Feds confirm vaccine wellness programs are ok, and that employers may ask about vaccination status
Federal authorities, in two new announcements, have validated employers’ use of healthcare plan-related wellness programs to incent employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine and confirmed that the HIPAA privacy rules do not prevent employers from asking employees or...
Feds to require reporting of air ambulance claim data, tip their hand on impending broker compensation rules
The federal Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury issued a second round of proposed rules late last week which, when finalized, will solicit utilization and cost data from health insurance carriers, group health plans and air ambulance...
Smaller employers beware: IRS doesn’t want paper ACA filings next year (or paper W-2 and similar filings, for that matter)
Start lining up a payroll and/or ACA reporting vendor now The IRS has proposed two significant changes to electronic filing requirements for various information returns including not just the Forms 1094-C and 1095-C filings required of many employers by the Affordable...
HHS announces ACA maximum out-of-pocket limit for 2022; allows for marketplace enrollment when COBRA subsidy ends
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the inflation-adjusted maximum out-of-pocket (OOP) limits that will apply to non-grandfathered plans for plan years beginning in 2022. The OOP limit includes the plan’s deductible and cost sharing...
“For every cloud, a silver lining.” San Francisco postpones HCSO reporting deadline
Amidst the pall of the pandemic, we celebrate little rays of sunshine. Here’s one: San Francisco has postponed its Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) annual reporting obligation for the 2020 calendar year from the end of this month to at least Oct. 31, 2021....
“You just missed the exit” (Where’s the guidance on ending the outbreak period?)
You’re driving along, your partner’s in the passenger seat playing navigator. You drive smoothly past an exit only to have said partner exclaim, “Hey! Where are you going! You missed our exit!” Your reply: “Well you’re in charge of directions! Give me a little heads...
Feeling good about your ACA reporting compliance? A federal audit might foreshadow a more intolerant IRS
The IRS has alarmed many employers over the last few years by sending 226-J letters assessing potential penalties for alleged violations of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While in most cases the employers have been able to dodge those penalties by convincing the IRS that the employer had satisfied the mandate but had merely misreported that fact to the IRS, a Treasury Department audit reports wants the IRS to become less forgiving of those errors in the future.
Supreme Court says broad exemption from contraceptives mandate can survive … for now
The Supreme Court has handed the Trump administration a major, but perhaps temporary, victory in the long-simmering fight over whether employer-sponsored group health plans can be required by the Affordable Care Act to provide no-cost contraceptives to their female members.
Federal health care policy and the risks in relying on Congressional Budget Office estimates
As we move closer to the next election year, Congress is considering several bills that would affect employee benefits plans. It will be interesting to see how many candidates tout the CBO’s rosy cost and coverage projections for healthcare policy aspects of their platforms.
Large employers ask for suspension of ACA employer mandate penalty assessments
Recently, the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), an association advocating on behalf of large employers that sponsor benefits plans, sent a letter to the IRS. ERIC’s letter urges the IRS to stop assessing ACA employer-mandate penalties until it can adopt a more reasonable and equitable process.
Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp data breaches: What action should employers take?
Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp reported the breaches in recent SEC filings. The filings note that American Medical Collection Agency, a contractor used for billing and collections matters, reported the breach but did not yet know what data was accessed.
Judge who struck down ACA says the law remains in place pending appeal
The federal trial court judge who last month struck down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, and then proceeded to strike the entire ACA, ruled on Sunday that the law remains in effect pending appeal.
The torturous path of the ACA’s contraceptive mandate takes another sharp turn
For employers in five states, the Trump administration rules about the ACA contraceptive mandate that were set to take effect in 2019 and that allowed more employers to opt out, will be put on hold.
It’s back from the grave: New HIRD form to haunt Massachusetts employers
The once-dead health insurance responsibility disclosure (HIRD) form for Massachusetts employers has been resurrected in time for the flurry of end-of-year reporting requirements.
House to consider changes to ACA employer provisions
The House is scheduled to consider The Save American Workers Act, which would make significant changes to employer requirements under the Affordable Care Act.