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Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews™
Featured This Week
- Analysis: HIPAA Establishes Eligibility Provisions, 4/13 (501.-1)
- Survey: History Of The CPI Medical Care Component, 4/13 (301.1.-11)
- Survey: PBGC’s Fiscal 2012 Annual Report, 4/13 (619.-1)
- Analysis: Establishment Of Health Insurance Exchanges Under Health Reform, 4/13 (540.-1)
May 3, 2013
Text: IRS, Proposed Regulations, Minimum Value of Eligible Employer-Sponsored Plans and Other Rules Regarding the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit
IRS Proposes Regulations On Minimum Value Of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans
The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed regulations on determining whether health coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan provides a minimum value (MV), as required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed regulations also explain how health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) and wellness incentives will be counted in determining if a plan meets the affordability provisions of the ACA. The proposed regulations are effective for taxable years ending after Dec. 31, 2013, and were published in the May 3
Benefits Costs Increased 0.1 Percent In First Quarter 2013
Benefits costs for civilian workers increased 0.1 percent for the three-month period ending March 2013, according to the most recent
Employment Cost Index from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the first quarter 2013, benefits costs rose at a lower rate than salaries, which increased 0.5 percent…
May 2, 2013
ERIC Urges Greater Flexibility And Clarity For ACA Out-Of-Pocket Rules
The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has written to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury urging the agencies to provide greater flexibility and clarity with respect to the out-of-pocket rules under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)…
Structural Reforms Needed To Stabilize Multiemployer System: GAO
Congress should consider comprehensive and balanced structural reforms to reinforce and stabilize the multiemployer plan system, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended. The report,
Timely Action Needed to Address Impending Multiemployer Plan Insolvencies (GAO-13-240), noted that in recent years, as a result of market declines, withdrawing employers, and demographic challenges, many multiemployer plans have had large funding shortfalls and face an uncertain future…
Enrollment Tops 110,000 In Health Reform’s Temporary High-Risk Pool
According to the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, 110,868 individuals have enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) as of Feb. 28, 2013, the temporary high risk health insurance pool established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…
May 1, 2013
Text: EBSA, FAQs About The Affordable Care Act Implementation Part XV
Regulations Will Not Be Issued On ACA’s Provider Nondiscrimination, Clinical Trials Provisions: EBSA
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) (in conjunction with the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury) (Departments) has issued
Affordable Care Act Implementation FAQs Part XV. This set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) address the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions regarding the annual limit waiver, provider nondiscrimination, coverage for individuals participating in approved clinical trials, and transparency reporting…
Rate For Young Adult Health Care Coverage Improves While Others Decline: Commonwealth Fund
Eighty-four million people―nearly half of all working-age U.S. adults―went without health insurance for a time last year or had out-of-pocket costs that were so high relative to their income they were considered underinsured, according to the Commonwealth Fund
2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey. The report, Insuring the Future: Current Trends in Health Coverage and the Effects of Implementing the Affordable Care Act, noted that the proportion of young adults ages 19 to 25 who were uninsured during the year fell from 48 percent to 41 between 2010 and 2012, reversing a nearly decade-long trend of rising uninsured rates in that age group. This reversal is likely due to a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26, the Commonwealth Fund noted…
Failure To Collect Overdue Welfare Benefit Plan Contributions From Participating Employers Is Breach Of Fiduciary Duty
The failure on the part of the trustees of a welfare benefit plan to collect contributions from participating employers sufficient to cover the plan’s liabilities was a breach of fiduciary duty, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in
L.I. Head Start Child Development Services, Inc. v. Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County, Inc. (No. 12-2082-cv). The court ruled that the trustees violated their fiduciary duties with regard to underfunding and delinquency claims brought against them and that the diversion claim was properly dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York…
April 30, 2013
CDHP Enrollees Less Likely To Be Young: EBRI
New research from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) contradicts the common assumption that consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) enrollees are more likely than those with traditional coverage to be young, because they use less health care, on average. EBRI’s analysis of CDHPs over the past seven years finds that in most years, CDHP enrollees were less likely than those with traditional coverage to be between the ages of 21 and 34. CDHPs consist of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), paired with a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or health savings accounts (HSAs)…
Alleviating Employee Stress Focus For Many Wellness Programs
Employers are increasingly trying to alleviate employee stress by better engaging employees through their health and wellbeing programs, according to research from Towers Watson. The
Health, Wellbeing, and Productivity Survey found that a key focus for employers over the next two years is stress management. The survey found that over 40 percent of employers already have stress management programs in place and an additional 31 percent plan to introduce them in the next two years…
April 29, 2013
Text: IRS, Notice 2013-17, Relief from the Anti-cutback Requirements of § 411(d)(6) for Certain ESOP Amendments
IRS Provides Anti-Cutback Relief For Certain ESOP Amendments
In Notice 2013-17, the Internal Revenue Service has issued a notice providing relief from the anti-cutback requirements of Code Sec. 411(d)(6) for plan amendments that eliminate a distribution option from an ESOP that becomes subject to the diversification requirements of Code Sec. 401(a)(35), which apply to certain defined contribution plans that hold (or are treated as holding) publicly traded employer securities…
Speakers From Different Groups Strongly Disagree On Employer Mandate Regulations
Representatives of 20 organizations at an April 23 IRS hearing expressed divergent views on the proposed employer mandate regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The regulations are proposed to implement provisions that require employers to provide adequate health insurance to full-time employees or pay an assessable payment, known as the employer shared responsibility payment…
Largest Employer Contributions In Five Years And Strong Investment Returns Fail To Improve Corporate Pension Funding Levels In 2012
Despite sizable employer contributions and strong investment returns, the funded status of the 100 largest pension sponsors among U.S. publicly traded organizations fell for the second consecutive year in 2012, according to recent research from Towers Watson. The analysis cited continued falling interest rates, which pushed liabilities to record highs, as the primary reason for the drop in funded status…
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