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May 14, 2012
Follow the Rules: A Lesson from Tussey
In the past few years, there has been a bit of litigation relating to ERISA plan administration. In many of these cases, plan management has been found to be appropriate. However, in a recent case (Tussey v. ABB, Inc. (2012, WD MO) 2012 WL 1113291), a significant penalty ($36.9 million) has been assessed against the plan sponsor and others due to the finding of certain errors.
Mental Health Parity: A Compliance Reminder
Perhaps in honor of May being officially recognized as “Mental Health Month”, the DOL’s Employee Security Benefit Administration (EBSA) has issued several pieces of guidance relating to the mental health parity laws, specifically, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). EBSA has posted relevant MHPAEA regulations, Fact Sheets, FAQs, interactive compliance tools, and other pertinent information on its dedicated Mental Health Parity website. Of particular note are two sets of implementation FAQs. One set of FAQs addresses non-quantitative treatment limitations, such as medical management standards and other questions relating to plan design issues, such as prior authorization requirements. The other set of implementation FAQs discuss the law’s oversight, carve-out arrangements, interaction with state-mandated mental health benefits, plans exempt from the law, and consumer hot-line information for reporting suspected violations.
Medicare Part D: 2013 Benefit Limits
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released the 2013 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.
Health Savings Accounts: 2013 Cost of Living Adjustments
In Rev Proc 2012-26, the IRS released the 2013 cost of living adjustments (COLA) for health savings accounts. The HDHP minimum deductibles, out-of pocket limits, and the statutory HSA contribution amounts, have increased slightly. The $1,000 catch up contribution available to accountholders aged 55 and over is not subject to a cost of living adjustment and thus, remains at $1,000.
April 26, 2012
Not-For-Profits Are Getting Assessed Due to Current IRS Glitches: Do You Need A Penalty Abatement?
April 25, 2012
To MLP or Not to MLP - That is the Question (article)
New Tangible Property Regulations Impact Tax Accounting for Buildings (article)
April 18, 2012
HRB 49 - Fees on Health Insurance Policies and Self-Insured Plans
April 10, 2012
California’s Long Reach to Protect Domestic Partners
The California domestic partner law was amended in the 2011-2012 Legislative Session to require individual and group health plans, including managed care plans, to provide equal coverage to a registered domestic partner as is provided to a spouse of the employee or insured, beginning January 1, 2012. What this law does is attempt to extend the California law that requires equal treatment of registered domestic partners to out-of-state insurance contracts and out-of-state employers. It is not clear, at this point, how exactly this law will be enforced; but the intent is there.
Protect Personal Information. It’s the right thing to do. And, the penalties are big.
As mentioned several months ago, the HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in engaged in efforts to ensure compliance with the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Rules including the privacy, security and breach notification rules (see New Pilot Audit Program: HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance, January 2012 Benefit Beat). Indications are that, in the next 90 days, OCR will issue final regulations relating to: