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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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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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Important Information About Your Commuter Benefits

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Category: Commuter, Parking, Section 125 Plans, Transit,

Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits. For 2014, the monthly limit on the amount that may be excluded from an employee’s income for qualified parking benefits is $250 (a $5 increase from the 2013 limit of $245). The combined monthly limit for transit passes and vanpooling expenses for 2014 is $130 (a $115 decrease from the 2013 limit). [EBIA Comment: The substantial decrease is due to expiration of the temporary “rule of parity” that made the combined limit for transit and vanpooling the same as the parking limit for 2012 and 2013. Whether Congress will eventually extend the rule of parity to 2014 is uncertain.]

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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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Clarification by Treasury and IRS Relaxes Election Change Rules

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Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform, HHS, IRS, PPACA, Section 125 Plans,

So employers and employees can take advantage of the health insurance Exchanges starting January 1, 2014, regulators issued some exceptions to the permitted election changes rule for cafeteria plans.

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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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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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Court Finds Employer Met ERISA's Voluntary Plan Safe Harbor, Despite Payment of Premiums Through Cafeteria Plan


Category: Cafeteria Plans, Compliance and Regulatory, DOL, ERISA, Section 125 Plans,

Voluntary benefits that are sold directly to employees may be subject to ERISA as employer-sponsored plans, or may be exempt under the voluntary plan safe harbor, which allows for only minimal involvement by the employer. The plaintiff in this case purchased a short-term disability policy after seeing a presentation by the insurer at his workplace.

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IRS Issues 2011 Version of Publication 969 on HSAs, HRAs, Health FSAs and MSAs


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, IIAS, IRS, Section 125 Plans, Taxes,

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.

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New Guidance on Group Health Insurance Coverage Informational Reporting


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, COBRA, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, IIAS, IRS, PPACA, Section 125 Plans, State Legislation, Taxes,

The IRS has issued new guidance to clarify how employers and benefit plan administrators will need to meet Form W2 health benefit cost reporting requirements, including the treatment of FSAs, HRAs, EAPs and wellness programs, and supplemental coverage.

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Jobs Bill Would Cap Employer Exclusion and HSA/HRA Deductions


Category: CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, Section 125 Plans,

The release of President a Obama's deficit reduction plan comes just a week after the President submitted to Congress the actual text of his proposed jobs legislation.

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May owners of an LLC (usually called "LLC members") participate in the LLC's medical or cafeteria plan and receive employer HSA contributions?


Category: Cafeteria Plans, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HSA, IRS, Section 125 Plans, Taxes,

A limited liability company’s (LLC’s) health plans may create special issues with respect to LLC member participation. This is because LLCs may be treated as either a partnership or a corporation (depending on how the LLC has elected to be treated), and for tax purposes the IRC treats partnerships and corporations differently. No IRS guidance specifically addresses the status of LLC members for purposes of health plan participation, including participation in a medical or cafeteria plan.

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