The IRS has released the 2023 Health Savings Account (HSA) inflation adjustments. To be eligible to make HSA contributions, an individual must be covered under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) and meet certain other eligibility requirements.
New HSA 2023 limits are as follows:
HSA Annual Contribution Limit
$3,650 – Single; $7,300 – Family
HDHP Minimum Annual Deductible
$1,400 – Single; $2,800 – Family
HDHP Out-of-Pocket Maximum
$7,050 – Single; $14,100 – Family
Age 55+ Catch-Up Provision
$1,000- Single; $2,000 – Husband/Wife
Age 55 Catch Up Contribution
As in 401k and IRA contributions, you are allowed to contribute extra if you are above a certain age. If you are age 55 or older by the end of the year, you can contribute an additional $1,000 to your HSA. If you are married, and both of you are age 55, each of you can contribute an additional $1,000. A savvy strategy for high-income earners is to invest the money in your HSA for the long haul. Once you’re 65, you can take out tax-free distributions to cover Medicare premiums. If you withdraw money at that point for non-medical uses, you pay the same tax as you would on withdrawals from a pretax 401(k). But you can also take money out tax-free to reimburse yourself for prior years’ out-of-pocket medical expenses if you have the old receipts.
You can even use an HSA to save on a typical trip to the CVS. Thanks to a tax relief provision tucked in the last Covid-19 stimulus package, you can use the money you stash in an HSA or FSA (more on those later) for over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Flonase as well as menstrual products like tampons and pads. That reverses Obamacare restrictions on OTC meds requiring a doctor’s prescription for them to be eligible for reimbursement.
HSA/HDHP Market Growth
HSA holders own the assets in the accounts and can build up substantial sums over time. Enrollment in HSA-compatible insurance plans has increased to 10 million earlier this year, from 1 million in March 2005, according to, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade group.
HSAs were authorized starting in January 2004. Since then, AHIP has conducted a periodic census of health plans participating in the HSA/HDHP market.
The number of people with HSA/HDHP coverage rose to more than 11.4 in January 2011, up from 10.0 million in January 2010, 8.0 million in January 2009, and 6.1 million in January 2008.
30 percent of individuals covered by an HSA plan were in the small group market, 50 percent were in the large-group market, and the remaining 20 percent were in the individual market.
14% of all workers in the private sector have access to a Health Savings Account acc. to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
States with the highest levels of HSA/HDHP enrollment were California, Ohio, Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Minnesota.
Opportunity to build savings – Unused money stays in your account from year to year and earns tax-free interest. The HSA also gives you an investment opportunity.
Tax-free contributions and earnings – You don’t pay taxes on contributions or earnings.
Tax-Free Money allowed for non-traditional Medical coverage– As per IRS Publication 502, unused money can be used for dental, vision, Lasik eye surgery, acupuncture, yoga, infertility, etc. Popular Examples
Portability – The funds belong to you, so you keep the funds if you change jobs or retire.
Our overall experience with HSAs has been positive when employer funding is at a minimum 50% using either the HSA or an HRA (Health Reimbursement Account-employer keeps unspent money). Traditional plans trend of higher copays and new in-network deductibles has also led to the popularity of an HSA.
Plan sponsors should update payroll and plan administration systems for the 2022 cost-of-living adjustments and should incorporate the new limits in relevant participant communications, such as open enrollment and communication materials, plan documents, and summary plan descriptions.
Is your HSA compliant? Which pre-tax qualified HSA, FSA, HRA spending card is right for you? Please contact our team at 360PEO (855)667-4621 for immediate answers. Stay tuned for updates as more information gets released. Sign up for the latest news updates.
sCMS and OSHA released interim final rules this week detailing the implementation of national vaccine requirements established by President Biden’s executive order in September.Yesterday, the Department of Labor released an unpublished version of the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).
The ETS is effective immediately and will cover 2/3rds of private employers. The OSHA ETS puts into effect the Biden Executive Order mandating all private employers with 100 or more employees ensure their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, or submit negative weekly tests.
Private employers with 100 or more employees enterprise-wide (across US locations) at the time these rules become effective
Independent contractors not included
Special franchisee, construction and staffing agency rules
Companies who grow will move into the covered group
State/local governments, including schools
Only state/local ordinances/laws that are not conflicting will have effect (i.e., if the state law prohibits vaccine mandates, OSHA ETS will supersede state law. OSHA ETS will be mandated.)
States with state OSHA plans may adopt these federal rules or similar rules. Some states are threatened with removal of state plan authority for failure to comply with laws as stringent as federal (e.g., UT & AZ)
Within 30 days of publication (December 5)
Testing requirements within 60 days (January 4)
Determine vaccination status of each employee
Obtain acceptable proof –
Unvaccinated must test negative weekly if worker in workplace at least once a week or within 7 days before returning to work if worker is away from workplace a week or longer
Must wear face covering indoors or in occupied vehicle for work
Employer not required to pay for testing unless required by law or collective bargaining agreement
Employer not required to pay for face coverings
Employee must promptly notify of positive COVID test or receive diagnosis
Employer must remove employee from workplace, regardless of vaccination status
May not return to work until meeting criteria
Must provide paid time off for vaccination and recovery from side effects
In conclusion, employers subject to the ETS must determine whether they will take a vaccine-only or combined vaccine and testing/face covering approach to compliance and must develop the required written policies and communicate those policies to employees so they have ample time to receive their COVID-19 vaccines. Employers should work with legal counsel to develop their written policies and to address any reasonable accommodation requests received by employees.
If needing employment law assistance in implementing these new rules, contact your World Insurance Associates representative so that they can connect you a Jackson Lewis P.C. council in order to receive the WIA arrangement. For our PEO clients, please speak with in-house council and HR.
The information provided in this alert is not, is not intended to be, and shall not be construed to be, either the provision of legal advice or an offer to provide legal services, nor does it necessarily reflect the opinions of the agency, our lawyers, or our clients. This is not legal advice. Rather, the content is intended as a general overview of the subject matter covered.
Good news Bronx/Westchester. Oxford and Montefiore Health System announced moments ago that they have reached an agreement effective December 1, 2021 for UnitedHealthcare and Oxford employer-sponsored plans, as well as UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Dual Special Needs Plan.
This resolves a split since Jan 1, 2021 which affected a significant percentage of local residents as both companies have a critical size of the market. Westchester and Bronx populations total nearly 2.5 million people. While this contract is resolved with titanic and a few Hospital Systems and Insurers left in the market we expect to see this trend to continue.
See below the official press release.
UnitedHealthcare and Montefiore Health System Renew Relationship
UnitedHealthcare and Montefiore Health System have reached a multi-year agreement that restores access to Montefiore’s hospitals and physicians for people enrolled in UnitedHealthcare and Oxford employer-sponsored plans as well as UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Dual Special Needs Plan, effective Dec. 1, 2021.
We recognize that the care Montefiore provides is not only important but also personal to our members and we also know the negotiations process may have been difficult for them. Our top priority throughout this process was ensuring the people and employers we’re honored to serve in New York have access to quality, more affordable health care, and this new agreement helps accomplish that goal.
We thank our members and customers for their support and patience throughout this process. We are honored to continue supporting the more than 3.7 million individuals across New York who depend on us for access to quality and affordable health care.
Montefiore Hospitals & Health System
Montefiore Hospital (Moses Campus)
Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
Garnet Health MedJack D. Weiler Hospital (Einstein Campus)ical Center
Montefiore Wakefield Hospital (Wakefield Campus)
Burke Rehabilitation Hospital
Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital
Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital
Montefiore Nyack Hospital
Montefiore St Luke’s Cornwall Hospital
White Plains Hospital
Montefiore Hutchinson Campus
Montefiore Medical Group
Montefiore Medical Specialists of Westchester
Bon Secours Community Hospital BronxCare Hospital Center Garnet Health Medical Center Good Samaritan Hospital of Suffern New York Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital New York Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital NYC Health + Hospitals Jacobi NYC Health + Hospitals Lincoln NYC Health + Hospitals North Central Bronx St. Anthony Community Hospital St. Barnabas Hospital St. John’s Riverside Hospital Westchester Medical Center
Medicare Supplemental Plan F phased out for newly Medicare eligible? With the new 2022 open enrollment changes, it’s time to get the facts. Considering making changes to your coverage this fall or just want to learn more about this enrollment period?
During the Medicare open enrollment period – which runs from October 15 through December 7 – you can make a variety of changes (none of which involve medical underwriting):
Switch from Medicare Advantage toOriginal Medicareor vice versa.
Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
Switch from onePart D prescription planto another.
Join a Medicare Part D plan.
Drop your Part D coverage altogether.
1. Medicare Supplement Plans F and C are still available
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) will no longer allow newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in Medigap plans F and C, these plans aren’t disappearing completely. If you become eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2021 (and that’s everyone who can use the 2021 fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period), you can apply for these plans now and in the future—even if you aren’t already enrolled in Medigap.
If you become eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you won’t be able to enroll in Plans F or C now or in the future.
2. The Part D ‘donut hole’ will close
In 2022, you’ll enter the donut hole when your spending + your plan’s spending reaches $4,430. And you leave the donut hole — and enter the catastrophic coverage level — when your spending + manufacturer discounts reach $7,050. Both of these amounts are higher than they were in 2021, and generally increase each year. Learn more about Part D.
3. Changes in Medicare Advantage and Part D plans
Every year, insurers make small changes to their Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. Typically, these changes include changes in premiums, deductibles, and other costs. Keep in mind, the Medicare program may not finalize these changes until right before fall Open Enrollment.
See the latest Medicare premiums and deductibles now or come back in October. We’ll share finalized changes as soon as they become available.
Refresh your general Medicare knowledge
While the Medicare program changes a bit each year, much of it stays the same. It never hurts to refresh your Medicare knowledge. We recommend starting with an Overview of Medicare. This Medicare Glossary could come in handy, too, as you read through insurance documents. See
Medicare Part B premiums increased this year by about 2.7% or $4 per month and high-income surcharges also rose modestly in 2021. For 2022 the Standard Part B premiums are projected to be $158.50/month from $148.50/month in 2021 or a 6.7% increase.
The wealthiest senior couples will be paying more than $12,000 a year in Medicare Part B premiums. Part B (the base and the surcharge) covers doctors’ and outpatient services. Medicare Part B Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts.
5. Part B deductible also increased for 2021, and will increase again in 2022
Medicare B also has a deductible, which increased to$203 in 2021, up from$198 in 2020. For 2022, the Part B deductible isprojected to be $217. The Medicare Part B deductible only has to be paid once per year, unlike the Part A deductible, which has to be paid once perbenefit period.
Do you have to renew your plan?
If you’re happy with your Medicare coverage, there’s no need to do anything during Medicare Open Enrollment. Provided your current plan is available next year, your coverage will auto-renew.
Although you could let Open Enrollment pass right on by without having to lift a finger, we recommend doing two things this fall to optimize your Medicare coverage.
1. Read Medicare Mailers
If your plan is discontinued next year, you’ll receive a notice in the mail. If you miss this notice and fail to enroll in other coverage, you could lose your coverage.
If your plan continues in the following year, your insurer will send you an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). Look over your ANOC carefully to make sure your plan will still meet your needs next year. If not, its time to consider other options.
No matter how you feel about your current plan, it’s usually a good idea to do a little shopping around during Open Enrollment. Since plans and premiums change annually, options that fit your situation even better than your current coverage could pop up. But if you don’t check, you’ll never know.
Know These Dates
OCT 15 - DEC 7
OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD for Medicare Advanatage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug coverage. All individuals with Medicare can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coevrage for the next year.
JAN 1 - FEB 14
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE DISENROLLMENT PERIOD. Those with MA plans (Part C) can leave the plan and switch to original Medicare.
JAN 1 - DEC 31
MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT (Medigap) plans can be purchaded year-round but may require answering health questions to determine eligibility.
Total Number of Million Medicare Beneficiaries. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
Plan Comparison Tool
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This Compliance Overview is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.
In preparation for open enrollment, Employers should review their plan documents in light of changes for the plan year beginning Jan 1, 2021. Below is an Employer 2 Open Enrollment Checklist including some administrative items to prepare for in 2020.
Health plan sponsors should also confirm that their open enrollment materials contain certain required participant notices, when applicable—for example, the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). There are also some participant notices that must be provided annually or upon initial enrollment. To minimize costs and streamline administration, employers should consider including these notices in their open enrollment materials.
PLAN DESIGN CHANGES
Effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, non-grandfathered health plans are subject to limits on cost-sharing for essential health benefits (EHB). The ACA’s out-of-pocket maximum applies to all non-grandfathered group health plans, including self-insured health plans and insured plans.
$8,700 for self-only coverage and $17,400 for family coverage out-of-pocket maximum.
$7,050 for self-only coverage and $14,100 for family coverage HSA Maximum. For 2021 plan years, the out-of-pocket maximum limit for HDHPs is $7,000 for self-only coverage and $14,000 for family coverage.
Preventive Care Benefits
The ACA requires non-grandfathered health plans to cover certain preventive health services without imposing cost-sharing requirements (that is, deductibles, copayments or coinsurance) for the services. Health plans are required to adjust their first-dollar coverage of preventive care services based on the latest preventive care recommendations. If you have a non-grandfathered plan, you should confirm that your plan covers the latest recommended preventive care services without imposing any cost-sharing.
The ACA imposes a dollar limit on employees’ salary reduction contributions to a health flexible spending account (FSA) offered under a cafeteria plan. An employer may impose its own dollar limit on employees’ salary reduction contributions to a health FSA, as long as the employer’s limit does not exceed the ACA’s maximum limit in effect for the plan year.
The ACA set the health FSA contribution limit at $2,500. For years after 2013, the dollar limit is indexed for cost-of-living adjustments. For 2022 plan years, the health FSA limit is $2,850. The DFSA Rollover Maximum is $570.
Communicate the health FSA limit to employees as part of the open enrollment process.
HDHP and HSA Limits for 2022
If you offer an HDHP to your employees that is compatible with an HSA, you should confirm that the HDHP’s minimum deductible and out-of-pocket maximum comply with the 2020 limits. The IRS limits for HSA contributions and HDHP cost-sharing increase for 2022. The HSA contribution limits will increase effective Jan. 1, 2022, while the HDHP limits will increase effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2022.
Check whether your HDHP’s cost-sharing limits need to be adjusted for the 2022 limits.
If you communicate the HSA contribution limits to employees as part of the enrollment process, these enrollment materials should be updated to reflect the increased limits that apply for 2022.
The following table contains the HDHP and HSA limits for 2022 as compared to 2021. It also includes the catch-up contribution limit that applies to HSA-eligible individuals who are age 55 or older, which is not adjusted for inflation and stays the same from year to year.
Type of Limit
HSA Contribution Limit
HSA Catch-up Contributions (not subject to adjustment for inflation)
Age 55 or older
HDHP Minimum Deductible
HDHP Maximum Out-of-pocket Expense Limit (deductibles, copayments and other amounts, but not premiums)
ACA EMPLOYER MANDATE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Applicable Large Employer Status (ALE)
Under the ACA’s employer penalty rules, applicable large employers (ALEs) that do not offer health coverage to their full-time employees (and dependent children) that is affordable and provides minimum value will be subject to penalties if any full-time employee receives a government subsidy for health coverage through an Exchange.
To qualify as an ALE, an employer must employ, on average, at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), on business days during the preceding calendar year. All employers that employ at least 50 full-time employees, including FTEs, are subject to the ACA’s pay or play rules.
Determine your ALE status for 2022
Calculate the number of full-time employees for all 12 calendar months of 2020. A full-time employee is an employee who is employed on average for at least 30 hours of service per week.
Calculate the number of FTEs for all 12 calendar months of 2021 by calculating the aggregate number of hours of service (but not more than 120 hours of service for any employee) for all employees who were not full-time employees for that month and dividing the total hours of service by 120.
Add the number of full-time employees and FTEs (including fractions) calculated above for all 12 calendar months of 2021.
Add up the monthly numbers from the preceding step and divide the sum by 12. Disregard fractions.
If your result is 50 or more, you are likely an ALE for 2022.
Identify Full-time Employees
All full-time employees must be offered affordable minimum value coverage. A full-time employee is an employee who was employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week. The final regulations generally treat 130 hours of service in a calendar month as the monthly equivalent of 30 hours of service per week. The IRS has provided two methods for determining full-time employee status—the monthly measurement method and the look-back measurement method.
Determine which method you are going to use to determine full-time status
The monthly measurement method involves a month-to-month analysis where full-time employees are identified based on their hours of service for each month. This method is not based on averaging hours of service over a prior measurement method. Month-to-month measuring may cause practical difficulties for employers, particularly if there are employees with varying hours or employment schedules, and could result in employees moving in and out of employer coverage on a monthly
The look-back measurement method allows an employer to determine full-time status based on average hours worked by an employee in a prior period. This method involves a measurement period for counting/averaging hours of service, an administrative period that allows time for enrollment and disenrollment, and a stability period when coverage may need to be provided, depending on an employee’s average hours of service during the measurement
Audit FTEs for FMLA Compliance
Audit your FTEs to determine if you have reached or exceeded 50 employees and are required to comply with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 2022. Employers covered by the FMLA are obligated to provide their employees with certain important FMLA notices, so both employees and the employer have a shared understanding of the terms of the FMLA leave. Note that FMLA compliance requirements are different from ACA compliance.
Offer of Coverage
An ALE may be liable for a penalty under the pay or play rules if it does not offer coverage to “substantially all” (95%) full-time employees (and dependents) and any one of its full-time employees receives a premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction for coverage purchased through an Exchange. For employees who are offered health coverage that is affordable and provides minimum value are generally not eligible for these Exchange subsidies. The IRS lowered the 2022 employer health plan affordability threshold, or cost-sharing limit, to 9.61% of an employee’s income. The threshold in 2021 was 9.83%.
Offer minimum essential coverage to all full-time employees
Ensure that at least one of those plans provides minimum value (60% actuarial value)
Ensure that the minimum value plan offered is affordable to all full-time employees by ensuring that the employee contribution for the lowest cost single minimum value plan does not exceed 78% of an employee’s earnings based on the employee’s W-2 wages, the employee’s rate of pay, or the federal poverty level for a single individual.
Reporting of Coverage
The ACA requires ALEs to report information to the IRS and to employees regarding the employer-sponsored health coverage on Form 1095-C. The IRS will use the information that ALEs report to verify employer-sponsored coverage and to administer the employer shared responsibility provisions (Code Section 6056).
In addition, the ACA requires every health insurance issuer, sponsor of a self-insured health plan, a government agency that administers government-sponsored health insurance programs and any other entity that provides minimum essential coverage (MEC) to file an annual return with the IRS and individuals reporting information for each individual who is provided with this coverage (Code Section 6055).
Determine which reporting requirements apply to you and your health plans
Determine the information you will need for reporting and coordinate internal and external resources to help compile the required data for the 1094-C and 1095-C
Complete the appropriate forms for the 2020 reporting year. Furnish statements to individuals on or before January 31, 2021 has been extended to March 2, 2021 IRS Notice 2020-76., and file returns with the IRS on or before February 28, 2020 (March 31, 2020, if filing electronically).
1095 forms delivered to employees
Jan. 31 (extended to March 2)
Paper filing with IRS*
Electronic filing with IRS
Comparative Effectiveness Research Fee (PCORI)
Sponsors of self-funded plans and health insurance issuers of fully insured plans are required to pay a fee each year, by July 31st, to fund comparative effectiveness research. Fees will increase to $2.45 per covered life in 2020 and are next due July 31, 2021.
Healthcare Reform requires employers to report the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored group health plan coverage on their employees’ Forms W-2. This reporting requirement was originally effective for the 2011 tax year. However, the IRS later made reporting optional for 2011 for all employers.
The IRS further delayed the reporting requirement for small employers (those that file fewer than 250 Forms W-2) by making it optional for these employers until further guidance is issued. For the larger employers, the reporting requirement was mandatory for the 2012 Forms W-2 and continues.
ACA DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS
Summary of Benefits and Coverage
The ACA requires health plans and health insurance issuers to provide an SBC to applicants and enrollees to help them understand their coverage and make coverage decisions. Plans and issuers must provide the SBC to participants and beneficiaries who enroll or re-enroll during an open enrollment period. The SBC also must be provided to participants and beneficiaries who enroll other than through an open enrollment period (including those who are newly eligible for coverage and special enrollees).
In connection with a plan’s 2020 open enrollment period, the SBC should be included with the plan’s application materials. If coverage automatically renews for current participants, the SBC must generally be provided no later than 30 days before the beginning of the new plan year.
For self-funded plans, the plan administrator is responsible for providing the SBC. For insured plans, both the plan and the issuer are obligated to provide the SBC, although this obligation is satisfied for both parties if either one provides the SBC. Thus, if you have an insured plan, you should confirm that your health insurance issuer will assume responsibility for providing the SBCs.
Grandfathered Plan Notice
If you have a grandfathered plan, make sure to include information about the plan’s grandfathered status in plan materials describing the coverage under the plan, such as SPDs and open enrollment materials. Model language is available from the DOL.
Notice of Patient Protections
Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans and issuers that require designation of a participating primary care provider must permit each participant, beneficiary and enrollee to designate any available participating primary care provider (including a pediatrician for children). Also, plans and issuers that provide obstetrical/gynecological care and require a designation of a participating primary care provider may not require preauthorization or referral for obstetrical/gynecological care.
If a non-grandfathered plan requires participants to designate a participating primary care provider, the plan or issuer must provide a notice of these patient protections whenever the SPD or similar description of benefits is provided to a participant. If your plan is subject to this notice requirement, you should confirm that it is included in the plan’s open enrollment materials. Model language is available from the DOL.
Group health plan sponsors should consider including the following enrollment and annual notices with the plan’s open enrollment materials.
Initial COBRA Notice
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) applies to employers with 20 or more employees that sponsor group health plans. Plan administrators must provide an initial COBRA notice to new participants and certain dependents within 90 days after plan coverage begins. The initial COBRA notice may be incorporated into the plan’s SPD. A model initial COBRA notice is available from the DOL.
Notice of HIPAA Special Enrollment Rights
At or prior to the time of enrollment, a group health plan must provide each eligible employee with a notice of his or her special enrollment rights under HIPAA. This notice may be included in the plan’s SPD. Model language for this disclosure is available on the DOL’s website.
Annual CHIPRA Notice
Group health plans covering residents in a state that provides a premium subsidy to low-income children and their families to help pay for employer-sponsored coverage must send an annual notice about the available assistance to all employees residing in that state. The DOL has provided a model notice.
Plans and issuers must provide notice of participants’ rights to mastectomy-related benefits under the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) at the time of enrollment and on an annual basis. Model language for this disclosure is available on the DOL’s website.
Plan administrators must include a statement within the Summary Plan Description (SPD) timeframe describing requirements relating to any hospital length of stay in connection with childbirth for a mother or newborn child under the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protections Act. Model language for this disclosure is available on the DOL’s website.
Medicare Part D Notices
Group health plan sponsors must provide a notice of creditable or non-creditable prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals who are covered by, or who apply for, prescription drug coverage under the health plan. This creditable coverage notice alerts the individuals as to whether or not their prescription drug coverage is at least as good as the Medicare Part D coverage. The notice generally must be provided at various times, including when an individual enrolls in the plan and each year before Oct. 15th(when the Medicare annual open enrollment period begins). Model notices are available on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ website.
HIPAA Privacy Notice
The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires covered entities (including group health plans and issuers) to provide a Notice of Privacy Practices (or Privacy Notice) to each individual who is the subject of protected health information (PHI). Health plans are required to send the Privacy Notice at certain times, including to new enrollees at the time of enrollment. Also, at least once every three years, health plans must either redistribute the Privacy Notice or notify participants that the Privacy Notice is available and explain how to obtain a copy.
Self-insured health plans are required to maintain and provide their own Privacy Notices. Special rules, however, apply for fully insured plans. Under these rules, the health insurance issuer, and not the health plan itself, is primarily responsible for the Privacy Notice.
Plan administrators must provide an SPD to new participants within 90 days after plan coverage begins. Any changes that are made to the plan should be reflected in an updated SPD booklet or described to participants through a summary of material modifications (SMM).
Also, an updated SPD must be furnished every five years if changes are made to SPD information or the plan is amended. Otherwise, a new SPD must be provided every 10 years.
Summary Annual Report
Plan administrators that are required to file a Form 5500 (> 100 participants in plan) must provide participants with a narrative summary of the information in the Form 5500, called a summary annual report (SAR). The plan administrator generally must provide the SAR within nine months of the close of the plan year. If an extension of time to file the Form 5500 is obtained, the plan administrator must furnish the SAR within two months after the close of the extension period.
Wellness Program Notices
Group health plans that include wellness programs may be required to provide certain notices regarding the program’s design. As a general rule, these notices should be provided when the wellness program is communicated to employees and before employees provide any health-related information or undergo medical examinations.
HIPAA Wellness Program Notice—HIPAA imposes a notice requirement on health-contingent wellness programs that are offered under group health plans. Health-contingent wellness plans require individuals to satisfy standards related to health factors (for example, not smoking) in order to obtain rewards. The notice must disclose the availability of a reasonable alternative standard to qualify for the reward (and, if applicable, the possibility of waiver of the otherwise applicable standard) in all plan materials describing the terms of a health-contingent wellness program. Final regulations provide sample language that can be used to satisfy this requirement.
ADA Wellness Program Notice—Employers with 15 or more employees are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Wellness programs that include health-related questions or medical examinations must comply with the ADA’s requirements, including an employee notice requirement. Employers must give participating employees a notice that tells them what information will be collected as part of the wellness program, with whom it will be shared and for what purpose, the limits on disclosure and the way information will be kept confidential. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided a sample notice to help employers comply with this ADA requirement.
Enhance Your Employee Benefits Package. A competitive benefits package is key to keeping and attracting top talent.Assess your current benefits package and consider making necessary adjustments to include options, such as expanded mental health support, for example.
Review Employee Records. The fourth quarter is a good time to review your employee records and check record retention guidelines. Don’t forget to dispose of outdated termination and outdated job applications properly. With W2s around the corner, make sure all addresses and information are updated.
Develop and Distribute Your 2022 Calendar. Create and distribute a calendar outlining important dates, vacation time, pay dates, and company-observed holidays for 2022.
Review and Update Employee Handbook. Review your employee handbook to make sure it is up-to-date and addresses areas, such as employment law mandates, new COVID-related policies, guidelines for remote working, privacy policies, compensation and performance reviews, social media policies, attendance, and time-off, break periods, benefits, and procedures for termination, discipline, workplace safety, and emergency procedures.
PLEASE NOTE: This information is for general reference purposes only. Because laws, regulations, and filing deadlines are likely to change, please check with the appropriate organizations or government agencies for the latest information and consult your employment attorney and/or benefits advisor regarding your responsibilities. In addition, your business may be exempt from certain requirements and/or be subject to different requirements under the laws of your state. (Updated Oct. 3, 2021)
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BREAKING: HIT and Cadillac Tax Repealed
Congress has voted to fully repeal the Cadillac Tax and Health Insurance Tax effective January 1, 2021. This means the Health Insurance Tax will still be in place for 2020 and will be gone in 2021.
Both unpopular taxes with bipartisan approval delayed the Cadillac Tax but put the Health Insurance Tax(HIT) back in for 2020 earlier this summer. See Cadillac Tax Out Health Insurance Tax (HIT) Back In. Below are summaries of these two taxes that are now fully repealed.
Whats is the Health Insurance Tax (HIT)?
Health Insurance Tax: This tax included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased the cost of health care coverage for consumers and employers in every state. The ACA imposed a new sales tax on health insurance that started at $8 billion in 2014, increased to $14.3 billion by 2018, and continued to increase each year.
The HIT costing an estimated 2.5%-3% added surcharge or an estimated $500/family annually and $241 for Seniors. Website Stop The Hit calculates $5,000 as the average tax for a 10 man small business for example.
Whats is the Cadillac Tax?
The Cadillac Tax was to take effect in 2022 and had been twice delayed since its original inception scheduled for Jan 2014. This tax called for a 40% excise tax on the amount of the aggregate monthly premium of each primary insured individual that exceeds the year’s applicable dollar limit, which will be adjusted annually to the Consumer Price Index plus 1%.
The 40% excise tax applies to the cost of employer health plan coverage exceeding certain threshold amounts, which were originally set for 2018 at $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families.
Originally, the Cadillac Tax was pushed back by the behest of Unions to 2018 from the original proposed 2014 date. Most Unions with generous health care packages would not be complaint within that time frame. For average Gold Plans in regions such as NY, the widely unpopular Cadilac Tax would have been felt.
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