Benefits Buzz

Posted July 25th, 2014 in Producers, Employers

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a way to help improve clinical effectiveness. The research institute is partially funded by fees charged to health plans, including some Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and some Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). The fees are payable over a seven year time period and started for the first time last year.

The next round of PCORI fees are due to the IRS by July 31, 2014 and are payable via Form 720 by applicable employers for plan years ending in 2013

Posted July 18th, 2014 in Producers, Employers
The IRS and other agencies have issued three different sets of guidance making it clear that employers cannot give actively employed workers pre-tax dollars through a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) ,or any other type of arrangement, to purchase individual coverage on their own.
Posted June 27th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

On June 26, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued proposed regulations on the renewal process for individuals that have purchased health coverage through the Exchange. The regulations aim to streamline the renewal process by auto-enrolling the vast majority of existing members into a health plan for the 2015 plan year.

Posted June 20th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

Minimum Essential Coverage and Minimum Value are two terms that are mistakenly considered the same by many people, but in fact, these terms have different definitions. 

Minimum Essential Coverage is the type of coverage needed to satisfy the Individual Mandate requirements. The most common forms include the following health plans:

Posted June 13th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

On June 1, 2014, same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Illinois. As a result, we wanted to revisit marriage as a qualifying event for health insurance coverage and discuss how account-based health plans are impacted.

Posted June 6th, 2014 in Employers, Producers

A recent analysis predicts that 50 million Americans will be covered by Health Savings Account (HSA)-qualified health plans by Jan. 1, 2019up from approximately 11 million today. With the creation of private exchanges spurred on by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), these consumer-driven health plans have been revealed as a crowd favorite.

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