Articles

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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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

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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Fiscal Cliff Legislation Impacts Qualified Transportation Benefits

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on January 2, 2013, brought the country back from the “fiscal cliff,” and within its pages also made changes to a benefit offered by many employers: qualified transportation benefits.

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Guidance Issued on the Qualification for Tax Credits and Individual Mandate Tax Liability

The IRS has issued an amendment to final regulations originally issued May 23, 2012 regarding qualification for a premium tax credit (premium assistance) when purchasing individual health insurance through a public exchange. In the case of family members who are eligible for employer sponsored insurance (ESI), affordability for family members will be based on the employee’s required contribution for self-only coverage (i.e. employee only coverage), not the required contribution for family coverage.

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Department of Labor Delays the Employer

As anticipated, based on prior informal comments, the Department of Labor (DOL) has delayed the employer requirement to send a “Notice of Exchange” to employees.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requiring employers to send a notice describing certain elements of exchanges and subsidy eligibility to employees by March 1st, 2013. However, citing a number of factors, the DOL has delayed the requirement until after guidance is issued later in 2013.

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Department of Labor Expected to Delay the Employer

In welcome news for employers, the Department of Labor (DOL) has stated in informal comments that they plan to delay the employer requirement to send a “ Notice of Exchange” to employees.

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Affordable Care Act Employer Planning Guide

Please download document. This summary is provided as an overview of some of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). For more details or questions, please contact your Parker, Smith & Feek Benefits Team.

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