Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – June 8, 2018


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Featured This Week


New Reports





Engagement, satisfaction remain mostly steady during health plan enrollment

Engagement and satisfaction, for the most part, do not change with the length of time an individual has been enrolled in their health plan, according to research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald and Associates.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Dems press for new analysis on proposed short-term, limited-duration health insurance rule

Democratic Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Or.), along with Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), are urging the top officials at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Treasury, and the Office of Management & Budget to hold off on finalizing the proposed rule on short-term limited-duration health insurance.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Employer groups call for suspension of ACA tax penalties, repeal of employer mandate

The assessment of tax penalties under the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate should be suspended until the mandate is repealed given the ongoing cost, complexity and confusion surrounding compliance with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements. That’s according to the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) and a number of employer trade associations that submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Internal Revenue Service. The letter also states the Administration is denying employers’ due process rights by failing to satisfy the mandated notice and appeals requirements under ACA Sec. 1411.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Protecting tax treatment tops list of employer health policy priorities

While much of what is discussed in the health care policy arena today is focused on individuals who are uninsured or underinsured, “employers cover more than half of America, and it is important for health care policymakers to keep this in mind,” said Tracey Watts, U.S. Leader for Health Care Reform at Mercer, at a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)-sponsored webinar. Watts discussed employer health policy priorities at the webinar, What’s Data Got to Do With It? Using Valid Intel to Drive Vital Change.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Self-insured group health plans covered approximately 34 million participants, DOL annual report finds

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released to Congress its eighth annual report on self-insured group health plans with data from Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, as well as data from certain financial filings of self-insured employers. Approximately 54,500 health plans filed a Form 5500 for 2015 (the most recent complete data available), an increase of nearly six percent from the health plans that filed a Form 5500 for 2014. Of health plans filing a 2015 Form 5500, about 22,900 were self-insured and approximately 3,900 mixed self-insurance with insurance (mixed-insured).

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS provides guidance on various Letters 227

The IRS has provided guidance on the various Letters 227, which are acknowledgement letters sent to employers regarding the employer shared responsibility payment (ESRP). There are five different 227 letters.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS updates premium tax credit table, required contribution percentage

The IRS has updated the applicable percentage table used to calculate an individual’s premium tax credit and required contribution percentage for plan years beginning after 2019. The percentage is used to determine whether an individual is eligible for affordable employer-sponsored minimum essential coverage; the percentage is used to determine whether an individual is eligible for an exemption from the individual shared responsibility payment because of a lack of affordable minimum essential coverage.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »