We have been advised by the National Association of Health Underwriter (NAHU) that the House of Representatives has now passed legislation that will delay the Cadillac/excise tax for two years. The provision was included in a $1.1 trillion omnibus government spending and tax-break package. It is now headed to the Senate and is expected to pass later today. President Obama is expected to sign it into law next week.… Read the Full Article
On Oct. 7, 2015, President Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act into law. The PACE Act repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that the small group market in every state be expanded to include businesses with 51-100 employees.
Although some sources questioned whether he might veto the law, the President signed the PACE Act into law in light of its bipartisan support in Congress.… Read the Full Article
The Supreme Court today handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” the court’s majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that “petitioners’ arguments about the plain meaning … are strong.”
The majority opinion cited the law’s “more than a few examples of inartful drafting,” but added, “the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.”
Roberts was joined by the court’s liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, as well as Anthony Kennedy.… Read the Full Article
Find out how ACA affects Employers with 50 or more Employees
Some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or health care law, apply only to large employers, which are generally those with 50 or more fulltime equivalent employees. These employers are considered applicable large employers – also known as ALEs – and are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions and the annual employer information return provisions.… Read the Full Article
DOL Issues Final Rule to Expand FMLA Protections for Same-Sex Marriage
On Feb. 25, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule that expands protections under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for same-sex spouses. This final rule revises the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA to:
- Adopt a “place of celebration” rule (which is based on where the marriage was entered into), instead of the “state of residence” rule that applied under prior DOL guidance; and
- Expressly include same-sex marriages in addition to common law marriages, and encompass same-sex marriages entered into abroad that could have been entered into in at least one state.
IRS Penalties for Small Employers Reimbursing Individual Health Insurance Premiums Will Not Apply Until July 2015
IRS Notice 2015-17 provides limited transition relief from the assessment of excise taxes for small employers who reimburse, or directly pay, the premium for an employee’s individual health insurance policy.
An “employer payment plan” is an arrangement under which an employer reimburses an employee for some or all of the premium expenses incurred for an individual health insurance policy, or an arrangement under which the employer uses its funds to directly pay the premium for an individual health insurance policy covering the employee.… Read the Full Article
The information below might be of some use to our broker community as we head closer to 2015. This information was excerpted from an article and hopefully it might help you better serve your employer groups.
It is a brief summary of all the notice requirements to participants in group health plans.
Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (“WHCRA”)
Each year participants must receive a summary plan description (SPD) of a health plan’s coverage for mastectomies and breast reconstructive services.… Read the Full Article
SEP 4, 2014 8:43:00 AM
The government agencies responsible for the implementation of health care reform issued proposed rules and interim final regulations expanding the universe of employers who can make a religious objection to providing contraceptive coverage under their health plans. Health care reform mandates that virtually all health plans must provide preventive services without cost sharing.… Read the Full Article
Transitional Coverage Options Extended for Oxford New Jersey Small Group Employers through the 2015 Plan Year
We previously notified you that, due to a determination by federal and New Jersey regulators, we would allow small group customers with New Jersey sitused plans with January 1, 2014 through October 1, 2014 effective dates to renew their existing 2013 Oxford1 coverage with limited changes for 2014.
Horizon BCBSNJ reaches new agreement with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has reached an agreement with Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (A.I. duPont). This agreement
will reinstate A.I. duPont in the Horizon Hospital Network effective August 1, 2014.
The agreement means that Horizon BCBSNJ members can again take advantage of