Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – September 6, 2019


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Featured This Week


New Reports





Workers want life insurance as an employee benefit

Almost half of U.S. workers who are not enrolled in voluntary group life insurance through their employer (47 percent) say it is because their employer does not offer it; of those, 59 percent say they would be likely to purchase it if it were offered, according to recent research from OneAmerica. The survey identified other reasons that employees were not enrolled in voluntary life insurance: they had other obligations/expenses that are more important (13 percent); did not see the value of it (13 percent); could not afford it (11 percent); or were healthy and did not need it (11 percent).

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS releases applicable amount for 2020 fee year for health insurance providers

The IRS has released a notice that provides the applicable amount for the fee imposed by Section 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the 2020 fee year. The 2020 applicable amount is $15,522,820,037. The 2020 applicable amount is determined by multiplying the fee for the 2018 base year (14,300,000,000) by the premium adjustment percentage for 2020 (1.0855118907), rounded to the nearest dollar.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Portion of genetic testing services qualifies as a Sec. 213(d) medical expense

In Private Letter Ruling (PLR) 201933005, released on August 16, the IRS has concluded that the health-related portion of genetic testing services would qualify as medical care under IRC Sec. 213(d). The IRS notes that PLRs are intended only for the taxpayers that request them and cannot be used or cited as precedent.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Majority of employers plan to increase their health and wellness budget

More than 80 percent of employers are planning to increase their health and wellness budget this year, more than double compared to 2009 (34 percent), according to recent research from Optum. According to the 10th annual Optum Wellness in the Workplace study of 544 employers, while the percentage of employers saying they offer wellness programs to reduce long-term health care costs has stayed relatively steady over the last 10 years (around 80 percent), well-being programs are seen as vital to attracting and retaining talent (78 percent) and boosting employee morale (76 percent).

        (Read Cheetah) »

Value of drug manufacturers’ coupons can be excluded from ACA’s annual limitation on cost sharing: FAQ

The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (the Departments) have issued a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) addressing how drug manufacturers’ coupons count toward the Affordable Care Act’s annual limitation on cost sharing. The FAQ provides that, until additional guidance is issued, the Departments will not initiate an enforcement action if an issuer of group or individual health insurance coverage or a group health plan excludes the value of drug manufacturers’ coupons from the annual limitation on cost sharing, including in circumstances in which there is no medically appropriate generic equivalent available.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Certain drug coverage plans should be exempt from nondiscrimination rules, American Benefits Council tells HHS

The American Benefits Council is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to exempt all employer group waiver plans (EGWP) from the scope of Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) regarding nondiscrimination in any health program or activity that receives federal financial assistance (FFA). The Council’s comments were sent to HHS in a recent letter in response to proposed regulations on ACA Sec. 1557 that were published in June.

        (Read Cheetah) »