Update on the Status of the ACA

Update on the Status of the ACA With the impending inauguration, recent actions by the Senate and some confusing media reports, we wanted to provide a short Q&A to help you understand current events and what to expect as we head down the health care reform road in 2017… What’s the latest news? Download the bulletin for an update: Download Update on the Status of the ACA   As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.

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2016 Compliance Year In Review Digest

2016 Compliance Year In Review Digest A complete digest of all our compliance bulletins for the entire year of 2016 from our business partners at Emerson Reid. A handy guide to all of the year’s updates and changes all in one place. Download your copy now and keep it for future reference.   Click to Download Compliance Digest 2016 Year in Review     As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions Account Manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns.

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Relief for Small Employers with HRAs

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the “21st Century Cures Act” which allows small employers without group medical plans to reimburse individual premiums and other medical expenses of employees under health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”), effective with the 2017 plan year, and provides relief from penalties to all small employers reimbursing individual premiums of employees for earlier plan years. In addition, the Cures Act provides a medical innovation package that funds medical research, accelerates cutting-edge treatments for rare diseases, and makes significant reforms to the mental health system. The Issue An employer cannot offer employees cash to reimburse the purchase of an individual policy, without regard to whether… Read More

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Health Reform: 4th Quarter 2016 Compliance Compilation

Download a digest of our fourth quarter compliance bulletins. This digest includes the following bulletins:  Transitional Reinsurance Fee Form Now Available 10/14/2016 Final 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C Available 10/25/2016 November 2017 Cost of Living Adjustments 11/01/2016 Relief Extended for Premium Reimbursement Programs for Student Employees 11/02/2016 Updates Regarding the NJ Small Employer Health Benefits Program 11/07/2016 Election Results and the ACA: Preliminary Thoughts 11/10/2016 16 Extension of Deadline for 2016 Forms 1095-C 11/21/2016 Adjusted PCOR Fee for Fifth Filing Year Released 11/22/2016 December Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as HIPAA Privacy Audit Letter 12/13/2016   Click here to download the 4th quarter compliance compilation

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New Law Exempts Certain Small Employer HRAs From ACA Market Reforms

New Law Exempts Certain Small Employer HRAs From ACA Market Reforms Gaddiel Gonzalez-Brown & Brown Consulting President Obama has signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which, among other things, allows small employers to offer new “qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements” to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses, including individual health insurance premiums, for years after December 31, 2016. Small employers are defined as those with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees who do not offer a group health plan.   Background Under prior agency guidance, stand-alone HRAs (except for retiree-only HRAs and HRAs consisting solely of excepted benefits) and HRAs used to purchase coverage on the individual… Read More

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IRS has provided a limited extension of time for employers to provide Forms 1095-C

  The IRS has provided a limited extension of time for employers to provide Forms 1095-C (and carriers to provide Forms 1095-B) to individuals (but NOT to the IRS). Rather than January 31, 2017, the new deadline will be March 2, 2017.  Download Extension of Deadline for 2016 Forms 1095-C

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Health Reform: Cost of Living Adjustments, Individual Penalty, HSA limits & more for 2017

    On October 25 and 27, 2016, the IRS released cost of living adjustments for 2017 under various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). Some of these adjustments may affect your employee benefit plans. These adjustments include but are not limited to the following: Cafeteria Plans Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits Requirement To Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage (Individual Penalty) Highly Compensated Non-Grandfathered Plan Cost-Sharing Limits H.S.A. Annual contribution limitation, catch up contribution and minimum deductibles Key Employee   Click here to download the bulletin   As always if you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your dedicated Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. account manager at (215)355-2121.

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Health Reform: IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing Form 1095-B/C.

IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing Form 1095-B/C. As applicable large employers and employers with self-funded health plans are working on their Affordable Care Act compliance preparations, the IRS announced an extension of a key ACA deadline. Notice 2016-70 extends the due date for furnishing Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017.  The Notice also extends transition relief from penalties if an employer makes a “good faith effort” to comply with reporting requirements. This relief is welcome news for employers who are still working on their compliance approach. A copy of the notice can be downloaded here.

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Election Results and the ACA

With the outcome of the 2016 elections now official, the Republicans will hold the majority in both chambers of Congress and control of the White House beginning in 2017. Since President-elect Trump ran on a platform of “Replace and Repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we anticipate that acting on this campaign promise will be one of the top priorities of the new Trump administration. We anticipate there will be significant disruption for individuals, employers, brokers and carriers across the country. Click here to read the latest bulletin

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HHS Penalties Increase

  On September 6, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued an interim final regulation that adjusts civil penalties for inflation. The interim final regulation does not follow the usual procedures that offer a notice and comment period. As such, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has not been issued and a comment period is not provided due to potential delay in the applicability of the regulation. Click to download this bulletin For more information please contact your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121

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HR 360:Most Common Summary Plan Description (SPD) Mistakes

One of the most important documents participants must receive automatically when becoming covered under a health benefit plan that is subject to ERISA (the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act) is a summary of the plan, called the Summary Plan Description or SPD. The fact is, many employers are confused about this very important ERISA-required disclosure, which can put them at risk. Click this link to download the publication

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Healtcare Reform Law

ACA: Important Implementations & Delays in 2016

As our third year of the ACA Open Enrollment Period arrived, it’s time to examine some of the new implementations in 2016. Some of the major components, especially those affecting businesses were delayed or deferred since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. This year is considered to be a big year due to the “full implementation” of the employer mandate as well as a number of changes, repeals, and moratoriums on other sections of ACA. Some of the key changes are listed below: CHANGES AND IMPLEMENTATIONS Full implementation of the Employer Mandate Currently it is not mandated that employers provide health care to their employees. Moving forward, however, if… Read More

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FAQ Suggests Employers Include Marketplace Options with COBRA Notices

On June 21, 2016, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued the 32nd Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) FAQ describing information that may be appropriate to include with COBRA notices. Many wondered if it were appropriate to provide information and if so, what kind of information could be provided about the Health Insurance Marketplaces/Exchanges (“Marketplaces”) so that COBRA-eligible individuals could consider health coverage alternatives available through the Marketplaces and possibly investigate whether they may be eligible for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. Click the link to download the entire bulletin

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Think HR Comply: Small Business Support from Total Benefit Solutions

We are pleased to introduce to you a our sponsored client service—ThinkHR. If you are involved with employee issues, this will be a value-added benefit that will save you time and money. ThinkHR offers ThinkHR Live, a team of HR experts standing by to answer your questions or provide advice. This phone-based support service is available from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central each business day. You also have access to ThinkHR Comply, an award-winning online resource center for all of your workforce issues. Download this brochure, it describes the scope of HR topics that are handled by the ThinkHR Live team. The service is provided to all Total Benefit… Read More

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Critically Important: Insurance for Serious Illness

Good news: You’ve got health insurance (at least, all Americans are required to or pay a penalty). Bad news: It doesn’t cover everything. Especially if something really bad happens, like a heart attack or stroke. Yes, a decent major medical plan will cover many of the health-related expenses related to a serious illness. But you’d likely still be left with significant out-of-pocket costs for deductibles and copayments. Medical insurance also doesn’t usually cover other related costs, such as travel to treatment centers, child care during absences or recovery, home modifications or rehabilitation charges. And if you lose income while you’re unable to work, you could have a tough time paying… Read More

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Limited Benefit Medical Plans

Why Consider a Limited Benefit Medical Plan? When it comes to medical benefits, employers used to face two choices — comprehensive employer-paid medical plans or no insurance at all. However, with the inception of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the option not to offer medical insurance no longer exists for some employers. Limited benefit medical plans can be powerful tools for recruiting and retaining employees in situations where traditional medical benefits are not offered or affordable. These plans can also be useful in increasing productivity through reduced absenteeism due to illness, improving employee morale and as a means to provide the level of coverage required by law.… Read More

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Reminder: PCORI Fees Due August 1

The annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (PCORI) fee is due to the IRS August 1, 2016. The fee, charged to certain health insurance policies, is used to support the activities of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization (NGO) established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Fully- and self-insured group health plans ( Including HRA’s) are subject to PCORI fees.  A health insurer will pay the fee on behalf of the employer if the plan is fully insured. Click here to read the bulletin from Primepay As always please contact your Total Benefit Solutions dedicated account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any further questions or concerns.

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Now Available from Total Benefit Solutions: Low Cost ERISA Wrap SPD Documents

Wrap Summary Plan Description (SPD) If you offer group health insurance you’re now required by ERISA law, enforced by the Department of Labor and now the Affordable Care Act, to distribute a Wrap SPD within 120 days of the Plan’s effective date. The ERISA and ACA required Group Health Insurance Wrap SPD document is now available for a $99 one-time fee. You only update your Wrap SPD document as your benefit options change. The low cost Wrap SPD document is limited to fully insured group health insurance plans only.     Here are the Wrap SPD document requirements by ERISA and the Affordable Care Act as succinctly as possible: If… Read More

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Mental Health Parity Triggers

  The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (“MHPAEA”) requires a group health plan that offers mental health and substance use disorder benefits to be at parity with medical and surgical benefits. As such, financial requirements and treatment limitations for mental health and/or substance use disorder benefits cannot be more restrictive than the medical and/or surgical benefits offered. Click the link below to read the entire bulletin.   Click to read Mental Health Parity Non-Compliance Triggers

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Now Available: Health Advocate Member Advocacy

Total Benefit Solutions clients can now take advantage of enrolling on Health Advocate as a group or as an individual/ family! It’s part of our Benefit Aid packages and it’s so easy you can enroll today by clicking here or ask your Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121 for more information. This video will tell you all about the benefits of Health Advocate!  

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IBC Breaking News: Changes to SEP On-Exchange Verification Process

Changes to SEP On-Exchange Verification Process Starting June 17th, 2016 individuals enrolling in coverage through a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) on the Marketplace will need to provide specific documents to verify eligibility for certain SEPs, including: Loss of minimum essential coverage Change in primary place of living Birth Marriage Adoption, placement for adoption, placement for foster care, or child support or other court order Individuals who apply for these SEPs will be sent an Eligibility Notice for 2016 Coverage by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. To confirm eligibility and avoid a disruption of coverage, individuals must provide the required documents for each SEP by the deadline indicated within… Read More

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Nondiscrimination regs cover TPAs, dental and more

  Nondiscrimination regs cover TPAs, dental and more The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has completed nondiscrimination regulations that might have a major effect on insurers that sell public exchange plans but might not have much of an effect on others. The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the HHS Office of the Secretary posted a 362-page preview version of the final regulations today. The official version of the final rule, which is based on a draft released in September, is set to appear Wednesday in the Federal Register. Read the story at Life & Health Pro

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2017 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

The IRS released the inflation adjustments for health savings accounts (HSAs) and their accompanying high deductible health plans (HDHPs) effective for calendar year 2017.  Most limits remained the same as 2016 amounts. Click the link below to download the bulletin. 2017 Inflation Adjusted Amounts for HSAs

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Health Care Reform: 8 things the IRS wants small employers to know about the health care tax credit

  The Affordable Care Act’s small business health care tax credit is designed to encourage small employers to offer health insurance coverage to their employees. Click the link below to download the whitepaper 8 things the IRS wants small employers to know about this credit: 8 Things to Know About the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit For more information about the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc account manager at (215)355-2121 or visit your ThinkHR library at www.thinkhr.com and log in.     Watch a video below about the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit

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Obama administration backs off on ACA rules for 2017 health plans

CMS released a sweeping final rule (PDF) Monday afternoon that solidifies the Affordable Care Act’s coverage policies for 2017. The agency proposed tight network adequacy provisions and standardized health plan options in November, which fueled antipathy from the health insurance industry.   Click here for the full story from Modern Healthcare   As always, please contact your Total Benefit Solutions, Inc account manager at (215)355-2121 if you have any questions or concerns about the Affordable Care Act.

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