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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

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

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

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

Health Care Financing in the States: New York and Michigan

New York – Surcharge Assessments

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

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. 

December 4, 2012

IRS Releases Proposed Regulations, FAQs, on Net Investment Income Tax and Additional Medicare Tax (article)

Proposed regulations and frequently asked questions and answers have been issued by the IRS on the Code Sec. 1411 net investment income tax (NIIT). Proposed regs and questions and answers were also released on the Code Sec. 1401 additional hospital insurance tax.

November 28, 2012

HRB 58 - Proposed Regulations: Wellness Programs, Essential Health Benefits and More

November 28, 2012 --  Now that the election is behind us, the Agencies are furiously issuing guidance.  Three sets of proposed regulations have recently been issued.  Specifically, these rules address wellness programs, essential health benefits, and the rating restrictions, guaranteed issue and renewal rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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