Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – December 18, 2015

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Featured This Week


New Reports




December 18, 2015


Text: IRS, Notice 2015-87, further guidance on the application of the group health plan market reform provisions of the ACA to employer-provided health coverage and on certain other ACA provisions

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS clarifies application of market reforms to group health care arrangements

The IRS has issued, in question and answer format, supplemental guidance on the application of market reforms to various types of group health care arrangements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). The guidance covers: (a) health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), including HRAs integrated with a group health plan, and similar employer-funded health care arrangements; and (b) reimbursement arrangements described in IRS Revenue Ruling 61-146, and arrangements under which an employer directly pays the premium for an employee’s individual health insurance policy….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

More companies increased their contributions to health premiums this year versus past two years

Companies are more likely to have added or increased contributions to their employees premiums this year compared to the last two years, according to a new study commissioned by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) that was conducted by Harris Poll between August 14 and September 3, 2015, among 1,500 employer decision-makers within the United States. The third annual survey found that 44 percent of companies anticipate that their health care costs will increase in the next 24 to 36 months….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

One-third of workers do not feel comfortable taking vacation time

Companies can do more to foster a culture of well-being, according to Deloitte. Deloitte’s
Workplace Pulse Survey found that roughly one in three respondents (33 percent) do not feel comfortable taking personal time off/vacation days. Moreover, 32 percent say they have consistently placed work commitments over family/personal commitments and fewer than half (48 percent) say their organization as a whole values their life outside work….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 17, 2015


Guidance issued on ACA’s state innovation waivers

The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury have released guidance that contains information about state innovation waiver requirements that must be met, the application review process, the amount of pass-through funding, certain analytical requirements, and operational considerations. Included in the guidance are the statutory criteria that must be met in order for a waiver approval and clarifications that proposals will be evaluated specifically as they affect vulnerable and low-income populations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) protections focusing on access to affordable and comprehensive care….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Federal interest rates announced for pensions

The following interest rates have been announced for use in the operation and administration of qualified pension plans…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

ERIC reiterates stance against Cadillac tax in letter to Senators

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has submitted a letter to the Senate reiterating its stance against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) excise tax on high-cost health plans. ERIC has asked the Senate for support in repealing the Cadillac tax….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 16, 2015


Challenges will continue for 2017 rate-setting process

Changes to essential health benefits and carrier shuffling are among the top 10 potential factors that may influence the 2017 premium rates for insurers in the individual and small group markets subject to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). That’s according to a recent Milliman article….

(Read Intelliconnect) »


PBGC issues January 2016 interest rates for valuing terminating pension plans

The PBGC has issued the January 2016 rate for calculating immediate lump sums. The interest rate for calculating immediate lump sums in January 2016 is 1.25 percent, the same rate that applied in December 2015….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

American opinions about health care costs, quality unchanged after ACA

Americans’ opinion about the cost, quality, and coverage of health care has fallen from the higher levels of satisfaction that were expressed early in President Obama’s presidency. A poll conducted by Gallup, Inc. found that 53 percent of Americans rate the quality of health care as “excellent,” or “good,” which was similar to findings in recent years, but lower from the positive ratings from 2008 to 2012, which could reflect diminished optimism about health care reform….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 15, 2015


Speaker Ryan reveals plan to repeal and ‘replace every word of Obamacare’

The repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is among the “most urgent” items on the agenda for House Republicans in 2016, according to a speech delivered by Speaker Paul Ryan on December 3, 2015, at the Library of Congress. In addition to promising to overhaul the tax code, and provide “a complete alternative to the left’s agenda” Ryan pledged, “next year, we are going to unveil a plan to replace every word of Obamacare….”

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Senate amendment to ACA repeal bill would further decrease deficit, CBO says

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the Senate amendments to H.R. 3762, Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, would decrease the federal deficit by an estimated $105.5 billion by 2025, excluding macroeconomic feedback. The estimates are higher than the CBO’s report issued October 20, 2015 on the House bill, which projected a $78.9 billion decrease without macroeconomic feedback. This bill would repeal many of the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)….

(Read Intelliconnect) »


December 14, 2015


Text: IRS, Notice 2015-86, Application of Obergefell to Qualified Retirement Plans and Health and Welfare Plans

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS issues new health and welfare plan guidance in wake of
Obergefell decision

The IRS has issued guidance for employers with respect to their qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in J.
Obergefell v. R. Hodges….

(Read Intelliconnect) »


IRS outlines ACA tax provisions for small employers

Several provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) apply only to small employers with less than 50 employees. The IRS recently released a tax tip, which outlines the following tax considerations…

(Read Intelliconnect) »