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Business Insights, Research & Perspectives

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September 4, 2008

New CMS Website for Medicare Payer Reporting

As described in the January, 2008 Benefit Beat, a new reporting requirement will be imposed upon insurers, third party administrators (TPAs), and plan administrators of self-funded, self-administered health plans.  The reporting requirement relates to the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) rules.  These rules require that a group health plan pay primary to Medicare in three instances: 

August 5, 2008

Recent Noteworthy Court Decisions

Three recent court decisions, one by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and two by the U.S. Supreme Court, bear some contemplation.

August 5, 2008

Coming Soon: New Participant Disclosure

The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor has been on a mission to improve information sharing, particularly as it relates to qualified plan fee disclosure.  This mission has been divided into three parts:

August 5, 2008

New HSA Proposed Rules - Employer Contributions and Excise Tax

The IRS and Treasury have been busy again, espousing their positions on health savings accounts (HSAs).  This time, the guidance comes in the form of proposed regulations.  These regulations relate to the HSA comparability (discrimination) rules.  The regulations also address the excise (penalty) tax that can be assessed for several types of plan violations. 

July 9, 2008

CMS Issues New Updated Medicare Part D Notices

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have developed new model Medicare Part D notices to be used on or after June 15, 2008:

July 9, 2008

“HEROES Act” Signed into Law

On June 17, 2008, President Bush signed theHeroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (“Heroes Act”, Public Law 110-245), highlighted in last month’sBenefit Beat.  This law, among other things:

July 9, 2008

Benefits issues and Same-sex Marriages

According to a California Supreme Court decision rendered on May 15, 2008, same-sex couples are able to enter into marriage, beginning June 16th. There is a possibility that this matter will come up for popular vote in the November elections in the State of California.  California is the second state, Massachusetts being the first, to sanction same-sex marriages.  Providing benefits to individuals in either same-sex marriages or domestic partnerships, whether mandated or voluntary, raises many benefit issues. 

July 9, 2008

A Potpourri of HSA Guidance

Three pieces of HSA guidance were recently issued by IRS and Treasury Department in the form of IRS Notices.   The first piece of guidance includes new 42 formal questions and answers about HSAs; the second piece of guidance relates to the annual maximum HSA contribution; and the third relates to a one-time IRA rollover to an HSA. 

June 4, 2008

HSA Limits for 2009

In Rev Proc 2008-29, the IRS released 2009 cost of living adjustments for health savings accounts.  Following are annual deductible amounts for a high deductible health plan (HDHP) used in conjunction with a health savings account (HSA), and limits for out-of-pocket expenses and contributions for both 2008 and 2009.

June 4, 2008

Legislative Watch: “HEROES Act”

As we go to press, President Bush is expected to sign H.R. 6081, the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (“Heroes Act”).  This law would, among other things:

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