On Dec. 7, 2016, the US Congress passed HR 34, called the “21st Century Cures Act” (Cures Act). The Cures Act legislation will permit small employers (those with fewer than 50 full-time employees during a calendar year who are not subject to the employer mandate) who do not offer a group health plan to provide a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA).
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.’
On Sept. 18, 2014, the IRS published Notice 2014-56, setting the applicable dollar amount for plan years that end on or after Oct. 1, 2014, and before Oct. 1, 2015. As a reminder, the PCOR fee is calculated using the average number of lives covered under the plan and the applicable dollar amount for that plan year. The applicable dollar amount is $2 for plan years ending after Oct. 1, 2013, and before Oct. 1, 2014. Notice 2014-56 announces that the applicable dollar amount for plan years that end on or after Oct. 1, 2014, and before Oct. 1, 2015, is $2.08. For plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2015, the adjusted applicable dollar amount will be published in future Internal Revenue Bulletin guidance.
With respect to payment responsibility, if a plan is fully insured, then the insurance carrier is responsible for paying the fee. If a plan is self-insured, the plan sponsor is responsible for the fee. For this purpose, “plan sponsor” is defined as the employer for a single employer plan.
Under health care reform (PPACA), a new nonprofit corporation was established, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCOR). This corporation will be funded in part by PCOR/CER (comparative effectiveness research) fees paid by certain health insurance issuers or plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health plans. Please note that Health reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) are categorized as a self-insured health plans unless, in rare occasions, it is determined to be an excepted benefit (i.e. for vision and dental expenses only) and are therefore subject to this fee.
On Friday, September 13, 2013 Treasury published Notice 2013-54 (Notice) which preserves all Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) that are integrated with an underlying group health plan but eliminates an employer's ability to use a stand-alone or other tax-favored arrangements, including Premium Reimbursement Arrangements or cafeteria plans, 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 flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and HRAs. As such, this Alert is the first of two covering Notice 2013-54 which spells out requirements for HRAs offered starting January 1, 2014. Treasury and IRS Notice 2013-54
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
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.
The HHS has just issued their draft bulletin on defining the “actuarial value” methodology that will be used to calculate AV for health plans, and it is good news for HSAs and HRAs! The rules DO include the employer contributions to accounts in the calculations, which is tremendously beneficial to the attractiveness of the plans.
Do you think you’re saving money by administering your health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)? In our experience, many employers that self-administer an HRA often overlook important compliance obligations that put them at financial risk. Failure to comply with the following requirements is common and can be costly.
Publication 969 has been updated for use in preparing 2011 tax returns. This publication provides basic information about HSAs, HRAs, health FSAs, Archer MSAs and Medicare Advantage MSAs, including brief descriptions of benefits, eligibility requirements, contribution limits and distribution issues.