Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – April 29, 2016

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April 25, 2016 – April 29, 2016    |    Products    |    Catalog


Featured This Week


New Reports




April 29, 2016


Benefits consulting group advises what to do if you receive a marketplace notice

Starting soon, some applicable large employers (ALEs) will receive unwelcome news from the IRS, in the form of marketplace notice, telling them that they are being assessed a nondeductible penalty because at least one of their full-time employees received subsidized coverage from the health care exchange. An update from the benefits consulting firm of Cherry Bekaert advises how to deal with these notices, and why the notices may be come as a surprise for some employers….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC report reveals need for significant revenue increase for multiemployer pension system

The multiemployer pension program’s current assets are only a small fraction of the amount needed to cover guaranteed benefits for more than 1 million people in plans expected to run out of money in the next decade, according to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The PBGC has released a study of revenues needed for PBGC to continue to protect participants in multiemployer plans that are likely to run out of money….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 28, 2016


New FMLA notice poster, employer guidebook unveiled

The Department of Labor will require employers to post a new FMLA notice in their workplaces, the agency announced on Monday, April 25, on the opening day of the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference in Pittsburgh. Also on Monday, the DOL unveiled a new guide to help employers administer the FMLA’s requirements, according to Franczek Radelet’s Jeff Nowak, who shared the news on his
FMLA Insights blog….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS will withdraw portions of proposed regs affecting nondiscrimination requirements for qualified plans

The IRS has announced that it will withdraw certain provisions included in recently released proposed regulations relating to nondiscrimination requirements applicable to qualified retirement plans under Code Sec. 401(a)(4). In January 2016, the IRS issued proposed regulations modifying a number of provisions in the existing nondiscrimination regulations to address situations and plan designs, including benefit formulas for individual employees or groups without a reasonable business purpose….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 27, 2016


California law expands paid family leave benefits

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., has signed a measure to expand the state’s paid family leave program by increasing the amount of pay available under the program for employees who take leave to care for an ill family member, a newborn baby, or newly adopted child. Currently, employees in the state are entitled to receive up to 55% of their regular pay while taking up to six weeks of family leave….

(Read Intelliconnect) »


Premium rate increases in marketplace not as severe as forcasted

In an HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) issue brief, the ASPE found that from 2015 to 2016, roughly 85 percent of the marketplace, or HealthCare.gov, consumers with premium tax credits saw an average monthly net premium increase of $4, or 4 percent. This was in stark contrast to double-digit premium hikes insurers initially proposed for premiums of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans for plan year 2016. Early estimates based on rate filings alone suggested higher premium increases than what marketplace consumers actually paid. In addition, 67 percent of marketplace consumers selected a new plan the following year….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 26, 2016


ACA mandates contributed to increase in medical stop loss coverage, insurer finds

An increase in the use of medical stop loss captives by companies that self-fund their employee health insurance plans is in part due to mandates in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as unlimited lifetime benefit maximums. That’s according to a white paper issued by QBE North America, an operating division of global insurer QBE Insurance Group….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employer offerings remain stable; age, race, income level affect coverage

The rate of adults age 18 and over without health insurance has declined 6.1 percent since the fourth quarter of 2013, and the first quarter 2016 uninsured rate of 11 percent is the lowest rate since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the uninsured rate in 2008 as part of their Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The decline in the uninsured rate since fall of 2013 coincides with the launch of the individual mandate through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires individuals to obtain minimum essential health insurance coverage for 2014 or pay a penalty. The uninsured rate may be higher in the second quarter of 2016 when actual figures of those enrollees that have paid their premiums are tallied, and because the interviews were conducted before the exchanges closed….

(Read Intelliconnect) »


April 25, 2016


Guidance in new FAQs addresses coverage for preventive and mental health services

The Labor Department, the IRS, and the HHS have issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on health market reform topics that include coverage of preventive services, mental health parity implementation, and implementation of the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act. Also included is information on out-of-network emergency services….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

UnitedHealth is leaving marketplaces in 2017

UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest private insurer, announced that in 2017 it will be exiting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces in the majority of the 34 states where the insurer currently provides plans. UnitedHealth’s decision to leave the marketplaces will have a dramatic impact on competition in many of the states it is leaving, in many cases bringing the number of insurers down from two to one. In a report on the potential impact of a UnitedHealth exit, Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) predicted that the insurer’s total departure from the ACA exchanges would leave 1.8 million individuals with two insurers to choose from on the exchanges and 1.1 million individuals with only one available exchange insurer….

(Read Intelliconnect) »





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About this Newsletter

Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNewsTM contains the latest news and developments in the employee benefits field for both health care and retirement plans. Taken from the daily news updates in Spencer’s Benefits Reports on the Internet, the items include legislative and regulatory actions, court case summaries, industry news, and analysis of new trends such as health savings accounts (HSAs) and Roth 401(k) provisions — anything that can affect the design, implementation and administration of an employee benefits plan.


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