The Internal Revenue Service has released guidance relating to the health insurance provider fee imposed by Sec. 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The guidance, issued in the form of final regulations, a revenue ruling, and a notice, addresses tax and reporting issues for covered entities subject to the fee. The regulations were effective on Nov. 29, 2013…(Read Intelliconnect) »
Benefits costs for civilian workers increased 0.7 percent for the three-month period ending September 2013, according to the most recent Employment Cost Index from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the third quarter 2013, benefits costs rose at a higher rate than salaries, which increased 0.3 percent…(Read Intelliconnect) »
Employees enrolled in health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) cannot make the choice between waiving the carryover of up to $500 in unused FSA funds or electing the grace period for unspent funds, according to Kevin P. Knopf, a senior technician reviewer in the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel, TEGE, Health and Welfare branch. Knopf works on guidance implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)…(Read Intelliconnect) »
Adults in the United States are far more likely than those in ten other high-income industrialized nations to go without health care because of costs, have difficulty paying medical bills, and encounter time-consuming health insurance paperwork or disputes, including claims that were unexpectedly not paid, according to a new 11-country survey from the Commonwealth Fund. The survey also found that a large majority of U.S. adults want fundamental change in health care system…(Read Intelliconnect) »
The Supreme Court has announced that it will hear two major cases involving disputes over insurance coverage for contraceptives mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The two cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius are both suits requesting an exemption from the ACA mandate to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees on the basis of religious objection by the owners. However, the Supreme Court has declined to review the Liberty University case, which constitutionally challenges the ACA’s mandate that employers provide affordable health insurance for their workers or face a penalty…(Read Intelliconnect) »
Small businesses in states with a federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (FF-SHOP) will only be able to enroll in coverage through an agent, broker, or insurer that offers a certified SHOP plan, according to recently released frequently-asked-questions from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS is calling this process “direct enrollment,” and notes that it is similar to how most small employers currently purchase and provide health insurance coverage to employees…(Read Intelliconnect) »
Employees who save for retirement through their employers’ 401(k) plans are not planning to sock away more for retirement over the next year as compared to last, according to recent research from consultant Mercer. In fact, the Mercer Workplace Survey found that those closest to retirement are actually decreasing their planned savings for the future. While participants in general are more optimistic about the economy, they are planning to save slightly less over the next 12 months, and those over the age of 50 have lowered their expected savings amounts by about 18 percent…(Read Intelliconnect) »
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued proposed regulations that include a number of approaches to mitigate the effects of a recently-announced transitional policy for certain individual and small group health plans that may have been canceled because they did not comply with requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed regulations contain an assortment of other provisions, including proposals on FF-SHOPs and dental plans. The proposed regulations were published in the December 2 Federal Register…(Read Intelliconnect) »
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance containing notices health insurance issuers must use to inform policyholders of their option to keep their existing coverage in 2014, in order for their plans to meet the criteria of a transitional policy for certain non-grandfathered health plans in the small group and individual health insurance markets that was announced recently by President Barack Obama and detailed in a letter by the CMS sent on Nov. 14, 2013 to state insurance commissioners. Under the transitional policy, health insurers may continue otherwise-terminated or cancelled coverage, and small businesses and affected individuals may choose to re-enroll for the policy year starting between Jan. 1, 2014, and Oct. 1, 2014, subject to certain conditions…(Read Intelliconnect) »
While 82 percent of American workers said that they are concerned about paying for expenses no longer covered by their health plans, they are more likely to invest an extra $200 in a new electronic device or dinner out than would put it toward an insurance policy, according to recent research from Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company. In addition, more workers said that they would spend several days or more researching the purchase of a new car (77 percent) or vacation destination (70 percent) than researching a life or health insurance purchase (67 percent)…(Read Intelliconnect) »
The average total health benefit cost per employee rose just 2.1 percent in 2013, according to recent research from consultant Mercer. In 2013, costs averaged $10,779 per employee. However, the National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans found that employers are predicting a 5.2 percent increase in 2014, and Mercer noted that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) impact on enrollment is still unknown and could boost spending even higher in 2014…(Read Intelliconnect) »
A retiree did not provide sufficient evidence that his pension distributions qualified for exclusion from federal income tax or that he had paid income tax when his employer contributed to the pension trust fund, according to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Blue v. United States. Therefore, the retiree was not awarded a refund of the amount he paid for the assessed taxes…(Read Intelliconnect) »
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