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June 7, 2010
No Change in Cost of Living Adjustments for HSAs
In Rev Proc 2010-22, the IRS released 2011 cost of living adjustments (COLA) for health savings accounts; however, you will note that there are no adjustments for 2011. A COLA is based on the cost of living index; which has dropped; and thus, there are no increases for 2011.
IRS’ Compliance Questionnaire: 401(k) Plans
As part of an IRS compliance project, the agency is sending out approximately 1,200 questionnaires to a randomly selected group of 401(k) plan sponsors. The goals of the questionnaire are to determine any potential compliance issues or plan operational issues, as well as to determine whether any additional education or guidance from the IRS would be beneficial for improving compliance. The scope of the questionnaire includes the following topics:
May 20, 2010
HRB 4 - The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
May 10, 2010
HRB 3 - Health Reform’s Coverage for Dependent Children Explained
May 5, 2010
HRB 2 - Early Retiree Reinsurance Program
May 4, 2010
TRICARE Secondary Payor Rules: Final Regulations Issued
The Department of Defense issued final regulations relating to TRICARE secondary payor rules (seeEmployer Coverage? TRICARE? Beware! from the April ’08 Benefit Beat, andNew TRICARE Provisions Affect Group Health Plans from Nov. ’06 Benefit Beat). In summary, these rules are similar to the Medicare secondary payor rules. If an individual entitled to TRICARE is actively working, the employer cannot do anything to incent the individual to choose TRICARE over the employer’s sponsored health plan. In other words, the employer cannot, in any way, incent the employee to choose TRICARE, rather than the employer’s plan. This choice strictly rests with the individual. Furthermore, an employer is prohibited from paying for a TRICARE supplemental plan.
A Confidentiality Reminder
It is of upmost importance to ensure the protection of an individual’s medical information. Several laws address the need to ensure this confidentiality. HIPAA, for example, addresses protected health information derived from covered entities. The Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act, also require that medical information be handled with the upmost care. This issue was highlighted in a recent informal Letter issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Letter specifically relates to the Rehabilitation Act, but is equally applicable for ADA purposes.
COBRA Subsidy Extension: Revised Model COBRA Notices and Other Updated Information
In its ongoing effort to assist with COBRA subsidy compliance, the Department of Labor has just issued several documents that have been updated to reflect the extension of the COBRA subsidy eligibly period through May 31, 2010 (seeCOBRA Subsidy Extended….Again! from the April ’10 Benefit Beat). Included among these documents are new model notices, discussed below, Application for Expedited Review of Denial of COBRA Premium Reduction, Fact Sheet, and Frequently Asked Questions.
Medicare Part D – 2011 Benefit Limits
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released the 2011 cost of living adjustments for Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits. The following are selected modified limits relating to the standard drug benefit and the retiree drug subsidy.
April 28, 2010
HRB 1 - IRS Guidance: Tax-Favored Status of Dependent Coverage