My good friend Dave Cleary (the Video Benefits Guy), has produced a nice overview of the massive Health Care Reform Legislation. He reviews and highlights the landmark changes to benefits and the very substantial new taxes on individuals and employers that you need to know about NOW.
The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration COBRA page now has available updated Model Notices, Application for Expedited Review of Denial of COBRA Premium Reduction, Fact Sheet, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that reflect the provisions of the Continuing Extension Act of 2010.
On April 27, 2010, the IRS issued Notice 2010-38, relating to the tax exclusion for medical care reimbursement of adult children. These changes are a result of the two health care reform laws passed in March: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA).
The New York Times (4/13, A16, Sack) reports, “Gov. Deval L. Patrick won the first round Monday in a legal dispute with health insurers over the state’s recent rejection of rate increases requested by the companies. Ruling in a lawsuit brought by the companies, Judge Stephen E. Neel of Suffolk Superior Court in Boston said he would not block the state from denying the increases because the insurers had not exhausted their right to appeal administratively.”
As you may know, Health Care Reform has staggered effective dates for different changes. For example, the so-called “Cadillac Plan” excise tax is not effective until 2018. There are items that will be effective much sooner. One of those changes is the small employer health insurance tax credit which is available in 2010.
President Obama last night (April 15) signed the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 (HR 4581). This bill contains two basic provisions applicable to COBRA and the ARRA (the full text applicable to COBRA is copied below for your review).
Getting Ready for EFAST2 discusses the 2009 plan year requirement to file IRS Form 5500 electronically. Plan sponsors have three options for entering data on the Form 5500 (and Schedules) and filing it electronically.
Yesterday, April 15, 2010, President Obama signed H.R. 4851, known as the "Continuing Extension Act of 2010" into law. The Act included an extension of unemployment benefits as well as an extension and improvement of premium assistance for COBRA benefits. The extension of COBRA benefits is effective immediately and retroactive to April 1, 2010.
Congressional Quarterly: A 65 percent subsidy that helped laid-off Americans pay for their COBRA health insurance premiums expired March 31, just before the Congressional recess. Now, one of the first orders of business is voting on legislation that would extend that subsidy. “With 15 million Americans unemployed, some advocates for the jobless say Congress should not only be extending the COBRA subsidies but expanding them — either with more-generous subsidies or by changing the law to make more people eligible.”
Posted by: Keith L. Martin, IFAwebnews.com April 1, 2010
While members of the U.S. Senate enjoy a spring recess, hundreds of thousands of Americans are wondering what will become of their health coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
After a year of debate, Congress passed comprehensive health care reform legislation. On March 21, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the Senate-version legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) (the “Affordable Care Act”) and a separate budget reconciliation bill, The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) (the “Reconciliation Act”), which addresses the House Democrat’s desired modifications to the Affordable Care Act. The president signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010 and signed the reconciliation Act into law on March 30, 2010.
I am providing links to two summaries on healthcare reform. These summaries are some of the best I have seen and can be forwarded to your clients and employees. Each was prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation. I have found them very helpful.