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American Benefits Group (ABG) Navigating the Road to Consumer Directed Healthcare 2.0

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Category: CDHC, COBRA, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Reimbursement, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Savings, HSA, Transit and Parking Section 132,

American Benefits Group (ABG) Navigating the Road to Consumer Directed Healthcare 2.0

The rapid adoption of consumer-directed health plans and accounts is a megatrend. In 2021 over 80 percent of U.S. employers offer a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a pre-tax consumer spending account or an HSA. According to Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the average industry-wide Health Savings Account (HSA) balance is about $2,100, while an average couple will require more than $285,000 in savings at retirement age to cover their likely out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Moreover, only 30 percent of health savings account holders fall in the ‘saver’ category, carrying account balances from year to year. These statistics highlight the need for better education, tools, and resources to help consumers better manage the financial responsibility for their current and future healthcare costs.

Read full Article at HR TECH Outlook

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American Benefits Group (ABG) Upping the Benefits Administration Game

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Category: CDHC, COBRA, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Reimbursement, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Savings, HSA, Transit and Parking Section 132,

American Benefits Group (ABG) Upping the Benefits Administration Game 

In recent years, the US’ employee benefits landscape has rapidly evolved owing to factors such as escalating healthcare costs, changes in employment and benefits laws, and new initiatives and options in healthcare benefits. As employers continue to explore various ways to manage the costs and strategic design of their health benefits programs, integrated consumer-driven accounts such as Healthcare FSA, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) play an instrumental role to empower participants with the tools they need to manage their health care spending and out of pocket costs. Delivering comprehensive tools and guidance to manage these accounts in one place with access real time healthcare cost and quality assessment tools and data is a responsibility that Massachusetts-based American Benefits Group (ABG) take very seriously. 

Read full Article at MANAGE HR

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No Changes to Health FSA Maximum Limit the limit remains at $2,750 for 2021

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Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Savings, Transit and Parking Section 132,

The IRS announced Revenue Procedure 2020-45 which provides the 2021 cost-of-living increases for inflation for certain items. In 2021, the:

  • Annual Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contribution limits will not increase they will remain at the 2020 amount of $2,750
  • Monthly limit for Transit and Parking will not increase they will remain at the 2020 amount of $270 per benefit
  • Annual maximum reimbursement for a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) will increase $50 for individual coverage from the current amount of $5,250 to $5,300 and the maximum reimbursement amount will increase $100 for family coverage from the current amount of $10,600 to $10,700

As a reminder, the IRS announced 2021 Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions limit increases earlier this year. In 2021, the annual HSA contribution limit for individual coverage will increase $50 from the current $3,550 to $3,600, and the family coverage contribution limit will increase $100 from the current $7,100 to $7,200. 

 

Please note that this email has been sent to the Company Plan Administrator and Broker Contacts, please share with others in your organization.

If you have any questions, please contact American Benefits Group for more information.

The IRS announced Revenue Procedure 2020-45 which provides the 2021 cost-of-living increases for inflation for certain items. In 2021, the:

  • Annual Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contribution limits will not increase they will remain at the 2020 amount of $2,750
  • Monthly limit for Transit and Parking will not increase they will remain at the 2020 amount of $270 per benefit
  • Annual maximum reimbursement for a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) will increase $50 for individual coverage from the current amount of $5,250 to $5,300 and the maximum reimbursement amount will increase $100 for family coverage from the current amount of $10,600 to $10,700

As a reminder, the IRS announced 2021 Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions limit increases earlier this year. In 2021, the annual HSA contribution limit for individual coverage will increase $50 from the current $3,550 to $3,600, and the family coverage contribution limit will increase $100 from the current $7,100 to $7,200. 

Please note that this email has been sent to the Company Plan Administrator and Broker Contacts, please share with others in your organization.

If you have any questions, please contact American Benefits Group for more information.

 

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COVID-19: Recent Official Notices for Employer Benefit Plans

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Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA,

Recently there have been multiple regulatory announcements regarding Section 125 Cafeteria Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Please be mindful that not every announcement applies to every plan type, nor to all configurations of a given plan type.

 

Recent announcements include:

Notice or Announcement

Date Released

The CARES Act

3/27/2020

EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01

4/29/2020

IRS Notice 2020-29

5/12/2020

IRS Notice 2020-33

5/12/2020

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The president signed The CARES Act into law on Friday March 27th

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Category: Cafeteria Plans, FSA, Health Care Reform, HRA, HSA,

This law has many important components, one of which permanently reinstates coverage of Over the Counter (OTC) drugs and medicines as items eligible for reimbursement under Code 213(d) expenses in FSA, HRA, and HSA plans. With this law, the drugs and medicines will no longer require participants to have a prescription to prove eligibility. In addition to the reinstatement of OTC eligibility, the bill expands the eligible OTC definition to include menstrual care products (i.e. tampons, pads, etc.).

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American Benefits Group - COVID-19 - Important Update

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Category: Commuter, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, HRA, HSA,

COVID-19 Update - Please forward this communication to others in your organization who may need it.


Reminder - We request you help us in an effort to reduce US mail wherever possible

  • Manual Claim Reimbursement: these can be submitted electronically either by uploading information through the participant portal, using the camera feature with our mobile application or faxing to our secure fax viewer.
  • Monthly Administrative Service Fee Invoices Payments: communications have been sent to all AP contacts for each organization. Within the communication, we identify alternative methods of payment.
  • COBRA and Direct Billing: If you are currently receiving your remittances by check we ask that you sign up for ACH. Please reach out to accounting@amben.com.
 

 

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IRS Announces 2017 Health FSA and Commuter Plan Limits

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Category: Commuter, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, Transit and Parking Section 132,

On October 26, 2016, the IRS announced the 2017 annual inflation adjustments, which included increased limits for Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) under an IRC §125 cafeteria plan. The Parking and Transit limits for 2017 remain the same.

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American Benefits Group is Featured in the current edition of BusinessWest

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Category: CDHC, COBRA, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Reimbursement, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, Section 125 Plans, Transit and Parking Section 132,

When Bob Cummings started out in benefits administration, health-insurance co-pays were $3, premiums were well under $100 a month, his office ran on MS-DOS, and it issued paper statements. Much has changed since then, obviously, but not his company’s success formula, based on personalization, creativity, knowledge of a complex and ever-changing subject, and what American Benefits Group prefers to call ‘enabling technology.’
 
George O'Brien on October 5, 2015 in BusinessWest


See the entire American Benefits Group story in the October 5th Issue of BusinessWest and BusinessWest.com 
http://businesswest.com/blog/abg-thrives-in-complex-world-of-benefits-administration/ 

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Excepted Benefits Regulations Finalized

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Category: Flexible Spending, FSA,

On Oct. 1, 2014, the IRS, EBSA and HHS released final regulations related to excepted benefits. As background, plans or programs that qualify as excepted benefits are generally exempt from PPACA’s mandates such as preventive care services and the prohibition on annual dollar limits. 

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An Important Announcement Regarding FSA Policy

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Category: Flexible Spending, FSA, IRS,

Moments ago, the Department of Treasury issued a press release and informational fact sheet announcing a major policy change relating to flexible spending accounts (FSAs) that has many positive implications for all FSA constituents – including administrators, employers and participants.  The Department of Treasury has modified its FSA “use-it-or-lose-it” provision to allow a limited rollover of FSA funds.

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Affordable Care Act Changes for Flexible Spending Accounts

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Category: Flexible Spending, FSA, IRS, Section 125 Plans,

On Friday, September 13, 2013 Treasury published Notice 2013-54 (Notice) which preserves all Health Flexible Spending Accounts (health FSAs) that are considered excepted benefits but eliminates an employer’s ability to use a stand-alone health FSA or other tax-favored arrangements, including Premium Reimbursement Arrangements or Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), to help employees pay for individual health policies on a tax-free basis. In addition, the Notice addresses a number of specific topics related to FSAs and HRAs. As such, this Alert is the second of two.

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Consumer Engagement Is The New Healthcare Reality


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, PPACA, Section 125 Plans,

Every so often it seems another round of surveys is released demonstrating the strong, continual growth of the consumer-directed health care (CDHC) market and the accompanying behavioral shift in how Americans approach buying health care. This month has

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Important Information Regarding the PPACA Summary of Benefits and Coverage Requirement


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, DOL, ERISA, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, HRA, HSA, IRS, PPACA,

Group health plans, which include HRAs, MERPs, and non-excepted FSAs, must provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for all eligible plans to all eligible individuals, participants and beneficiaries.

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IRS Releases Guidance Concerning the 2013 FSA Contribution Limit


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, IRS, PPACA, Section 125 Plans, Taxes,

The IRS has released Notice 2012-40 which provides guidance on the effective date of the $2,500 contribution limit to health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) under IRS Code Section 125(i) and on the deadline for amending plans to comply with the limit. The notice also provides relief for contributions that mistakenly exceed the $2,500 limit provided they are corrected in a timely manner.

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Summary of Benefit Coverage Requirements for Health FSAs and HRAs


Category: Compliance and Regulatory, DOL, ERISA, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Reimbursement, HHS, HIPAA, HRA, IRS, PPACA, Section 125 Plans,

Does an employer have to provide a copy of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (“SBC”) to enrollees of Health Flexible Spending Accounts (“Health FSA”) or Health Reimbursement Arrangements (“HRA”)?

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