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Health Care Reform

  • Keep Your Opt-Out Option From Making Your Medical Plan Fail the ACA Affordability Test (10/14/2016)

    On July 8, the Internal Revenue Service released proposed regulations implementing some of the rules previously announced in IRS Notice 2015-87.  The proposed regulations will apply for taxable years beginning after December 31.

    Among other topics, Notice 2015-87 introduced a rule that employers offering opt-out payments (also known as "cash-in-lieu") must add the cash amounts to each employee's premium contribution when calculating coverage affordability for the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate.

    Notice 2015-87 distinguished between "unconditional" and "conditional" opt-out arrangements.

  • Final Regulations for Wellness Programs Under ADA and GINA (7/20/2016)

    On May 16, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") issued final regulations that describe how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to wellness programs offered by employers that request health information from employees and their spouses. The two regulations provide guidance to both employers and employees about how workplace wellness programs can comply with the ADA and GINA consistent with provisions governing wellness programs in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as amended by the Affordable Care Act ("ACA")....

  • Changes in Affordability Safe Harbor Percentages (1/11/2016)

    IRS Notice 2015-87 provided further guidance concerning the interaction between the Affordable Care Act and employer-provided health coverage. 

  • IRS Releases Notice 2016-4 Extending Important Due Dates (12/29/2015)

    Notice 2016-4  extends the due dates for the 2015 information reporting requirements both furnishing to individuals and filing with the Internal Revenue Service) for insurers, self-insuring employers, and certain other providers of minimum essential coverage under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code, and the information reporting requirements for applicable large employers under section 6056 of the Code.

  • Obama Signs Budget Deal That Suspends/Delays Key ACA Taxes (12/21/2015)

    Congress passed and President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill on Friday that includes $622 billion in tax breaks and delays or suspends several ACA taxes. Given labor unions’ opposition to the Cadillac tax, the bill is seen as a victory for Democrats as much as for Republicans. 

  • IRS Releases Notice 2015-87 Addresses Several ACA Issues (12/21/2015)

    On December 16, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2015-87. The IRS addressed various issues that have arisen under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with respect to employer-sponsored coverage, focusing particularly on account-based employee benefits such as section 125 cafeteria plans and health reimbursement arrangements, reporting and defining hour of service. In addition, IRS provided guidance regarding COBRA coverage and Heath FSA carryovers.  The following is a summary of the important provisions.

  • ACA Employer Reporting - Frequently Asked Questions (12/15/2015)

    January 2016 rings in the newest employer mandate dictated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - Employer Reporting.  We have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document to assist our clients maneuver through this latest compliance maze.  Click on the title above to read the FAQ.

  • BCBSM/BCN Will Not Extend Legacy Plans (4/25/2014)

    Blues will continue to transition small group customers into ACA-compliant health plans; will not extend legacy plans

  • Important MLR Report Deadline Nears (4/17/2014)

    Blues need information from customers to comply with reform law

  • Small Group Max Deductible Limitations Repealed (4/04/2014)

    Recall that on March 5, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized the maximum deductible limitations for 2015.

  • 2014 Drug Changes for Individuals and Small Groups (4/04/2014)

    The Affordable Care Act mandated changes to pharmacy programs. Some preventive medications are now available at no cost to members, while other drugs are no longer covered

  • Treasury Announces Lastest ACA Delay in Final Guidance (2/11/2014)

    Treasury and IRS Issue Final Regulations Implementing Employer Shared Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act for 2015

  • Healthcare.gov Will Be Down FEB 15th to FEB 18th (2/11/2014)

    Release from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

  • MI is the 24th State to Ban Abortions in the FFM (2/10/2014)

    Michigan became the 24th state to ban most abortions in its exchange plans when the state legislature passed a bill Wednesday afternoon by sizable margins.

  • Time to Begin Counting Hours for Variable Hour Employees (1/16/2014)

    With the delay of the Employer Mandate in PPACA until January 1, 2015, many employers set aside their plans to track the hours of their variable hour employees.  It is time to pull that back to the top of the pile as we enter 2014.

  • Proposal to help consumers facing product discontinuation (11/13/2013)

    On November 14, President Barack Obama announced administrative guidance in an effort to allow insurers to renew existing individual market and small group market plans even if they do not include the full menu of required health care reform benefits.

  • IRS Releases Change to FSA "Use It or Lose It" Rule (11/04/2013)

    Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are becoming more flexible.

  • Health Insurance Premiums Rise Faster Than Wages (8/21/2013)

    Employees are contributing nearly 6% more for health insurance for their families in 2013, more than three times the increase in workers' wages.

  • IRS Issues Final Guidance on PCORI Fees (7/18/2013)

    Fees, due by July 31, will be charged to health care insurers, and to sponsors of self-insured health plans, to fund the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

  • ACA Employer Mandate Delayed Until 2015 (7/03/2013)

    The US Dept of the Treasury announced late TUE 07/02 that large businesses (those with 50+ employees) will not be penalized in 2014 for not offering affordable health insurance to its employees

  • ACA - What Must A Small Employer Do? - Part IV (6/18/2013)

    Digging Deeper Into Pay-or-Play Penalties

  • ACA - What Must Small Employers Do? - Part III (5/02/2013)

    How Do You Count To 50?

  • ACA - What Must A Small Employer Do? Part II (5/02/2013)

    This is a continuation of our effort to help small employers understand what they need to know about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

  • New PPACA Updates Since November 2013 (2/06/2013)

    Over the past several weeks, federal agencies in charge of implementing health care reform have issued guidance on several different aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”).

  • ACA - What Must A Small Employer Do? - Part I (2/06/2013)

    Issues Affecting Employers of All Sizes

  • New DOL FAQ - Delay with Exchange Notice to Employees (1/28/2013)

    DOL Issues Update on ACA FAQ

  • Employee Counts Required to Comply With Reform Law (1/18/2013)

    Blues need employee counts from customers to comply with reform law

  • First Six State Exchanges Approved by HHS (12/10/2012)

    Progress Continues in Setting up Health Insurance Marketplaces

  • Federal-State Health Exchange Reduces Flexibility (12/04/2012)

    A federal-state partnership health insurance exchange for Michigan is expected to be in place in October 2013, but the state's health plans, employers and individuals will find less flexibility than if the state had approved its own exchange, several experts told Crain's.

  • Michigan Will Not Have a State-Run Health Exchange (12/04/2012)

    Michigan will not have its own state-based health exchange after House Republicans shot down one last attempt to create one Thursday, paving the way for the federal government to come in and control it, with much less state oversight and involvement.

  • Insurers Will Be Charged to Use New Exchanges (12/04/2012)

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that it would charge insurance companies for the privilege of selling health insurance to millions of Americans in new online markets run by the federal government.

  • 2013: New Mandated FSA Limits (12/04/2012)

    Implementation of New Health Flexible Spending Account Limits

  • ACA - Expands Access to Preventive Services for Women (10/01/2012)

    The Affordable Care Act, the health insurance reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, helps make prevention affordable and accessible for all Americans by requiring health plans to cover recommended preventive services without cost sharing.

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Latin: health, safety and well being; a wish for a personís welfare