Benefits Buzz

Posted June 19th, 2015 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

What happens to Health and Dependent Care FSAs when a merger or acquisition occurs?  

Of course the Cafeteria Plan regulations do not specify how this should be treated, but the IRS has provided some guidance in the form of Revenue Ruling 2002-32. Fortunately, for employees, the IRS has taken a position that employees should not be punished as a result of a merger or acquisition, and the guidance suggests two possible options that would be acceptable in their eyes. Both options maintain the salary reduction of the employee and preserve the annual election.
Posted June 12th, 2015 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
There’s an interesting story developing in Texas which may have a carryover effect to other states. The Texas House of Representatives and Senate have approved House Bill 1514, which would require the letters “QHP” to be included on ID cards of any health plan purchased through the Exchange. QHP, which stands for Qualified Health Plan, would help doctors and medical providers understand the type of coverage a patient has prior to providing any services.
Posted June 5th, 2015 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the King vs. Burwell case at the end of this month. This is the court case that is challenging whether or not the federal government can provide subsidies to Exchange enrollees in the 37 states in which it operates. Media coverage of the case implies that the judges are evenly split and a ruling could go either way.
Posted June 1st, 2015 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created a great deal of change in the healthcare market. Individuals, employers, insurers, doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and many others have all experienced change in one way, shape or form. Next on the list is the restaurant industry, and that’s because the food you eat can have an impact on your overall health.  
Posted May 22nd, 2015 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established a maximum out-of-pocket limitation for single and family coverage. The limit established for 2016 is $6,850 for single coverage and $13,700 for family coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an FAQ document on May 8, 2015 which indicates a health plan that covers a family cannot impose an out-of-pocket maximum of more than $6,850 for any single family member covered under the plan.

Posted May 15th, 2015 in Producers, Employers
The third installment of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees will be due on July 31, 2015. As its name suggests, PCORI is a research institute, and it was created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a way to improve clinical effectiveness. It is partially funded by fees charged to health plans. Here is information and some reminders about the upcoming fee that is due.
  • The fee is paid on the average number of covered lives for the plan year ending in 2014.

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