December 2010 - The health care reform law prohibits fully‐insured group health plans from discriminating in favor of highly compensated individuals. If a fully‐insured plan loses grandfather status, it will have to comply with “rules similar” to the non‐discrimination rules found in Section 105(h) of the Internal Revenue Code applicable to self‐funded plans. Under the law, this requirement took effect on the first day of the first plan year on or after September 23, 2010.
December 2010 - The Internal Revenue Service has released final guidance for small employers eligible to claim the new small business health care tax credit for the 2010 tax year.
November 2010 - To determine how to treat the value of health coverage for the dependents of employees—and whether to include the value of that coverage in the employee’s gross income—employers and taxpayers need to consider whether the dependent qualifies as a dependent under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code. This is true under both federal and California law. Except for the treatment of certain domestic partner relationships, California and federal law generally follow the same rules on the tax treatment of dependent coverage.
September 2010 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) changed the requirements related to reimbursements for over‐the‐counter (OTC) drugs. These changes affect health FSAs, HRAs, HSAs and Archer MSAs, which will need a prescription to reimburse the costs of OTC drugs purchased after December 31, 2010.
September 2010 - Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, employers will soon have to make changes to their health plans that will most likely have financial implications. This article analyzes the financial implications of some of the provisions and offers employers some recommendations to consider as they adapt to the changes ushered in by the new law.
August 2010 - Under the recently enacted health care reform law, many small businesses and tax‐exempt organizations that provide health insurance coverage to their employees now qualify for a special tax credit.
August 2010 - In addition to the health care reform provisions affecting all employers, there are some additional provisions that specifically affect small employers. The definition of “small employer” differs for each of these provisions. Please see below for the respective provisions and whether or not they affect you based on your company size.
August 2010 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires new health plans to cover preventive health services without imposing cost‐sharing requirements for the services. On July 14, 2010, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor and Treasury issued interim final rules relating to coverage of preventive services. This requirement is generally effective for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 and does not apply to grandfathered health plans.
August 2010 - Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a non-grandfathered group health plan must adopt an improved internal claims and appeals process and follow minimum requirements for external review. On July 23, 2010, interim final regulations were issued implementing these requirements (the Interim Final Rule). The appeals process rules are effective for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010. Comments on the Interim Final Rule are being accepted until September 21, 2010.
July 2010 - The health care reform law passed earlier this year brings many changes to employers and health plans. The extent of the impact will depend, in part, on whether you maintained a health care plan on March 23, 2010, the date the primary legislation was enacted. If your company sponsored a plan on that date, it is considered a “grandfathered” plan. Grandfathered plans are exempt from certain health care reform requirements, such as no cost‐sharing for preventive care and other patient protections.
July 2010 - On July 6, 2010, Ed Bray, Burnham Benefits’ Director of Compliance, had the opportunity to be interviewed regarding health care reform’s impact on employers on the Critical Mass for Business Radio Show on OC Talk Radio.net.
April 2010 - With the passing of this legislation comes many questions and uncertainties regarding the components and the implementation timeline. Burnham Benefits is committed to ensuring that you are kept up‐to‐date with reform developments and aware of any potential impact that this legislation may bring. This Health Care Reform Legislative Update Part II provides a timeline of the mandates that affect employers and group health plans with key reform provisions as we know them today.
March 2010 - As always Burnham Benefits strives to keep our clients informed of pertinent legislative updates. However, as health care reform is one of the largest legislative changes to hit our country, we anticipate there will be updates on a daily basis. We commit to keeping you informed without inundating you with information.