Spencer Benefits Reports – August 23, 2013

 

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Survey: Benefits Account For 30.9 Percent Of Compensation, 8/13 (422.-9)
       

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  • Analysis: Compliance Challenges Arise After Definition Of Marriage In DOMA Falls, 8/13 (327.4.-21)
       

 

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  • Survey: Annual 401(k) Benchmarking Survey, 8/13 (202.-1)
       

 

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  • Survey: 2013 PBGC Interest Rates, 8/13 (619.5.-51)
       

 

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News

August 23, 2013

Lawmakers Await IRS Regulations For Tax Treatment Of Same-Sex Couples

Congressional lawmakers are awaiting clear guidance from the Internal Revenue Service following the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in
Windsor, which made it mandatory for the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages sanctioned by the states. Senate Finance Committee member Benjamin L. Cardin, (D-Md.) has requested that the IRS issue guidance that confirms the filing status of these couples in the wake of the Court’s ruling…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Tax Credits To Average $2,700 Per Family In 2014 For Individuals Who Buy Their Own Insurance: Kaiser

Americans who currently buy their own insurance through the individual market would receive tax credits averaging nearly $2,700 in 2014 for coverage purchased through the health insurance marketplaces, according to recent research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The tax credits or subsidies would cover 32 percent of the premiums on average for this group of enrollees in a “silver” plan…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 22, 2013

Family Health Premiums Rose By 4 Percent In 2013: Kaiser/HRET

Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage rose 4 percent in 2013, to $16,351, according to recent research from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET). The
2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey found workers paid, on average, $4,565 toward the cost of family coverage. The cost of single coverage rose 5 percent, to $5,884 in 2013. Over this same time period, workers’ wages and general inflation were up 1.8 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Delaying The Employer Mandate Will Not Have Large Impact On Coverage: RAND

In July 2013, the Obama Administration announced a one-year delay in enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) penalty on large employers that do not offer affordable health insurance coverage. Nonprofit researcher RAND Corporation recently issued a report,
Delaying the Employer Mandate: Small Change in the Short Term, Big Cost in the Long Run, that examines the impact of the one-year delay and found that the delay will not have a large impact on overall insurance coverage. In fact, the report found that only 300,000 fewer people, or 0.2 percent of the population, will have access to affordable insurance in 2014 because of the delayed employer mandate…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 21, 2013

Mercer Provides Employers With Open Enrollment Communication Checklist

With key pieces of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) going into effect in 2014, employers have even more to consider this year as they prepare for their annual health benefits open enrollment. In response, Mercer has developed a short checklist that outlines steps employers should take to maximize the value of their benefits while minimizing employee questions and concerns…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Most Employers Rate Their Benefits Platform As Effective: Survey

Three-fifths of employers, primarily those with more than 500 employees, reported using an administrative platform to manage their benefits programs, according to recent research from Prudential. The report,
Tapping the Potential of Technology, noted that of those using a benefits platform, 62 percent rated the use of their platforms effective, and another 37 percent rated it highly effective…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 20, 2013

Expert Addresses State Exchange Concerns Of Small Businesses

Many small business owners are concerned about upcoming changes resulting from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the resulting implications regarding their health care coverage responsibilities to their employees. To compound the problem, news coverage on Small Business Health Options Programs (SHOP) Exchanges has been thin. To explain what the changes are, and how they will impact small business in the next few years,
Wolters Kluwer interviewed Pat Haraden, Principal at Longfellow Benefits, Boston. Haraden is a corporate employee benefits consultant for large and small employer groups, municipal entities, and non-profits…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

HHS Awards $67 Million In Grants To Organizations To Help Educate Consumers About Exchanges

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $67 million in grants to 105 Navigator organizations that will help consumers enroll in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) created health insurance exchanges (also called marketplaces). Navigators will serve as an in-person resource for consumers who need additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans beginning October 1…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 19, 2013

Text: IRS, Final Rule, Regulations Pertaining To The Disclosure Of Return Information To Carry Out Eligibility Requirements For Health Insurance Affordability Programs

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Issues Final Regulations On Disclosure Of Return Information For Health Exchanges

Internal Revenue Service regulations relating to the disclosure of return information under Code Sec. 6103(l)(21), as enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), have been adopted. The proposed regulations were released in 2012; the final regulations largely adopt the proposed regulations, with one change made in response to comments received by the IRS. The change made in the final regulations refers to the disclosure of Social Security benefits of the relevant taxpayer that is included in gross income under Code Sec. 86 for the tax year. The final regulations were published in the August 14
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Incentives Can Engage Consumers To Improve Health And Lower Costs

Wellness program incentives can improve health and lower costs, according to research from insurer UnitedHealthcare. Employees enrolled in UnitedHealth Group plans saved $107 million in health costs over the first 36 months, the report noted…

(Read Intelliconnect) »