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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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IRS Releases New Guidance on Cafeteria Plans and ICHRAs

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Category: Flexible Spending, HRA, HSA, IRS, Section 125 Plans,

On May 12th, the IRS released Notice 2020-29 and 2020-33. These notices provided new relaxed rules for 2020 for making elections under Cafeteria plans, using amounts during a grace period or carryover period changes to the method determining the carryover amounts under Health FSAs and clarifying which premiums can be reimbursed under ICHRAs. The following is an explanation of both notices.

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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 2020 Adjustments

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Category: CDHC, Flexible Spending, IRS, Transit and Parking Section 132,

Today, the IRS announced Revenue Procedure 2019-44 which provides the 2020 cost-of-living increases for inflation for certain items. In 2020, the:

  • Annual Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contribution limits will increase $50 from the current amount of $2,700 to $2,750

  • Monthly limit for Transit and Parking will increase $5 each from the current amount of $265 to $270

  • Annual maximum reimbursement for a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) will increase $100 for individual coverage from the current amount of $5,150 to $5,250, and the maximum reimbursement amount will increase $150 for family coverage from the current amount of $10,450 to $10,600

As a reminder, the IRS announced 2020 health savings account (HSA) contributions limit increases. In 2020, the annual HSA contribution limit for individual coverage will increase $50 from the current $3,500 to $3,550, and the family coverage contribution limit will increase $100 from the current $7,000 to $7,100.

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

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Bob Cummings Reelected as President of NAPBA

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Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, COBRA, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, Health Savings, HRA, HSA,

American Benefits Group CEO and Founder Bob Cummings Reelected as President of NAPBA May 28th 2019 - Bob Cummings has been reelected to serve as President of The National Association of Professional Benefits Administrators (NAPBA). A NAPBA Trustee since 2007, Cummings was first elected NAPBA president in 2015, and has been an instrumental force in the emergence of the Consumer Directed HealthCare industry over the last 20 years, orchestrating the growth of NAPBA as the primary compliance standards and best practice organization for third party employee benefits administrators serving the consumer directed healthcare industry.

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IRS Announces 2019 Adjustments

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Category: CDHC, Flexible Spending, IRS, Transit and Parking Section 132,

Today, the IRS announced Revenue Procedure 2018-57 which provides the 2019 cost-of-living increases for inflation for certain items. In 2019, the:

  • Annual healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) contribution limits will increase $50 from the current amount of $2,650 to $2,700
  • Monthly limit for transit and parking will increase $5 from the current amount of $260 to $265
  • Annual maximum reimbursement for a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA) will increase $100 for individual coverage from the current amount of $5,050 to $5,150, and the maximum reimbursement amount will increase $200 for family coverage from the current amount of $10,250 to $10,450

As a reminder, on May 10, 2018, the IRS announced 2019 health savings account (HSA) contributions limit increases. In 2019, the annual HSA contribution limit for individual coverage will increase $50 from the current $3,450 to $3,500, and the family coverage contribution limit will increase $100 from the current $6,900 to $7,000.

If you have any questions, please contact your Service Delivery Manager for more information. 

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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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Robert Cummings Elected President of NAPBA

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Category: CDHC, Flexible Spending, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings,

Northampton - Robert Cummings, CEO and founder of American Benefits Group of Northampton, Massachusetts, has been elected President of the National Association of Professional Benefits Administrators (NAPBA) . . .

 

Published in The Republican, Business Monday - http://www.masslive.com/business-news/index.ssf/2015/07/people_in_business_robert_cummings_of_am.html

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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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New Optional Section 125 Midyear Qualifying Events Released by IRS

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Category: Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, Section 125 Plans,

On Sept. 18, 2014, the IRS published Notice 2014-55, which creates two new Section 125 midyear qualifying events. The two new events apply in very specific situations and – like all Section 125 events – are optional. Employers who wish to include these new Section 125 qualifying events as options in their plan design need to amend the plan document accordingly.

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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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