Healthcare

The IRS has provided additional guidance on its website about the eligibility for premium tax credits when coverage is offered to an employee’s spouse and dependent child under an eligible employer-sponsored health plan. This development is of particular importance to applicable large employers (ALEs) under the Affordable Care Act. Background Premium tax credits may be available to lower-income individuals who buy coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace (often referred to as an “exchange”) unless they’re eligible for specified types of other coverage. Employees aren’t eligible for premium tax credits if offered affordable coverage that provides minimum value under an eligible employer-sponsored plan...

Published in Healthcare
Thursday, 27 April 2017

Survey says: Employers favor enduring reform strategies

Written by Thomson Reuters

Much of the debate about health care reform in Washington still swirls around how to improve access to, and the affordability of, individual coverage. But a complicating factor for employers is that some of the proposals dealing with those challenges could also hurt employers’ long-term plans for providing health care benefits. A survey by HR consultancy Mercer, taken earlier this year during the rise and fall of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill, highlights large employers’ concerns. (The AHCA was the Republican-proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act [ACA]...

Published in Healthcare
Thursday, 30 March 2017

How can we comply with HIPAA when filing Form 1095-C?

Written by Thomson Reuters

Question: My company is an applicable large employer (ALE) with a self-insured health plan. What steps must we take under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), specifically its privacy rule, when we report enrollment information for employees and dependents on Form 1095-C? Answer: You should follow the HIPAA rules that apply to disclosures of protected health information (PHI) from a group health plan to the plan sponsor for plan administration purposes. Internal Revenue Code Section 6055 requires providers of minimum essential coverage to report the name, taxpayer identification number and months of coverage for all individuals enrolled in the plan providing that minimum essential coverage...

Published in Healthcare
Thursday, 30 March 2017

Proposed HHS regs seek to stabilize health insurance markets

Written by Thomson Reuters

Most of the attention regarding health care reform has focused on the prospective repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. But, in February, the federal government made another move that garnered relatively little attention. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued proposed regulations intended to help stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets. These regs address the guaranteed-availability rules, annual open enrollment and special enrollment periods for Health Insurance Marketplaces (often referred to as “exchanges”), and certain other Marketplace standards...

Published in Healthcare
Thursday, 30 March 2017

With “repeal and replace” gone for now, familiar questions remain

Written by Thomson Reuters

As the dust continues to settle on the failed repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the surrounding health care benefits landscape remains largely unchanged. Employers face a variety of familiar questions regarding compliance and are still wondering whether rumors of bipartisan cooperation on a solution will ever come to pass. Contemplating compromise Health care reform discussions in Washington immediately following the March 24 demise of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) haven’t been very specific. “I think it’s time for our people to come together … and potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board,” said Reince Priebus, President Trump’s Chief of Staff, March 26 on Fox News Sunday...

Published in Healthcare
Monday, 27 February 2017

Must ALEs file Forms 1095-C for foreign employees?

Written by Thomson Reuters

Note to readers: As of this writing, efforts are underway in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Both the Republican-majority House and Senate have approved a resolution to begin repeal proceedings, while President Trump has issued an Executive Order calling for the law’s “prompt repeal.” Please bear this in mind as you read the article below, and consult your benefits advisor for the latest developments. Question: We’re an applicable large employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)...

Published in Healthcare
Monday, 27 February 2017

Agencies provide additional guidance on HRA integration

Written by Thomson Reuters

Note to readers: As of this writing, efforts are underway in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Both the Republican-majority House and Senate have approved a resolution to begin repeal proceedings, while President Trump has issued an Executive Order calling for the law’s “prompt repeal.” Please bear this in mind as you read the article below, and consult your benefits advisor for the latest developments. A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) generally must be integrated with a qualifying non-HRA group health plan to satisfy the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) annual limit prohibition and preventive services mandate...

Published in Healthcare
Monday, 27 February 2017

Improve health care spending by disrupting status quo approaches

Written by Thomson Reuters

As of this writing, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress continue to grapple with how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Meanwhile, private sector analysts are busy offering their own ideas on how employers can manage health care costs more effectively. A recent report by the American Health Policy Institute and VBID Health focuses on how to reduce wasteful spending. The report, entitled Using Data-Driven Disruption to Reduce Wasteful Healthcare Spending, concludes that about 20% of health care expenditures by the 35 companies studied are wasteful...

Published in Healthcare

On December 13, 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law. The new law reverses a prohibition on small employer funding of individual health insurance premiums. Under prior Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines, employers could not pay for the cost of individual health insurance for employees or reimburse the premium cost without violating the ACA “market reforms.” Thanks to the 21 Century Cures Act, beginning in 2017, the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) will now allow small employers to establish a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement without violating the market reforms within certain requirements...

Published in Healthcare
Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Form 5500 overhaul proposal faces uncertainty

Written by Thomson Reuters

Note to readers: As of this writing, efforts are underway in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Both the Republican-majority House and Senate have approved a resolution to begin repeal proceedings, while President Trump has issued an Executive Order calling for the law’s “prompt repeal.” Please bear this in mind as you read the article below, and consult your benefits advisor for the latest developments. Employers use Form 5500 to file an employee benefit plan’s annual information return with the Department of Labor (DOL)...

Published in Healthcare
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