IMAGE
Thursday, June 4, 2020

PCORI Fee Update

Although a number of Affordable Care Act (ACA) taxes/fees were repealed by the 2019 SECURE Act (see – https://smstevensandassociates.com/aca-taxes-repealed/) , the PCORI fee (also known as the Comparative Effectiveness Research Fee (CERF)) was not, and was in fact extended for an additional 10 years.  So in addition to plan years ending prior to October 1, 2019, the PCORI fee will now apply to plan years ending in 2020-2029.

IMAGE
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Employee Benefits Deadline Extensions

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Departments of Health/Human Services, Labor and Treasury (DHS, DOL & DOT), along with the IRS have issued (April 29, 2019)  guidance that extends many of the deadline dates associated with various employee benefits related time frames.  

IMAGE
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic Impact On Health Spending Accounts

In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, Congress, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM),  and the IRS have made key changes affecting the use of tax-free funds that reside in tax preferred spending accounts:

IMAGE
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Health Ins. Options During Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and changed the health insurance landscape for many people.  Here’s a review of the various options available to people, depending on their specific situation and eligibility:

IMAGE
Monday, March 30, 2020

CARES Act Impact on Health Insurance

On March 27, 2020,  the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) became law.  The CARES Act amends certain provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).  CARES also temporarily eliminates deductibles for certain services in HSA Qualified High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs), and temporarily expands the list of qualified expenses reimbursable through HSAs, HRAs, and FSAs.

IMAGE
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020 the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which takes effect April 2, 2020.  The FFCRA includes several provisions that impact employers with less than 500 employees, with allowable exemptions for affected employers with fewer than 50 employees.  This blog post addresses the three (3) main aspects of the FFCRA: 1. Mandated waiver of health insurance related cost sharing for COVID-19 testing; 2. New paid leave entitlements;  and 3. Employer tax credits.  

IMAGE
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Coronavirus Health Insurance Benefits

Leaders of the major health insurance companies in the U.S. agreed to expand insurance benefits related to Corornavirus/COVID-19, in a historical meeting held at the White House yesterday (March 10, 2020).  Present at the meeting were executives from: Aetna
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association (representing the 36 BCBS plans throughout the nation, including Anthem)
Cigna
Humana
UnitedHealth Group (aka United Healthcare)

IMAGE
Friday, January 24, 2020

Employer Fine Exposure Increasing

On Jan. 15, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its 2020
inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalties that may be assessed on
employers for violations of a wide range of federal laws, including:
 The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA);
 The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA);
 The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); and
 The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).

IMAGE
Friday, December 20, 2019

ACA Taxes Repealed

There is never a dull moment in congress, particularly as it relates to healthcare reform!  While we have been reading and hearing, for most of the year, about congressional efforts to eliminate so called “surprise medical bills”, and reduce escalating drug prices, what we ultimately got were ACA tax cuts.  In total, $373 billion worth of ACA related tax cuts are coming as a result of the House and Senate passed spending/funding bill.

IMAGE
Friday, December 13, 2019

HSA Updates for 2020

Here are the maximum limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and the required (qualified) High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) for 2020…