address the breach notification provisions of the HITECH Act.... The investigation revealed that APDerm had not conducted an accurate and thorough analysis of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality of [electronic protected health information] as part of its security management process. Further, APDerm did not fully comply with requirements of the Breach Notification Rule to have in place written policies and procedures and train workforce members." (Solutions Law Press)  

Can Vermont's Single-Payer System Fix What Ails American Healthcare?
"The new system aims to guarantee universal insurance coverage, improve benefits for those who are currently underinsured, include universal dental care and vision care, and increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate to doctors in order to avoid cost-shifting. In some ways, the system resembles the ACA, but the most consequential difference is that Vermont's law will end employer-provided insurance.... [T]here are still major question marks about how Vermont will pay for the plan, whether it can achieve the projected savings, and what might happen when an American state tries to import a European-style insurance program." (The Atlantic)  

Text of Amicus Brief Filed by DRI on Use of Retained Asset Accounts for Payment of Life Insurance Proceeds (PDF)
"[T]he district court held that Unum had an independent fiduciary duty under [ERISA] -- after it had established the [retained asset accounts (RAAs)] -- to pay interest on the accounts at a variable rate different from the rate Unum selected and communicated to beneficiaries. The rate ordered by the district court is [1] not required by the terms of the applicable plans; [2] not consistent with the communications provided to plan beneficiaries; [3] not used by any other insurance companies for RAAs or any other purpose; [4] not used by any other industries or businesses; and [5] was sometimes higher than, and sometimes lower than, the rate actually used by Unum." (DRI -- The Voice of the Defense Bar)  

[Opinion]

Comments by HR Policy Association to HHS on Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2015 (PDF)
"While making payments in two installments is welcome, we strongly encourage [HHS] to allow self-insured employers to have the option, at their discretion, to pay the entire reinsurance fee in January of each year should they find it beneficial to do so.... After carefully reviewing the NPRM and consulting with our members, we wish to address four major items of concern: [1] Self-insured self-administered plans should be a contributing entity for the transitional reinsurance program; [2] The definition of third party administrators is unnecessarily complicated; [3] Self-insured group health plans should not be required to pay the costly treasury contribution amount; and [4] Excess collections should not be used to increase coinsurance rates." (HR Policy Association)  

[Opinion]

The U.S. Path to Three-Tiered Health Care
"[Economist] Uwe Reinhardt ... does not see single payer in our future, but rather sees an 'officially sanctioned tiering of the American health care experience by income class.' We already have the three tiers that he describes, but the middle tier is rapidly evolving in a way that may provoke a renewed and more intense interest in single payer." (Physicians for a National Health Program [PNHP])  

Press Releases

Labor Department Files Suit to Restore Losses to the Miller’s Health Systems Employee Stock Ownership Plan
Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), U.S. Department of Labor

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