Executive Order on Healthcare October 2017

  October 2017 Executive Order on Healthcare On October 12, 2017, the White House released an Executive Order, signed by President Trump, titled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.” It is important to note that the Executive Order (EO) does not implement any new laws or regulations, but instead directs various federal […]

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Contraception Mandate Rolled Back for Employers

Contraception Mandate Rolled Back for Employers Two tri-agency (Internal Revenue Service, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Interim Final Rules were released and became effective on October 6, 2017, and will be published on October 31, 2017, allowing a greater number of employers to opt out of providing contraception to […]

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August Compliance Recap

Compliance Recap August 2017 August was a quiet month in the employee benefits world. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released its 2018 affordability rate, four information letters regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and its draft Forms 1094 and 1095. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) increased the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act […]

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The COBRA Payment Process

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) allows qualified beneficiaries who lose health benefits due to a qualifying event to continue group health benefits. The COBRA payment process is subject to various rules in terms of grace periods, notification, premium payment methods, and treatment of insignificant shortfalls. Grace Periods The initial premium payment […]

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ACA Market Stabilization Final Rule

On April 18, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule regarding Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) market stabilization. The rule amends standards relating to special enrollment periods, guaranteed availability, and the timing of the annual open enrollment period in the […]

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IRS Memo on Fixed Indemnity Health Plan Benefits Tax Treatment

On January 20, 2017, the IRS released a Memorandum on the tax treatment of benefits paid by fixed indemnity health plans that addresses two questions: Are payments to an employee under an employer-provided fixed indemnity health plan excludible from the employee’s income under Internal Revenue Code §105? Are payments to an employee under an employer-provided […]

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Are Opt-Outs on the Way Out?

Opt-out payments or cash in lieu of benefits have been a staple in the employee benefits industry for many years. Employers offer individuals who are eligible to enroll in their group health plan a sum of money, typically paid monthly, to those who waive enrollment in the group health plan. Employers who offer group health […]

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DOL Issues Another FAQ on ACA Implementation

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its 31st FAQ on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), dedicated to coverage of preventive services, rescissions of coverage, out-of-network emergency services, clinical trial coverage, cost-sharing limitations, the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act. Preventive Services […]

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Guest Blog – Three out of Four U.S. Employers To Be Hit with Cadillac Tax by 2022

Even Bronze-Level Plans Subject to Excise Tax, Finds UBA Survey Many employers falsely assume that the Cadillac tax will apply only to the richest plans. However, newly release data from the 2015 UBA Health Plan Survey shows that even the lowest quality “Bronze-level” health insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges are at […]

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