Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – January 5, 2018

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Sec. 125 expense substantiation requirements, 12/17 (351.-27)

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  • Analysis: Adoption assistance, 12/17 (327.2.-5)

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  • Analysis: Defined contribution limitations, 12/17 (109.2.-1)

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  • News

    January 5, 2018

    Multi-state cancer center to pay HHS $2.3M for failure to protect ePHI

    21st Century Oncology, Inc., a multi-state provider of cancer services and radiation oncology, will pay the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) $2.3 million in lieu of potential civil money penalties and adopt a comprehensive corrective action plan (CAP) to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules. 21st Century is headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, and operates and manages 179 treatment centers, including 143 centers located in 17 states and 36 centers located in seven countries in Latin America….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    States made progress on coverage and access to care from 2013 to 2016

    Forty-seven states saw their adult uninsured rate drop by five percentage points or more in the first three years following the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s major health coverage expansions, according to a recent Commonwealth Fund scorecard assessing access to health care. The report, States’ Progress on Health Coverage and Access to Care, 2013-2016, found that New Mexico’s rate dropped the most between 2013 and 2016, from 28 percent to 13 percent. A dozen other states, meanwhile, saw double-digit drops: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    January 4, 2018

    Employers say acquisition announcements likely to impact future health care strategies

    Recent acquisition announcements in the health care industry, if approved, could not only change the way U.S. employers design their future health care strategies, but also the way individuals access health care in the future. This is according to a pulse survey from Aon….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Health care savings needed for retirement increases: EBRI

    In 2017, a 65-year-old man needs $73,000 in savings and a 65-year-old woman needs $95,000 if each have a goal of having a 50 percent chance of having enough savings to cover premiums and median prescription drug expenses in retirement, according to research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). If they want a 90 percent chance of having enough savings, the man needs $131,000 and the woman needs $147,000….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    January 3, 2018

    DOL issues annual adjustments to penalties for 2018

    The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule to adjust the amounts of civil penalties assessed or enforced under its regulations. Those adjustment amounts pertain to regulations enforced by the DOL’s EBSA, Wage and Hour Division, OSHA, and other agencies. The final rule is effective on January 2, 2018. As provided by the Inflation Adjustment Act, the increased penalty levels apply to any penalties assessed after January 2, 2018….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    IRS issues updated mortality improvement rates and static mortality tables for 2019

    The IRS has provided the updated mortality improvement rates and static mortality tables to be used under Code Sec. 430(h)(3)(A). These rates are used to calculate the funding target and other items for valuation dates occurring during calendar year 2019. Also included are modified “unisex” mortality tables for use in determining minimum present value under Code Sec. 417(e)(3) for distributions with annuity starting dates that occur during stability periods beginning in calendar year 2019….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Changes in benchmark plans and premiums effects automatic reenrollment

    A review of automatic reenrollment of consumers in benchmark plans by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that most plans identified as benchmark plans (the second lowest cost option within an exchange’s silver metal tier), and the premiums for these plans, changed from year to year. In addition, about 30 percent of consumers were automatically reenrolled in benchmark plans during 2016, while the remaining 70 percent chose to actively reenroll. Finally, the median net monthly premiums—what consumers paid after premium tax credits—increased less from 2015 to 2016 for those who actively enrolled ($5) than for those who were automatically reenrolled ($22)….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    January 2, 2018

    Text: IRS, Notice 2018-06, Extension of due date for furnishing statements and of good-faith transition relief under IRC Secs. 6721 and 6722 for reporting required by IRC Secs. 6055 and 6056 for 2017

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    IRS extends filing deadlines, penalty relief for Forms 1095-B and 1095-C

    Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2018, to provide individuals with Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage, or Forms 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. This is a 30-day extension from the original due date of January 31. The extension is automatic, so employers and providers do not have to request it. The due dates for employers and insurers to file 2017 information returns with the IRS are not extended. They are still due on February 28, 2018, for paper filers, and April 2, 2018, for electronic filers….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Court vacates incentive portions of EEOC wellness regs, delays effective date until 2019

    Determining that the balancing test had shifted in favor of vacatur, a federal district court in the District of Columbia granted the AARP’s motion to amend its earlier decision to remand the EEOC’s wellness rules for reconsideration without vacatur. However, in order to minimize the potential for disruption to employers, the court delayed the effective date of the vacatur order until January 1, 2019, giving the EEOC time to promulgate new rules….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »