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December 27, 2012

Recent Developments Concerning TEFRA Partnerships (article)

All partnerships are TEFRA partnerships, except for those whose ownership consists of 10 or fewer individuals or C Corporations (an interest owned by a grantor trust is treated as not owned by an individual for this purpose). 

December 18, 2012

HRB 61 - 1) Premium Stabilization Program Proposals and 2) Chart of Health Plan Fees and Taxes

December 18, 2012 -- On December 7, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services issued proposed regulations relating to several aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  These proposals make clarifications to premium stabilization programs and their effect on the minimum loss ratio rules, to standards relating to federally facilitated SHOP exchanges, and to standards relating to advance payments of premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions.  Comments on these regulations must be received by December 31, 2012.  Below are highlights of these proposals:

December 11, 2012

IRS Issues Final Regulations, Interim Guidance, and FAQs on Medical Device Excise Tax (article)

The IRS has issued final regulations that provide guidance on the medical device excise tax imposed by Code Sec. 4191. Under the new tax, starting in 2013, any manufacturer, producer or importer of certain medical devices is subject to the tax, which is equal to 2.3 percent of the price for which the medical device is sold. 

December 11, 2012

HRB 60 - Final Regulations Issued: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Fees and Medical Device Tax

December 11, 2012 -- Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Fees: Final Regulations Issued

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a research fee on both insured and self-funded health plans.  The purpose of these fees is to fund a Patient-Centered Outcome Research Trust Fund.  This Trust Fund, in turn, supports a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policymakers in making informed health decisions by advancing comparative clinical effectiveness research.

December 10, 2012

HRB 59 - Additional Medicare Tax - Clarifications and Proposed Regulations Issued

December 10, 2012 -- Two provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that will take effect soon, specifically on or after January 1, 2013, relate to new Medicare taxes.  One imposes a 0.9% increase in the amount of Medicare tax paid by high income earners; the other imposes a 3.8% tax on investment income. 

December 6, 2012

COBRA Still Lurks – Attention is Warranted

The COBRA law continues to be fertile ground for litigation.  Two recent cases bear mentioning.

December 6, 2012

Sandy Strikes Even Benefit Plans – Relief Offered

In response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, both the IRS and DOL have issued enforcement relief to individuals, as well as employers and plan sponsors relating to certain employee benefit plan responsibilities and obligations, as long as good faith effort to comply with the current rules is made.

December 6, 2012

Advanced Copy of 2012 Form 5500 Released

The DOL has released advanced copies of the 2012 Form 5500 series. As a reminder, plan administrators of welfare benefit and pension plans subject to ERISA, with certain exceptions, must file an annual return/report to the DOL on the Form 5500. The Form 5500s and appropriate schedule information are to be completed and filed electronically via DOL's EFAST2 website (http://www.efast.dol.gov).

December 6, 2012

2013 Medicare Parts A and B: Premium and Deductible Rates

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released the applicable Medicare Part A and Part B premium and deductible rates for 2013. 

December 6, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Update: Maryland, Washington, Maine and Minnesota

On November 6, 2012, the issue of same-sex marriage was on the ballot in four states.  In two of these states, Maryland and Washington, the voters were asked to affirm same-sex laws previously passed.  In both states, the laws were affirmed.  In Maine, the voters were asked to and did approve same-sex marriage. 

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