Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – June 28, 2013


About this Newsletter

The Spencer’s Benefits Reports is a summary of the week’s news items posted
in the WHAT’S NEW pages of Spencer’s Benefits Reports
For questions regarding this email service, contact Customer Service at (800)449-9525.

NetNews Subscription

Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail?

hr.cch.com Resources

About Links in this Newsletter

To access the IntelliConnect™ full text documents you must be a subscriber
to the Spencer’s Benefits Reports IntelliConnect product
(depending on the link*).

Links within news stories display full text documents including legislation, regulations,
court decisions, rulings and government reports.

The first time you click on a link you will be taken to the IntelliConnect login page, where you will need to enter your ID and password. Subsequent links will take you directly to the desired document.


If you aren’t a subscriber call 800-449-9525, or let us contact you about,

Email Us

Contact us by sending an e-mail to


Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Consumer-Driven Health Plans, 6/13 (356.-1)

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Automatic Enrollment In 401k Plans, 6/13 (223.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Shared Responsibility Payments Required For Individuals Without Insurance In 2014, 6/13 (551.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Small Employer Health Care Tax Credit, 6/13 (530.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: CalPERS Eligibility, Enrollment, 2013 Details, 6/13 (313.2.-7)


(Read Intelliconnect) »


June 28, 2013

Text: IRS, Notice 2013-41, Eligibility For Minimum Essential Coverage For Purposes Of The Premium Tax Credit

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Text, IRS, Notice 2013-42, Transition Relief For Employees And Related Individuals Eligible To Enroll In Eligible Employer-Sponsored Health Plans For Non-Calendar Plan Years That Begin In 2013 And End In 2014

(Read Intelliconnect) »

A Brief Break At Spencer’s Benefits Reports

Spencer’s Benefits Reports is taking a brief break. Spencer’s news and reports will not be issued July 1 through July 5. Publication will resume on July 8, 2013. Happy Independence Day to all of our subscribers.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Definition Of Marriage In DOMA Falls Under Fifth Amendment Equal Protection Guarantees

In an anticipated and divided opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that lawfully married, same-sex couples are entitled to the equal protection of the laws pursuant to the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and thus, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) must fall (United States v Windsor, June 26, 2013, Kennedy, A). “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes [its] purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” wrote the Court. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined in the opinion. Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia and Alito filed dissenting opinions. Justice Thomas joined in the Scalia dissent; Justice Roberts joined it in part. Justice Thomas also joined the Alito dissent in part…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Issues Notices On Determining Minimum Essential Coverage; Transition Relief For Employees At Companies With Non-Calendar Year Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has issued two Notices that deal with different provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Notice-2013-41 provides guidelines on how to determine if an individual is eligible for minimum essential coverage for purposes of the premium tax credit allowable under Sec. 36B. Notice 2013-42 provides relief from the shared responsibility payment for specified individuals who are eligible to enroll in employer-sponsored plans that are non-calendar year plans…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 27, 2013

Speakers Ask IRS To Expand And Clarify Exemptions To Health Insurance Provider Fee

Speakers at a June 21 Internal Revenue Service hearing on the health insurance provider fee asked the IRS and Treasury to expand and clarify proposed regulations by exempting multiemployer plans and governmental risk pools. The speakers expressed concerns that the fee would be imposed inappropriately on self-insured arrangements that are not providing health insurance…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA Issues Model Notices Of Coverage Options In Spanish

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued Spanish language versions of model notices to employees of health coverage options. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers to provide employees with a notice of their health insurance coverage options available through the future health insurance exchanges by Oct. 1, 2013. Last month, the EBSA issued guidance on this obligation and model notices in English…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Plan’s Benefits Committee Abused Its Discretion By Denying Claim For Retroactive Pension Benefits

A district court properly reviewed evidence extrinsic to the administrative record to conclude a pension plan’s benefits committee abused its discretion when it denied a participant’s claim for retroactive benefits, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has held in
Helton v. AT&T, Inc. The Fourth Circuit upheld an award of $121,000 in retroactive pension benefits that the participant should have begun receiving years earlier, after the plan was amended to permit receipt of full benefits by participants at least 55 years of age…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 26, 2013

Text: DOL, Proposed Rule, Amendment To Class Prohibited Transaction Exemptions To Remove Credit Ratings Pursuant To The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act

(Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA Proposes To Amend PT Class Exemptions To Remove References To “Credit Ratings”

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued proposed amendments to various Prohibited Transaction Class Exemptions that would remove any references to or requirements of reliance on “credit ratings.” The proposed amendment reflects provisions enacted under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The proposed regulation was published in the June 21
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

GAO Finds Federal Health Exchange Implementation Is Behind Schedule

Computer systems to help Americans gain coverage on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) health insurance exchanges may not be ready on time, and training for the people who will assist consumers also is behind schedule, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The ACA created health insurance exchanges, which are online marketplaces designed to provide individuals and small businesses with a portal to purchase health insurance coverage. Enrollment through exchanges is supposed to begin on October 1…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS EP Developing 401(k) Plan Self Audit Tool

IRS Employee Plans (EP) will soon release a 401(k) Plan Questionnaire Self Audit Tool (QSAT), according to Monika Templeman, director of EP Examinations. Templeman spoke on June 13, 2013, at the Great Lakes Benefit Conference, sponsored by the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 25, 2013

Health Care Access Can Be A Problem For Employees, Regardless Of Plan Type: EBRI

Whether a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP), or traditional managed care health plan, a significant number of individuals with health insurance report problems with access to health care services, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The EBRI analysis is based on results from the
2012 EBRI/MGA Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, along with results from past years, to examine plan-participant reporting of health care access issues for themselves and their family members. The EBRI survey has found varying results over the years, but in 2012 found statistically significant differences in health access between those with traditional coverage and CDHP enrollees…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA Comments On FASB Proposal To Defer Certain Disclosures For Nonpublic Employee Benefit Plans

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has posted a comment letter on its website in response to a proposal made by the Financial Standards Accounting Board (FASB) in April 2013 to defer indefinitely the effective date for certain disclosures about investments held by a nonpublic employee benefit plan in the plan sponsor’s own equity securities. The final update is expected to be issued in June 2013…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 24, 2013

CMS Issues Guidance On State Alternative Applications For Health Coverage

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has issued guidance on alternative applications that state-based marketplaces, as well as certain Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies, may use in place of the model single, streamlined application for coverage that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued on April 30, 2013. The CCIIO has advised that state-based marketplaces, as well as the Medicaid and CHIP agencies within those states, may choose to use either the model application or develop their own alternative single, streamlined application that will have to be approved by the CMS. States using a federally-facilitated marketplace, however, may only use the model CMS application, available at http://www.cms.gov. Medicaid and CHIP agencies within states using a federal-facilitated marketplace may use alternative applications, but they must be able to accept and process the paper version of the model application if a coverage applicant submits it…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Health Care Cost Growth Will Decrease To 6.5 Percent In 2014: PwC

Health care cost growth will decrease to 6.5 percent in 2014, according to recent research from PricewaterhouseCooper’s (PwC) Health Research Institute (HRI). The report,
Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers, noted that the ongoing slowdown in the health care growth rate defies historical post-recession patterns and is likely to be sustained even as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) adds millions more newly-insured Americans to the health system next year. Taking into account likely adjustments to benefit design such as higher deductibles, HRI is projecting a net growth rate of 4.5 percent…

(Read Intelliconnect) »