Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 27, 2016

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Employee Benefits Jobs


Webcasts and Conferences

Privacy and Security for Benefit Plans: To HIPAA, and Beyond!
October 5, 2016 WEBCAST
Ogletree Deakins

Compensation & Benefits - Qualified Retirement Plan Fiduciary Issues
October 12, 2016 WEBCAST
Winstead PC

How to Guide Clients on Optimizing their Social Security Benefits
October 18, 2016 WEBCAST
SourceMedia

Retirement Advisor Symposium
October 19, 2016 in IL
Pershing

New York's New Parental Leave Law: What You Need to Know
October 26, 2016 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

Lessons Learned from Recent ERISA Litigation Cases
November 3, 2016 in TX
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Dallas/Fort Worth

401(k) Beyond the Basics 12: Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan Operation
November 7, 2016 WEBCAST
FIS Relius Education

Dealing with Rehired Employees [2016]
November 8, 2016 WEBCAST
FIS Relius Education

IRA Distributions
November 15, 2016 WEBCAST
Ascensus

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Instructions for 2016 Forms 1094-B and 1095-B (PDF)
"Health insurance issuers and carriers are encouraged (but not required) to report coverage in catastrophic health plans enrolled in through the Marketplace for months in 2016." [See also 2016 Form 1094-B and 2016 Form 1095-B.]
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2016 IRS Form 1095-B and Instructions for Recipient (PDF)
"This Form 1095-B provides information needed to report on your income tax return that you, your spouse (if you file a joint return), and individuals you claim as dependents had qualifying health coverage (referred to as 'minimum essential coverage') for some or all months during the year. Individuals who don't have minimum essential coverage and don't qualify for an exemption from this requirement may be liable for the individual shared responsibility payment."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2016-58: Special Per Diem Rates 2016-2017 (PDF)
"This annual notice provides the 2016-2017 special per diem rates for taxpayers to use in substantiating the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home, specifically [1] the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates, [2] the rate for t he incidental expenses only deduction, and [3] the rates and list of high- cost localities for purposes of the high- low substantiation method."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of CCIIO Sub-Regulatory Guidance: Issuer Posting of Rate Filing Information (PDF)
Unnumbered document, dated Sept. 26, 2016. "[T[his Bulletin explains the manner in which an issuer must 'prominently post' the required rate filing information and its Final Justification for implementing a rate increase deemed to be 'unreasonable' and clarifies the type of information that an issuer must include in its Final Justification.... [An] issuer must prominently display the required rate filing information, including the Final Justification, for at least three years. This information applies to health insurance issuers offering non- grandfathered health insurance coverage in the individual or small group market through or outside of an Exchange[.]"
Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight [CCIIO], Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

CMS Provides New Guidance on Premium Rate Increases
"The final justification cannot simply restate the rationale in the initial rate filing. It must include a thorough explanation and analysis of the insurer's decision to implement the unreasonable rate increase and must respond to the concerns raised by CMS or the reviewing state."
Timothy Jost, in Health Affairs

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2017 Health Savings Accounts Facts

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee to Pull Out of ACA Exchange in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis
"The company formally made the change to its 2017 plans in a [Sept. 23] filing with [HHS] -- roughly a month after it raised the possibility of scaling back. Earlier this summer, BCBST requested -- and was granted -- state approval for an average 62-percent premium increase. The rate hike is still pending federal approval."
The Tennessean

Vermont Did Not Properly Allocate Millions to Establishment Grants for a Health Insurance Marketplace Audit
"Specifically, the State agency: allocated $10.5 million from July 2012 through September 2013 using a cost allocation methodology that included a material defect, may not have allocated $13.9 million in costs from April through September 2014 in accordance with the relative benefits that each grant program received, and drew down establishment grant funds that exceeded actual program costs by $736,330 from January through September 2014. These errors occurred because the State agency did not have adequate policies and procedures to follow Federal requirements."
Office of Inspector General [OIG], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Benefits in General

How to Calculate the Value of Your Benefits
"It's 'open enrollment' season ... [and] a good time ... to estimate how much the benefits you choose are worth to you: Health Insurance (typically $5,000 -- $30,000) ... Retirement Plan (typically 3-6 percent of your salary in matching contributions) ... Stock Purchase Plan (typically 10 to 15 percent of market value per share purchased) ... Disability Insurance ($2,000 to $5,000 per year) ... Life Insurance ($250 to $500 per year) ... Employer Contribution to FICA (7.65 percent of salary) ... Unemployment Insurance (0.3-1.5 percent of salary) ... Your company may offer other benefits such as tuition reimbursement, pre-paid legal assistance, commuter benefits, health and wellness programs, access to group long term care insurance[.]"
Financial Finesse

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Using Phantom Stock in a Family-Owned Business
"A phantom stock plan is one way for family-owned businesses to provide long-term incentive compensation to key employees without actually issuing stock. Phantom stock is a way to give key employees the economic benefit of owning stock without requiring family members to give up any equity in the business."
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Press Releases

DOL Reaches Settlement with Sierra Pacific Industries’ Health Benefits Plan
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2016 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

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