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Business Insights, Research & Perspectives

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October 12, 2008

HEART Act FSA Cash-out Explained

In June, 2008, a law was passed (Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008, “Heroes Act” or “HEART Act”, Public Law 110-245; see the June 2008 edition of Benefit Beat), addressing several employment and benefit-related matters specifically applicable to employees called to active service. One of these provisions allow a distribution for non-medical reasons from a health flexible spending account (health FSA). The IRS has issued Notice 2008-82 flushing out this provision.

September 4, 2008

San Francisco: New Commuter Benefit Mandate

The City of San Francisco is at it again:

September 4, 2008

Proposed Rules: Investment Advice Exemption for 401(K) Plans and IRAS

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has been busy issuing investment advice guidance provided under 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRA). 

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

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. 

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:

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

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

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. 

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