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MTA NYCT Fare Increase Effective April 2017 Benefit Month

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Category: Commuter, Transit, Transit and Parking Section 132,

The MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) has confirmed an approved fare increase that is effective on March 19, 2017, corresponding with the April 2017 benefit month.

It is our understanding there will be a fare increase for both Metro North Railroad (MNR) and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), which will also correspond to the April 2017 benefit month.  

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Use commuter benefits cards to pay for uberPOOL and Lyft Line rides

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Category: Commuter, Parking, Transit, Transit and Parking Section 132,

American Benefits Group, a leading national provider of pre-tax commuter benefits announces a new addition to our commuter benefits program. We have recently partnered with Uber and Lyft to offer a solution that will allow employees to pay for uberPOOL and Lyft Line rides with their ABG Prepaid MasterCard and the Commuter Check Prepaid MasterCard. Beginning immediately, employees can use their Commuter Benefit to pay for uberPOOL and Lyft Line rides to commute to and from work.

Download uberPOOL flyer
Download Lyft Line flyer 

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Congress Passes “Cures Act” Allowing Stand-Alone HRAs for Small Employers

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Category: Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, HRA,

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).

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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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Cadillac Tax Would Have a Deep Impact on Employers

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Category: ACA, Compliance and Regulatory,

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Cadillac Tax Would Have a Deep Impact on Employers

BusinessWest on March 8, 2016 in Banking and Financial Services

New Rules of the Road

By BOB CUMMINGS

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Although many provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have already been implemented, a few major ones are still to come. None are as far-reaching as the proposed ‘Cadillac tax’ on employer-sponsored health benefits.

Originally scheduled to take effect in 2018, the Cadillac-tax implementation was recently pushed off to 2020. If implemented, the IRS will impose a 40%, non-deductible excise tax on certain employer-sponsored health benefits that exceed a dollar threshold of $10,200 for an individual and $25,500 for a family. Health-insurance companies and self-insured plan sponsors will have to pay the tax on excess dollar amounts for benefits provided above this threshold. After 2020, the limits are to be adjusted for future changes in the consumer price index.

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Getting a Grasp on the New Health-benefits Reporting Rules

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Category: ACA, Compliance and Regulatory,

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Getting a Grasp on the New Health-benefits Reporting Rules

BusinessWest on January 12, 2016 in Banking and Financial Services

Delayed Reaction

By BOB CUMMINGS

tl_files/content/about/Bios/RCummings_Head.jpgFor many employers, their first challenge with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be compliance with the new reporting requirements.

Under the ACA, the Internal Revenue Code added IRS Section 6056, which requires ‘applicable large employers’ to file information returns with the IRS and provide statements to their full-time employees about the health-insurance coverage that the employer offered. Under the terms of the ACA, an applicable large employer generally means an employer that had 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) in the preceding calendar year.

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Getting a Grasp on the New Health-benefits Reporting Rules

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Category: ACA, Compliance and Regulatory,

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Getting a Grasp on the New Health-benefits Reporting Rules

BusinessWest on January 12, 2016 in Banking and Financial Services

Delayed Reaction

By BOB CUMMINGS

tl_files/content/about/Bios/RCummings_Head.jpgFor many employers, their first challenge with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be compliance with the new reporting requirements.

Under the ACA, the Internal Revenue Code added IRS Section 6056, which requires ‘applicable large employers’ to file information returns with the IRS and provide statements to their full-time employees about the health-insurance coverage that the employer offered. Under the terms of the ACA, an applicable large employer generally means an employer that had 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) in the preceding calendar year.

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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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ACA Reporting and HRAs

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Category: ACA, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, HRA, IRS,

Section 6056 Update

Good news!  The IRS has changed their position on both of these issues!
 
We just received final 2015 versions of the instructions for Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C.
 
Reporting HRA Coverage
In the instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B, the IRS states:

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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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ABG Recognized as 2015 Customer Service Champion with Alegeus Apex Award

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Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, COBRA,

American Benefits Group of Northampton, MA has been recognized as the 2015 Customer Service Champion by healthcare consumerism market leader Alegeus Technologies. The award was presented to ABG management on May 8th at the national Alegeus Client Conference in San Diego.

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HPID Requirement Delayed Indefinitely

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Category: HIPAA, HPID,

On Oct. 31, 2014, CMS announced that enforcement of HIPAA’s health plan identifier (HPID) requirement has been delayed indefinitely. As background, HIPAA requires health plans to obtain an HPID, which is to be used by the plan in certain HIPAA-related transactions. The HPID is a unique identifier for the plan, similar to a taxpayer identification number—a standard number that applies in all transactions so that the parties involved know the true identity of the plan.

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Group Health Plans that Fail to Cover In-Patient Hospitalization Services

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Category: ACA, Compliance and Regulatory, HHS,

Notice 2014-69

I.  PURPOSE AND OVERVIEW

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of the Treasury (including the Internal Revenue Service) (collectively, the Departments) have become aware that certain group health plan benefit designs that do not provide coverage for in-patient hospitalization services are being promoted to employers.  A plan that fails to provide substantial coverage for these services would fail to offer fundamental benefits that are nearly universally covered, and historically have been considered integral to coverage, under typical employer-sponsored group health plans. Promoters of these plans contend that the plans satisfy minimum value within the meaning of the Affordable Care Act (including section 36B(c)(2)(C)(ii)of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and final HHS regulations under section1302(d)(2)(C) of the Affordable Care Act (referred to in this notice as minimum value or MV)), as determined through use of the on-line MV Calculator referred to in final HHS regulations and proposed Treasury regulations.

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DOL and HHS Release Key FAQs on Implementation of The Affordable Care Act

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Category: DOL, Health Care Reform, HHS,

Set out below are additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act. These FAQs have been prepared jointly by the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments). Like previously issued FAQs (available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/ and http://www.cms.gov/cciio/resources/fact-sheets-and-faqs/index.html), these FAQs answer questions from stakeholders to help people understand the new law and benefit from it, as intended.

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2015 Health FSA and Commuter Transit & Parking Limits

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October 30, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service announced the annual inflation adjustments for Health FSAs and Commuter Transit and Parking benefits in Revenue Procedure 2014-61.

The annual dollar limit on employee contributions to employer-sponsored Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) is increased to $2,550. This increase applies to plan years starting January 1, 2015 and going forward.

The 2015 monthly limit for Commuter Accounts will remain the same as the 2014 monthly amounts, $250 for qualified parking and $130 for transit expenses.

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