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.
Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail?
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,
Contact us by sending an e-mail to
Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews™
Featured This Week
- Analysis: ERISA Sec. 412 Requires Bonding Of Individuals, 3/14 (605.3.-1)
- Analysis: Shared Responsibility Provisions Of Health Reform, 3/14 (550.-1)
- Analysis: Chronology Of Sec. 125 Guidance, 3/14 (350.-7)
- Analysis: Domestic Partner Benefits, 3/14 (327.4.-1)
March 21, 2014
Text: CMS, Proposed Rule, Exchange And Insurance Market Standards For 2015 And Beyond
Certain Third-Party Premium And Cost-Sharing Payments Must Be Accepted By QHPs
Premium and cost-sharing payments made to qualified health plans (QHPs), including stand-alone dental plans (SADP), on behalf of certain enrollees by certain entities must be accepted according to a new interim final rule released by CMS. Specifically, the rule dictated that QHP and SADP issuers accept such payments made by: (1) the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program; (2) other federal and state government programs providing support for specific individuals; and (3) Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations. The rule also provided for civil monetary penalties (CMPs) for those issuers that fail to accept the payments from these third parties. Finally, the release explained that due to the necessity to provide benefits for the individuals covered by these third-party payments, CMS will waive the typical notice-and-comment rulemaking period and intends to release an immediate effective date with the issuance of the final rule. The rule was published in the March 21 Federal Register…
CCIIO Issues Final 2015 Letter To Issuers In The Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has issued a Final 2015 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces. The final letter provides technical and operational guidance to issuers attempting to offer qualified health plans (QHPs) in a federally-facilitated marketplace (FFM) or federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (FF-SHOP)…
ERRP Contact Center Closing Soon, CMS Announces
As part of the plan to end the temporary Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will discontinue telephone and email support through the ERRP Center (also known as the ERRP Contact Center) after March 28, 2014. Effective March 29, 2014, plan sponsors will be unable to call or email the ERRP Center as the telephone lines and the email@example.com email address for the ERRP Center will be disabled…
March 20, 2014
Text: CMS, Interim Final Rule, Third Party Payment Of Qualified Health Plan Premiums
CMS Proposes New Requirements For Marketplace QHPs For 2015
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an interim final rule that would amend several regulations that implement key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that govern the requirements for qualified health plans (QHPs). The interim final rule addresses many disparate issues that were not considered in prior rulemaking and updates some provisions based on recent experience. Among the issues included are: exemption of self-insured nonfederal government plans from certain ACA requirements, including the ban on preexisting condition exclusions; the calculation of maximum out-of-pocket costs; premium stabilization and risk adjustment; and the functions and operations of state and federal health insurance exchanges/marketplace; and quality reporting. The interim final rule was published in the March 19 Federal Register…
CMS Requires Provision Of Nondiscriminatory Coverage For Legally Married Same-Sex Spouses
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a release clarifying that the availability of coverage requirement of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) requires issuers of health insurance coverage to provide the same coverage to legally married same-sex spouses under the same terms and conditions offered to opposite-sex spouses. In recently released questions and answers, CMS cited PHSA’s implementing regulations, which set forth a prohibition on discriminatory marketing practices and benefit designs…
Mercer Finds No Significant Increase In Employee Health Care Enrollment For 2014
Despite the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) looming employer shared responsibility (employer mandate) penalties for 2015 and 2016, there has not been a substantial increase in the number of employees enrolling in their employers’ health coverage for 2014, according to recent research from consultant Mercer. The study, Health Reform 2014 Are We There Yet?, only revealed a minimal increase in employer health plan enrollment from 2013 to 2014. Of employees eligible for health coverage, 84.9 percent were enrolled in 2013, and 85.2 percent were enrolled in 2014. Only 85.3 percent were projected to be enrolled in 2015…
March 19, 2014
Federal Interest Rates Announced For Pensions
The following interest rates have been announced for use in the operation and administration of qualified pension plans…
PBGC Issues April 2014 Interest Rates For Valuing Terminating Pension Plans
For single-employer pension plans terminating April through June 2014, and for multiemployer plans involved in a mass withdrawal, the interest rate established by the PBGC for calculating immediate annuities is 3.47 percent, up from the 3.35 percent rate that applied in January through March 2014…
PBGC Issues Final Regs Simplifying Premium Payment Rules
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued final regulations designed to make its premium payment rules more effective and less burdensome. “We want to help employers keep their pensions, and that means giving them more flexibility and less regulatory hassle,” said PBGC Director Josh Gotbaum. The final regulations were published in the March 11 Federal Register…
Spending On Children’s Health Care Increased Every Year Between 2009-2012 In Employer-Sponsored Plans
Spending on health care for children covered by employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) increased between 2009 and 2012, rising an average 5.5 percent a year, with more dollars spent on boys than girls, and higher spending on infants and toddlers (ages 0-3) than any other children’s age group, according to a recent report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). The report, Children’s Health Spending: 2009-2012, found that per capita spending on children reached $2,437 in 2012, a $363 increase from 2009…
March 18, 2014
Proposed Rules Would Require Service Providers To Furnish Guide To Required Service And Fee Disclosures
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has proposed an amendment to the fee disclosure rules issued in February 2012 that would require service providers to furnish plan fiduciaries with a “guide” to required initial disclosures that are contained in multiple or lengthy documents. The guide, which would be provided in a separate document, is intended to enable fiduciaries, especially those responsible for small and medium sized plans, to easily locate and access “all principle data elements required as initial disclosures” in a cost-effective manner. The rule was published in the March 12 Federal Register…
House Passes Triad Of Bills For ACA Exemptions
House lawmakers on March 11 approved a triad of bills related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new measures, if enacted, would exclude certain individuals for purposes of the employer mandate for insurance coverage and creates a broad religious exemption from the individual mandate…
Rep. Camp’s Tax Reform Proposal Would Curtail Tax Incentives For Retirement Plans
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) recently unveiled a comprehensive tax reform package. Camp’s proposed Tax Reform Bill of 2014 would make several changes to the tax code and would reduce current tax incentives for retirement plans in a number of ways. “This is a comprehensive plan that reflects input and ideas championed by Congress, the administration and, most importantly, the American people,” Camp said…
March 17, 2014
IRS Encourages Small Employers To Check Out Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
The Internal Revenue Service is encouraging small employers that provide health insurance coverage to their employees to check out its small business health care tax credit website, which provides information and resources designed to help small employers see if they qualify for the credit and then figure it correctly, including a 2013 tax credit estimator, examples of typical tax savings under various scenarios and answers to frequently-asked questions…
Establish A Monitoring Process to Ensure Compliance, Finance Association Recommends To Government Employers
State and local government employers that sponsor group health plans should implement a process for reviewing federal health care benefit requirements at least quarterly to ensure that they are aware of any newly issued or soon-to-be issued health care reform regulations, according to a recent Best Practice from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), the professional association of state/provincial and local finance officers in the United States and Canada…
Court Upholds PBGC’s Benefit Determinations For Pilots In U.S. Airways’ Pension Plan
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) properly calculated benefits owed to U.S. Airways pilots who participated in a pension plan terminated pursuant to ERISA’s distress termination procedures, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia (CA-DC) has ruled in Davis v. PBGC…
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is the leading provider of information covering Human Resources, Employment and Labor Benefits, Pensions, Payroll, Safety, and Unemployment Insurance. For more information about our products and services, go to
http://hr.cch.com/ or call 800-449-9525. For information about our retirement and benefits products, visit http://www.wolterskluwerlb.com/rbs.
This newsletter is copyrighted and may be redistributed only for non-commercial purposes and only in its entirety, specifically including the headers, this paragraph and the copyright line. No other redistribution or re-purposing, including but not limited to use on a web site, intranet or extranet, is permitted without prior written permission.
To unsubscribe via postal mail, please contact us at: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, Attn: Business Compliance Marketing, 2700 Lake Cook Rd., Riverwoods, IL 60015. Please include the email address you have been contacted with.