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August 30, 2011
Updated Medicaid/CHIP Premium Assistance Notice Issued
Individuals who are eligible for employer-sponsored group health coverage, but are unable to afford the premium, may be eligible to receive premium assistance from a state’s Medicaid agency or CHIP program. Employers are required to provide premium assistance information to their employees. This can be accomplished by using a model notice provided by the Department of Labor (see Medicaid/CHIP Premium Assistance Notice Issued, Benefit Beat, 3/4/10). The DOL has recently released its revised Medicaid/CHIP notice that can be obtained from its website (click here for 7/31/11 version).
August 23, 2011
HRB 39 - Relief for Stand-Alone Health Reimbursement Arrangements
August 18, 2011
HRB 38 - Proposals on Exchanges, Premium Assistance and Uniform Benefit Summary
August 8, 2011
San Francisco HCSO Expenditure Rates for 2012
Covered employers who are subject to San Francisco’s Ordinance are required to make health care expenditures (HCE) to, or on behalf of, their covered employees. These expenditure amounts are adjusted annually, in accordance with the San Francisco Ordinance. Nonprofit entities with fewer than 50 employees, and small employers (those with fewer than 20 employees) are exempt from these provisions.
Service Provider and Participant Fee Disclosure Final Regulation Issued
The DOL’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) has issued a final rule that provides for an extension of the applicability dates relating to service provider fee disclosure to plan sponsors, and the participant level fee disclosure rules. According to the final rule:
New York Imposes New Dependent Reporting Requirements on Employers
Presumably, in an effort to augment dependent health coverage, the State of New York has recently passed a law requiring that employers report both for new hires, and on a quarterly basis, the availability of dependent coverage. This applies to employers who have employees who work or reside in New York.
Extension for Self-Reporting of Welfare Benefit Plan Violations
For the past two years, it has been incumbent upon employers sponsoring group health plans, as well as certain other responsible entities, such as insurers or third party administrators, to self-report certain welfare benefit plan violations (see Welfare Benefit Plan Violations: Self-Reporting Required from the November 2009 Benefit Beat). Such violations would include those relating to:
Expiration of FUTA Surcharge Tax
The federal unemployment tax (FUTA) empowers the IRS to tax employers in all states to fund unemployment benefits for involuntarily terminated workers. For the past 23 years, FUTA included a 0.2% surcharge. This additional 0.2% surcharge provision expired on June 30, 2011. Therefore, unless extended by law, the FUTA rate has decreased from 6.2% to 6.0% of gross payroll, beginning July 1, 2011.
August 3, 2011
HRB 37 - Preventive Care Coverage Expanded to include Women’s Health Services
August 2, 2011
Budget Control Act of 2011