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New FAQ's from DOL for You


Category: Compliance and Regulatory, DOL, Health Care Reform, IRS, PPACA, State Legislation, Taxes,

It wasn't all about the Summary of Coverage documents last Thursday. The Departments of Labor, HHS and Treasury also issued new guidance on frequently asked questions by employers and health plans concerning the auto-enrollment, employer requirements and

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Summary of Benefit Coverage Final Rule Released


Category: CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform, IRS, Taxes,

The Obama administration released the final rules for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) on February 9. The requirements have been the subject of much contention between insurers, employers and consumer groups over the past two years, and the final rules have been much anticipated by the benefits community.One of the most contentious parts of the debate about the new requirements was their effective date.

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Health savings accounts surpass $12.4 billion


Category: CDHC, COBRA, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, IRS, Taxes,

By Jenny Ivy
February 1, 2012

By year-end 2011, health savings accounts surpassed $12.4 billion in nearly 6.8 million accounts, according to market research from broker/dealer firm Devenir.

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Access to Independent Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2012 is Introduced


Category: Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform,

On Friday, February 3, Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced S. 2068, the Access to Independent Health Insurance Advisors Act of 2012. Here is a link to NAHU’s press release about the measure, and here is a link to a fact sheet about the bill.

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House Votes to Repeal the CLASS Act


Category: Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform, IRS, Taxes,

By ASSOCIATED PRESS | 2/1/12 11:46 PM EST

WASHINGTON – The Republican-led House on Wednesday voted to repeal a financially troubled part of the 2010 health care law that was designed to provide affordable long-term care insurance.

The House vote comes months after the Obama administration suspended the Community Living Assistance Services and Support program, known as the CLASS Act.

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Are employers able to waive or opt out of all health care reform?


Category: CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform, IRS, Taxes,

We keep hearing about the government issuing waivers, is it possible for employers to opt out of health care reform?  No, there is no waiver from all of health care reform. Employers may be thinking of the term “grandfathered plans,” which refers to plans in existence on March 23, 2010, which have made minimal changes, defined under regulations, and are therefore exempt from some, but not all, of health care reform’s mandates.

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IRS Releases 2011 Versions of Publications 502 and 503


Category: Compliance and Regulatory, IRS, Taxes,

The IRS recently issued the 2011 versions of Publication 502 (Medical and Dental Expenses) and Publication 503 (Child and Dependent Care Expenses). Publication 502 describes what medical expenses are deductible on taxpayers’ 2011 federal income tax returns. The 2011 version includes clarifications with respect to breast reconstruction surgery, guide dogs/service animals, hearing aids, nursing services and provisions regarding health insurance costs for self-employed persons, and the health coverage tax credit.

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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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Health Care Benefits Options for Small Business Owners in the New World


Category: CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, IRS, PPACA, State Legislation, Taxes,

Offering comprehensive benefits to employees can help you attract, hire, and retain the best workers. Yet many small-business owners believe that health care insurance is a luxury they can’t afford. The good news: Thanks to new incentives, tax credits, industry reform, and nontraditional plans, health care insurance may be within reach.

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MEDICAL and MOVING expenses

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Effective on January 1, 2012, the automobile reimbursement rate for deductible MEDICAL expenses decreases from $0.235 to $0.23 per mile.

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Massachusetts Individual Health Mandate Penalties for Tax Year 2012 Over $2500 per Family


Category: CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform, State Legislation, Taxes,

Personal Income Tax Technical Information Release 12- 2
Massachusetts Department of Revenue

Individual Mandate Penalties for Tax Year 2012
Pursuant to G.L. c. 111M, § 2, the Department of Revenue is issuing this Technical Information Release to announce the penalty schedule for individuals who fail to comply in 2012 with the requirements under the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act (the Act).

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HSA Contributions Changes and the Last Month Rule


Category: Cafeteria Plans, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Savings, HSA, Taxes,

Q. How much can an individual contribute if she’s HSA eligible all year but changes from self-only to family coverage after her May 18, 2011, wedding?

A. This individual can take one of two approaches.

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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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US Appeals Court Rules Health-Care Law Is Constitutional


Category: CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform,

By Brent Kendall
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–A federal appeals court in Washington ruled Tuesday that a key piece of last year’s federal health-care overhaul is constitutional, handing the Obama administration another legal victory ahead of the Supreme Court’s likely consideration of the law.

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