Spencer & Benefits NetNews – October 24, 2014


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October 24, 2014

CMS Announces Availability Of ACA Reinsurance Enrollment And Contributions Form

The “ACA Transitional Reinsurance Program Annual Enrollment and Contributions Submission Form” (the Form) will be available via http://www.pay.gov on October 24, 2014, in time for the 2014 benefit year’s annual enrollment count submission deadline of Nov. 15, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Bank’s “Wealth Accumulation Plan” Is ERISA “Pension Plan”

A bank’s “wealth accumulation plan,” (WAP) which by its express terms provides participants the opportunity to defer income, is an “employee pension benefit plan” under ERISA Sec. 3(2)(A), the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in
Tolbert et al. v. RBC Capital Markets Corporation. On remand, the district court must determine whether the WAP is a “top hat” plan exempt from ERISA’s fiduciary duty rules…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

October 23, 2014

PBGC Issues Guidance On Effect Of HATFA On Annual Financial And Actuarial Reporting

The PBGC has issued Technical Update 14-2 providing guidance on the effect of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA) on annual financial and actuarial reporting under ERISA Sec. 4010…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Give Employers More Time To Comply With ACA Reporting Requirements, Industry Group Urges

The Treasury Department should provide a very simplified approach for the reporting requirements applicable to health plan coverage offered under employer-sponsored plans for 2015 or delay the reporting deadline for a year. Those are among the recommendations that the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) recently filed with the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service on the draft forms and instructions for the reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

ERISA Advisory Council To Meet November 3-4

The Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council, will hold a meeting on November 3-4, in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW. The notice of the meeting was published in the October 22
Federal Register

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

October 22, 2014

Climate Of Health Reform Impacts Employee Benefits Structure

Health care reform has impacted not only employers’ medical plan designs, but also other aspects of their employee benefits programs, according to the
2014 Guardian Workplace Benefits Study. The study found that employers are rethinking their benefits model and are contemplating further efforts to control costs through plan design changes, outsourcing, and cutting administrative costs…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Exchange Plans Likely To See Customer Churn In 2015

Two-thirds of Americans covered through an Exchange plan say they will change plans in 2015, according to a survey conducted by Radius Global Market Research (Radius GMR). The survey shows that while most say they are satisfied with their coverage, that will not stop them from shopping around when it’s time to renew…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

October 21, 2014

Quarter Of Employers Still Have Not Determined Impact Of Excise Tax On Health Plans

A quarter of employers said that they still have not determined the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) excise tax on high cost health plans, according to recent research from Aon Hewitt. In addition, more than one-third of employers reported that their executive leadership and finance teams have limited or no knowledge of the implications of the tax for their organizations…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Flexibility Potential Is Key Reason Employers Give For Implementing PTO Programs

Forty-nine percent of respondents to a 2014 WorldatWork survey, Paid Time Off Programs and Practices, indicated they use a PTO bank system primarily to grant employees more flexibility…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

October 20, 2014

2015 Medicare Part B Premiums And Deductible Remain Stable

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the 2015 monthly premiums and deductible for Medicare Part B, which covers physicians’ services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and certain other items, will remain unchanged for the second consecutive year at $104.90 and $147.00, respectively. As in previous years, individual Medicare beneficiaries with incomes at or above $85,000, and couples with incomes at or above 170,000, will have to pay higher premiums…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Americans Concerned About Exchange Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Across income levels, the amount Americans say they can afford to spend out-of-pocket on health care costs annually is far below the deductibles, copayments, and other costs for most health plans offered on the Exchanges, according to recent research from HealthMarkets, Inc. For example, the survey found that individuals in households earning the current U.S. median income of approximately $52,000 believe they can afford to spend up to an average of $976 on out-of-pocket health care costs annually, while a household of four in that same income bracket could face costs of up to $10,400 under a Silver plan on the Exchange…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »