Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – May 11, 2018


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New Reports





IRS allows $6,900 to be used as HDHP family coverage deduction limit for 2018

The IRS modified the annual limit on deductions for contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) allowed for individuals with family coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) for calendar year 2018 announced in Rev. Proc. 2018-18, I.R.B. 2018-10. For 2018, taxpayers may treat $6,900 as the annual limitation on the deduction for an individual with family coverage under an HDHP.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Departments clarify reasonableness of GOT regulation for out-of-network ER services

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (the Departments) have issued a court-requested clarification to provide a more thorough explanation of their decision not to adopt recommendations made by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and certain other commenters in a November 2015 final rule (80 FR 72192), which provided, in part, a methodology to determine appropriate payments by group health plans and health insurance issuers for out-of-network emergency services. The clarification states the Departments’ belief that the methodology they set forth in the 2015 final rule was reasonable and transparent and that the ACEP’s proposal requiring the development of a database to set usual, customary, and reasonable (UCR) payment amounts would require the Departments to go beyond their statutory authority and intrude on state authority and group health plan and health insurance issuer discretion.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Employers without SHOP marketplace plans receive health insurance credit relief

The IRS has provided guidance which allows certain small employers to claim the small business health care tax credit under Code Sec. 45R in situations in which no Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplace plans are offered in the county where the employer is located. Although the credit requires that the employer offer qualified health plans through the SHOP marketplace numerous counties no longer provides SHOP marketplace plans.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Financial incentives continue to play key role in success of well-being programs, survey finds

Companies across the country will continue to leverage and expand well-being programs to create healthier and more productive workforces. That’s according to the ninth annual Health and Well-Being Survey from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health. Financial incentives continue to play a key role in the success of well-being programs: Nearly nine out of ten employers (86 percent, up from 74 percent in 2017) offer financial incentives as part of their well-being platform, and the average employee incentive amount increased to $784 for 2018, up from $742 in 2017, and a 50 percent increase from the average of $521 in 2013.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Study shows spike in progressive health plans geared toward frenetic workforce

From telemedicine and stress reduction to weight management and health advocacy programs, today’s employers are providing a dramatic increase of progressive health plans, tailor-made to the always working workforce, according to a recent study from WorldatWork. The Inventory of Total Rewards Programs and Practices study reveals that while there haven’t been substantive changes in traditional benefits, companies are increasingly offering more progressive health benefits to meet the needs of an evolving, always-on workforce.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Little Sisters of the Poor had significantly protectable interest, intervention allowed

The Third Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals has ruled that the Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home (Little Sisters) demonstrated sufficient interest in federal litigation involving portions of the religious exemption interim final rule (IFR) to warrant their intervention in defense of the IFR. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s civil action challenging the IFR posed a tangible threat to the Little Sisters’ interests, and Pennsylvania’s contentions were based on an incomplete reading of precedent. Furthermore, the court concluded that the Little Sisters’ interests may not be adequately represented by the federal government.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »