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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.
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
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:
“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:
Benefits issues and Same-sex Marriages
According to a California Supreme Court decision rendered on May 15, 2008, same-sex couples are able to enter into marriage, beginning June 16th. There is a possibility that this matter will come up for popular vote in the November elections in the State of California. California is the second state, Massachusetts being the first, to sanction same-sex marriages. Providing benefits to individuals in either same-sex marriages or domestic partnerships, whether mandated or voluntary, raises many benefit issues.
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.
June 4, 2008
HSA Limits for 2009
In Rev Proc 2008-29, the IRS released 2009 cost of living adjustments for health savings accounts. Following are annual deductible amounts for a high deductible health plan (HDHP) used in conjunction with a health savings account (HSA), and limits for out-of-pocket expenses and contributions for both 2008 and 2009.
Legislative Watch: “HEROES Act”
As we go to press, President Bush is expected to sign H.R. 6081, the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (“Heroes Act”). This law would, among other things:
New Law Prohibits Genetic Discrimination
After several years of consideration, Congress has passed and President has signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”) (Public Law 110-233). Of interest to employers, this law affects both employment practices and health plan administration.
May 12, 2008
Economic Stimulus Payment: What To Do?
On an individual’s 2007 tax return, the individual had the right to elect that any tax refund be automatically contributed to a tax-favored account such as a health savings account, an IRA or a §529 education plan, among others. If an individual elected this option, any economic stimulus payment due the individual will, likewise, be made to the tax-favored account.