Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – April 5, 2019


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Featured This Week


New Reports





EBSA FAQs direct participants in AHPs to contact their plan administrator for information

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued frequently asked questions to address issues that may arise in light of the federal district court’s decision invalidating the final rule on association health plans (AHPs). In the FAQs, the EBSA notes that participants in AHPs have a right to benefits as provided by the plan or policy, and that health insurance issuers must keep their promises in accordance with the policies in place and pay valid claims. However, AHPs may have to modify their structure or operations going forward, and EBSA recommends that participants contact their AHP plan administrator directly about changes that the AHP may make in the future.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Democrats roll out health care bill to reverse erosion of ACA, add more protections

On March 26, House Democratic leaders rolled out a sweeping bill that they say would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, lower health care costs for consumers, and reverse the Trump Administration’s “harmful actions to sabotage” the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

        (Read Cheetah) »

CCIIO gives certain small group non-grandfathered policies until 2021 to comply with ACA

The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has issued guidance stating that it is extending its transitional policy allowing certain individual and small group health policies to continue coverage that would otherwise be cancelled for noncompliance with various provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The CCIIO has been continuously providing this transitional relief since 2013, and has now extended it again for policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2020, provided that all such coverage comes into compliance by January 1, 2021, as long as the state approves. As of January 2018, these policies were still permitted in 36 states.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Court strikes down key provisions of DOL’s AHP rule

Concluding that the Department of Labor’s 2018 association health plan (AHP) final rule “is clearly an end-run around the ACA” and, moreover, that it “does violence to ERISA,” a federal court in the District of Columbia invalidated two key provisions broadening the meaning of “employer associations” to include small businesses (with or without employees) and self-employed individuals so as to avoid the ACA’s health care market requirements.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS final regs that remove 296 unnecessary, obsolete regs affect retirement plans

The IRS has issued final regulations removing 296 regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations that are no longer necessary because they do not have any current or future applicability under the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, 79 regulations have been amended to reflect the removal of the 296 regulations. Retirement plan regulations are affected.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Eliminating ‘Cadillac’ tax tops ERIC’s health priority list for Congress

Eliminating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) excise tax on high-cost health plans (also known as the “Cadillac” tax) is the ERISA Industry Committee’s (ERIC) number one health priority for Congress in the coming year. ERIC submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to provide specific legislative solution for reducing health care costs. The other two priorities listed were eliminating surprise medical billing and addressing high prescription drug costs.

        (Read Cheetah) »