Articles

Employer Shared Responsibility Rules Delayed Until 2015

In the most significant health reform development for employers since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the employer shared responsibility rules (often called the “employer mandate” or “pay or play rules”) have been delayed until 2015. 

 

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The Impact of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling on Health and Welfare Plans

Summary
The recent Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage obviously have significant implications for employers in a number of employee related areas including payroll, retirement and employee benefits. While much has already been written in general about these decisions, this issue brief will focus only on issues related to employer sponsored health and welfare plans.

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IRS Issues New Form 720 for Reporting ACA Research Fee

The IRS has issued a revised Form 720 and corresponding instructions to allow for the reporting and payment of the fee for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) formed as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

 

Background

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Final Rules For Wellness Plans Released

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (The Departments) have issued final wellness program rules. The new final rules are based on the existing HIPAA wellness rules and the requirements contained in proposed rules issued in November 2012.

 

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Determination of Affordability and Minimum Value

Background

The IRS has released proposed regulations providing guidance for determining the “affordability” and “minimum value” of employer-sponsored plans. The guidance includes information on an individual’s qualification for premium tax credits, possible employer penalties under the ACA shared responsibility rules, and how health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and wellness program incentives should be factored in when determining affordability and minimum value.

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Department of Labor Releases Model Notice of Exchange

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released guidance and model notice language for employers to use to meet the Affordable Care Act (ACA)employee exchange notice requirement. The guidance can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/tr13-02.html.

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IRS Releases HSA and HDHP Limits for 2014

The IRS has released the 2014 limits affecting HSAs and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs). The minimum required deductibles will not change from the 2013 limit, but the HSA contribution limits and the HDHP out-of-pocket (OOP) maximums will increase for 2014.

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Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules Released

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued regulations modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy, security, and enforcement rules. The changes strengthen the privacy and security protection for individuals’ health information, modify the rule for breach notifications, and extend HIPAA compliance obligations to additional entities.

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Small Employer “Choice Option” Delayed on Federal SHOP Exchange

In more Employee Benefits Day news, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that one of the options planned for small group insurance purchased through federally operated exchanges will be delayed until 2015. Under what is referred to as the “choice option,” small employers will be able to select a level of coverage (i.e. bronze, silver, gold, or platinum coverage tier), and participating employees would be allowed to choose from any carrier offering coverage within that tier.

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Is Your Organization Part of a Controlled Group? Common Controlled Group Basics

Background

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has placed new emphasis on the need to determine when and if related organizations must be treated as a single employer for purposes of meeting various ACA requirements. Simply setting up different companies under separate tax ID numbers does not relieve related employers from being treated as a single employer under controlled group rules.  

 

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Is Your Organization Part of a Controlled Group? Common Controlled Group Basics

Background

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has placed new emphasis on the need to determine when and if related organizations must be treated as a single employer for purposes of meeting various ACA requirements. Simply setting up different companies under separate tax ID numbers does not relieve related employers from being treated as a single employer under controlled group rules.

 

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Employer Plan Cost Sharing Rules and a Minimum Value Calculator are Released

 The IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have released a preliminary version of an employer plan minimum value (MV) calculator. The MV calculator is designed to assist employers in determining whether an employer-sponsored health plan meets minimum value requirements contained in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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