Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – April 5, 2013

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Featured This Week

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    April 5, 2013

    SHOP Exchange Choices Under Health Reform Delayed Until 2015

    Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), starting in 2014, small businesses in each state will have the option of purchasing coverage through a Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) exchange. The SHOP exchange was supposed to include several health coverage options for employees of small businesses. However, in regulations issued on March 11, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided transition relief that would allow SHOP exchanges to only offer one health insurance option until 2015…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Nearly Half Of Employees Believe Cost Of Health Insurance Will Rise Due To Health Reform

    Nearly half (46 percent) of employees believe that it is likely that the cost of health insurance will increase overall due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to recent research from The Prudential Insurance Company. The study,
    Health Care Reform: The Waiting Is Over, also found that 31 percent of employees think that it is likely that fewer employers will offer health insurance coverage due to the ACA…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    PBGC’s New Risk-Based Policy Benefited Healthy Companies By Nearly $1 Billion

    According to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a new policy that shifts its enforcement efforts away from companies unlikely to default on their pensions has benefited about 50 businesses by almost $1 billion since the start of a pilot program announced in November 2012. The new approach screens out financially sound companies and small plans with less than 100 people, which excludes 92 percent of businesses that sponsor plans from the PBGC’s enforcement efforts…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    April 4, 2013

    Text: IRS, Proposed Regulations, The $500,000 Deduction Limitation For Remuneration Provided By Certain Health Insurance Providers

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Proposed Regulations Issued On Deduction Limit For Compensation Paid By Health Insurance Providers

    The Internal Revenue Service has released proposed regulations on the application of the $500,000 deduction limitation for remuneration provided by certain health insurance providers under Code Sec. 162(m)(6). These regulations affect health insurance providers that pay such remuneration, and apply to tax years that begin after Dec. 31, 2012, and end on or after April 2, 2013. The proposed regulations were issued in the April 2
    Federal Register

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    IRS Establishes Program For Pre-Approval Of 403(b) Plans

    In Rev. Proc. 2013-22, the Internal Revenue Service has established a program for the pre-approval of 403(b) plans. Under this program, the IRS will issue an opinion or advisory letter as to whether the form of a 403(b) prototype plan or 403(b) volume submitter plan meets the requirements of IRC Sec. 403(b)…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    April 3, 2013

    Medical Loss Ratio Reporting Procedures For 2012 Reporting Year Announced

    On March 29, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) issued a memorandum that outlines the process by which health insurance issuers will submit their medical loss ratio (MLR) data to fulfill reporting obligations under the MLR provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The report for the 2012 MLR reporting year must be filed by June 1, 2013…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Employers Look To Retiree Health Exchanges To Save Money

    Currently, only 20 percent of employers offer guided access to the individual Medicare retiree plan market through an individual health exchange, according to an analysis from Aon Hewitt. However, more than two-thirds are considering implementing this strategy in the future. According to Aon Hewitt, employers can potentially reduce their gross retiree medical spending by 20 to 50 percent per year by transitioning retirees to this type of model…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Court Lacked Jurisdiction To Hear Appeal Of Denial Of Class Certification

    A settlement agreement that preserved a plan trustee’s ERISA claims did not represent a final resolution of his claims and, thus, did not allow for the appeal of a decision by a trial court denying class certification, according to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in
    Ruppert v. Principal Life Insurance Co

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    April 2 2013

    Table For State Health Insurance Market Rating Areas Updated By CCIIO

    On March 28, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) updated its tables that provide information about each state’s health insurance market rating areas and method for dividing the state into rating areas, in the individual market and the small group market. The Market Rules and Rate Review Final Rule (Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Reg Sec. 147) provide that each state will have a set number of geographic rating areas that all issuers in the state must uniformly use as part of their rate setting. On its website, the CCIIO states that the default geographic rating areas for each state will be the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) plus the remainder of the state that is not included in a MSA…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Slightly Fewer Plans In “Green Zone” In 2012, Segal Finds

    In 2012, there was a slight decrease in the number of multiemployer pension plans that fell into the “green zone” and a slight decrease in plans’ funded percentage, according to a recent Segal Company survey. The
    Survey of Plans’ 2012 Zone Status details the percentage of multiemployer pension plans that fell into each of the three “zones” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA)—green, yellow, and red—in 2012…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    April 1, 2013

    Small Business Owners Still Confused By Health Reform

    The majority (56 percent) of small business owners (those with less than 50 employees) incorrectly believe that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires them to provide health insurance for employees in 2014, or that they will be taxed if they do not offer health insurance, according to recent research from private health insurance exchange provider eHealth, the parent company of eHealthInsurance. The
    Small Employer Health Insurance Survey noted that this percentage is down from 69 percent in August 2012. Beginning in January 2014, the ACA requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to offer their employees health insurance or pay additional taxes. However, the ACA does not require this of businesses with fewer than 50 workers…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    IRS Seeks Public Comments On 2013-2014 Guidance Priority List

    In Notice 2013-22, the Internal Revenue Service is inviting the public to make recommendations for items that should be considered for inclusion on the 2013-2014 Guidance Priority List. The 2013-2014 Guidance Priority List will establish the guidance that the Treasury Department and IRS intend to issue from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Recommendations can be submitted at any time, but only those submitted by May 1, 2013 will be considered for inclusion on the original 2013-2014 Guidance Priority List…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »