Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 5, 2020

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Winter Park FL

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Releases Its Annual Transition Relief Notice for ACA Reporting But Warns This Could Be the Last Year

"Notice 2020-76 provides transition relief by extending the due date for the Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C statements that were to be furnished to individuals by February 1, 2021 (as a result of January 31, 2021 falling on a Sunday) to March 2, 2021. Importantly, the permissive extension discussed in the instructions to the respective Forms no longer applies.... Notice 2020-76 provides relief from the penalty under section 6722 for entities required to furnish the Form 1095-B to individuals in certain cases.... [A] similar transition relief provision was not extended to the Form 1095-C except in an extremely limited circumstance." Icon to read more

Accord

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Delays ACA Reporting Again, Announces Final Extension of Good-Faith Reporting Relief

"On October 2, 2020, the IRS released Notice 2020-76, which ... extends both: [1] the deadline to furnish Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to individuals; and [2] the good-faith reporting relief.... [T]he IRS announced that this extension will be the final extension of the good-faith reporting relief. In addition, in limited circumstances, the IRS will continue to not penalize entities for the failure to furnish information to individuals using Form 1095-B, and in some cases, Form 1095-C[.]" Icon to read more

Miller Johnson

District Court Rules ERISA Plan Was Wrong to Deny Coverage for Mental Health Care Received at Residential Treatment Facility

"Applying de novo review, the district court granted Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on two primary grounds. First, the court held that the Plan failed to consider the girl's substance abuse issues as an independent basis, separate from the depressive disorders, for awarding benefits. Second, the court found that while the Plan classified [residential treatment facility] treatment as sub-acute care, it applied acute-level medical necessity criteria to the Plaintiffs' claim." [Raymond M. v. Beacon Health Options, Inc., No. 18-048 (D. Utah May 29, 2020)] Icon to read more

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

BLS Fact Sheet: Medical Care Premiums

"March 2020 civilian worker single coverage estimates show that: 14 percent of workers participated in medical care plans without an employee contribution requirement where the average employer premium was $605.20 per month. 86 percent of workers participated in medical care plans with an employee contribution requirement where employees paid $138.76 and employers paid $459.70 per month. 72 percent of workers participating in single coverage medical plans with contribution requirement had a flat-dollar premium and the median amount was $120.06." Icon to read more

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]

Using an HSA for Non-Medical Expenses

"[T]here are two adverse tax consequence of taking a non-medical HSA distribution: [1] The distribution will be includible in gross income; and [2] The distribution will be subject to a 20% additional tax. The HSA owner must report non-medical distributions on the Form 8889, which is included with the individual tax return (Form 1040)." Icon to read more

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

The Benefits of Stacking an HSA and HRA

"[1] Creates better healthcare spending habits for employees as they are responsible for the first portion of the deductible. [2] FICA tax savings for you and your employees. [3] HSAs are portable, allowing the employee to keep it should they switch jobs. [4] HSAs balances can earn interest ... [5] HSA funds roll over year to year -- no use it or lose it." Icon to read more

Ameriflex

Massachusetts Holding Firm on Paid Leave Tax, Benefit Levels

"The Department of Family and Medical Leave said Friday that it will continue collecting a 0.75% payroll tax to build up the pool of money that workers will soon be able to draw upon to more easily take care of themselves and their families without facing a major financial crunch. The maximum weekly benefit under the program will remain at $850, the department said. The tax first went into effect Oct. 1, 2019." Icon to read more

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Texas Governor Announces Agreement With Health Insurers to Continue Payment Parity for Telehealth

"Governor Greg Abbott announced ... that Texas' major health insurers have agreed to continue reimbursing network healthcare providers for telehealth appointments at the same rate which they pay for office visits through the end of 2020.... [An] estimated 4.5 million Texans have begun using virtual healthcare services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic." Icon to read more

Jackson Walker

The Emerging Need for Telehealth Approaches for the Treatment of Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

"The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant mental health challenges for many around the world, both directly due to the consequences of the disease, and indirectly due to the difficult circumstances that arise from mitigation strategies. Telehealth visits may become part of the new 'normal' for replacing, or at least supplementing, office visit-based treatment for behavioral health conditions." Icon to read more

Milliman

HHS Announces Eight HIPAA Settlements

"The three largest settlements all relate to breaches from hackers who had access to ePHI over an extended period of time. One of the settlements involves the second-largest HIPAA settlement amount in OCR's history, amounting to $6.85 million. In addition to the three breach-related settlements, the OCR announced this past month that it had entered into five settlements related to patients' access to their own health records." Icon to read more

Ballard Spahr LLP

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Multiemployer Health Plans: Assessing When Bigger May Be Better (PDF)
benefits magazine, a publication of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020 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 those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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