Benefits Buzz

Posted April 28th, 2021 in Employers, Producers

The Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), a division within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), recently published a Cybersecurity Program Best Practices document for employer plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Posted April 23rd, 2021 in Employers, Producers

Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) can be a great way for employers to control their benefits budgets without sacrificing quality of coverage for their employees. There are several different types of HRAs available in the market, but perhaps the most popular is the Integrated HRA. These HRAs work alongside a group health plan to reimburse employees for out-of-pocket expenses. Only those employees enrolled in the group health plan can participate in the HRA.

Posted April 20th, 2021 in Producers, Individuals

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created premium tax credits in the individual health insurance market which first became available as of January 1, 2014. The amount of the premium tax credit available to a person is largely based on their household income. Most eligible individuals receive the premium tax credit in advance by estimating their household income for the year.

Posted April 8th, 2021 in Employers, Producers

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued an FAQ on April 7, 2021 relative to the application of COBRA subsidies authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The information below summarizes the content of the FAQ.

Model Notices

The DOL has provided the following model notices:

Posted April 6th, 2021 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently published Announcement 2021-7 which indicates Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes, may be reimbursed under a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), or a Health Savings Account (HSA).  These expenses are eligible for reimbursement if the primary reason for the purchase is to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Posted March 30th, 2021 in Producers, Individuals

As you may be aware, the Biden administration previously created an extenuating circumstances special enrollment period (SEP) on HealthCare.gov in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The SEP allows individuals to sign up for coverage (or change plans) without a typical qualifying event.

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