Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – February 24, 2017

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February 24, 2017


Fidelity reports record level 401(k) balances at end of 2016

Record average 401(k) balances were reported recently by Fidelity Investments through the release of its 401(k) and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) analysis for the fourth quarter of 2016. Increasing contributions and stock market performance drove the average 401(k) balance to an all-time high of $92,500 at the end of Q4, topping the previous high of $92,100 in Q1 2015 and an increase of $4,300 from a year ago….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Majority of consumers unaware of advantages of HSAs

More employees than ever before are enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), but the majority of them (63 percent) do not know the benefits of a health savings account (HSA), according to recent research from Alegeus. In addition, nearly one in three employees feel no better today about managing their health care finances than when they first got health care on their own. The study noted that consumers are assuming more responsibility with their health care finances by enrolling in HDHPs, yet they are unprepared and, in some cases, unwilling to take accountability….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

February 23, 2017


American Benefits Council advocates against cap on employer-sponsored coverage

In multiple letters to the White House, the American Benefits Council has warned against legislation that would tax employees’ health insurance….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

House committee points out previous Democrat support for ACA reform

The House Energy and Commerce Committee leaned hard on Congressional Research Service (CRS) summary of legislative actions over the last few years to repeal, defund, or delay the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) in a plea for House Democrats to assist the opposing party with efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. The committee pointed to the report as support for its assertions that Democrats have voted with Republicans in the past, and stated that 4,775 votes were cast by Democratic representatives in support of bills opposing the ACA in some way….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Plan that profited from Madoff investment lacked standing to sue investment managers for fiduciary breach

Plan trustees lacked standing to bring an ERISA action for fiduciary breach against investment managers that concealed the imprudence of allowing the continued investment of plan funds in the Ponzi scheme managed by Bernard Madoff, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City (CA-2). The plan, which realized extraordinary profits over the course of the investment, did not suffer a cognizable investment loss or other injury in fact, in addition to the alleged breach of fiduciary duty, as a consequence of the investment….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

February 22, 2017

GOP lawmakers circulate ACA replacement outline; Democrats challenge plan

Republicans in Congress have unveiled an outline of their proposal to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the ACA’s taxes. Democrats challenged the proposal, saying it would undermine employer-sponsored health insurance. The GOP proposal outline was issued on the same day that President Trump predicted that ACA repeal and replacement measure would be released in early or mid-March….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS issues March 2017 AFRs

The March 2017 short-term, mid-term, and long-term applicable federal interest rates (AFRs) have been issued by the IRS. The March mid-term 175 percent AFR (Annual) rate, used to calculate interest charged to the funding standard account for underpayments of quarterly contributions under Code Sec. 412(m), is 3.60 percent….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Small business advocates plead for better access, cheaper plans, fewer regulations

Small businesses are not forgotten entities during Congress’s quest to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). In a hearing entitled
Reimagining the Health Care Marketplace for America’s Small Businesses, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business sought testimony from representatives of three business groups and one researcher in order to better understand the struggles small businesses face in the health care marketplace….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

February 21, 2017


Text: HHS, proposed rule, ACA market stabilization

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Proposed ACA exchange regulations would tighten enrollment eligibility and allow higher deductible plans

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued proposed changes to HHS regulations governing enrollment and coverage in plans offered through Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges. The proposed changes would amend standards relating to special enrollment periods, guaranteed availability, and the timing of the annual open enrollment period in the individual and small group markets for the 2018 plan year. They also would change standards related to network adequacy and essential community providers for qualified health plans, and the rules around actuarial value….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Creditable coverage disclosure due to CMS by March 1

Group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals eligible for Medicare Part D must disclose to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the coverage is creditable or non-creditable. The disclosure obligation applies to all plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage, even those that do not offer prescription drug coverage to retirees. Calendar year plans must submit this disclosure to the CMS by March 1, 2017. For non-calendar year plans, the Creditable Coverage Disclosure is due to the CMS no later than 60 days after the beginning of the plan year….

(Read Intelliconnect) »