Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – February 20, 2015


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Featured This Week


New Reports


  • Analysis: Chronology Of Sec. 125 Guidance Provides Implementation Assistance To Administrators, 2/12, (350.-7)

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: “Top-Heavy” Plans Must Provide Minimum Benefits Or Contributions To Non-Key Employees, 2/12, (110.01.-1)
    (Read Intelliconnect) »
  • Analysis: Large Employers Have Responsibility For Providing Health Coverage Under Health Reform, 2/5, (550.-1)
    (Read Intelliconnect) »



February 20, 2015


Text: FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXIII)

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

FAQs Address When Supplemental Health Coverage Constitutes Excepted Benefits

The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (the Departments) have jointly issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) (see Text: FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XXIII)) that address the circumstances under which coverage that supplements group health coverage qualifies as excepted benefits, which are generally exempt from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) market reform requirements. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

GOP Lawmakers Unveil Alternative To ACA

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, along with Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., on February 5 unveiled the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Bill, which would cap the exclusion for employer-provided health coverage, and provide a targeted tax credit to help buy health care. . . ..

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

February 19, 2015


PBGC Issues March 2015 Interest Rates For Valuing Terminating Pension Plans

For single-employer pension plans terminating January through March 2015, and for multiemployer plans involved in a mass withdrawal, the interest rate established by the PBGC for calculating immediate annuities is 2.89, down from the 3.10 percent rate that applied in October through December 2014. The interest rate for calculating immediate lump sums in March 2015 is 0.50 percent, a decrease of 0.50 percent from February 2015. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


Bill Would Expand Small Employer Tax Credit Eligibility

Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) has introduced legislation that expands tax credits for small businesses to make it more affordable to offer health insurance to their workers. The Small Business Tax Credit Accessibility Act (H.R. 762) would expand and simplify the small business tax credit created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


February 18, 2015


ERIC Pans President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Retirement Proposals

“First do no harm,” advised Annette Guarisco Fildes, President & CEO of The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), in a recent statement posted on the trade association’s website, responding to the retirement proposals included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


Self-Purchasers Are Confident, But Feel Unprepared For High Medical Costs

A report recently released by the nation’s largest private online health exchange indicates that consumers who purchase their own health insurance are financially optimistic and generally satisfied with their health plans, but, at the same time, more than half (61%) believe that, in case of a medical emergency, they would have trouble paying their deductibles. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


February 17, 2015


Text: HHS Final Rule, Medicare Program; Contract Year 2016 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


CMS Issues Rules On Medicare Advantage, Drug Benefit Programs

The Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued final rules that amend the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (Part C) regulations and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program (Part D) regulations to implement statutory requirements; improve program efficiencies; strengthen beneficiary protections; clarify program requirements; improve payment accuracy; and make various technical changes. Additionally, the rules finalize two technical changes that reinstate previously approved but erroneously removed regulation text sections. . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »


Study Reveals Nearly Half Of Millennials Intend To Pursue New Jobs In 2015, Partly Due To Gap Between What Employees Desire And Current Work Environment

At a time when employers are looking to attract and retain talent, new survey data from Aon Hewitt shows that 43 percent of Millennials plan to actively look for a new job in 2015. According to Aon Hewitt, Millennials feel that what they value in an organization is different than the priorities of their current workplace. Most employees believe their employers’ current values focus on more organizational-oriented themes, including teamwork, profit and customer satisfaction. When asked what qualities are the most desirable in an organization, Millennials cited more relationship-oriented values, including work/home balance, employee recognition, loyalty and respect. Other values with large perception gaps between current and desired include open communication, professional growth, fairness, humor/fun, clarity, and well-being (physical/emotional/mental/spiritual). . . .

        (Read Intelliconnect) »