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Compliance Buzz will include comprehensive and practical updates on legislative, regulatory and court developments affecting employee benefit plans. The blog will also contain coverage on issues that impact benefits in general, and in particular, health care reform.
By Compliance on 12/12/2014 9:22 AM

With a new year fast approaching, individuals that participate in a health flexible spending account (FSA) may ask, who is eligible to receive tax-free reimbursement of medical expenses from their health FSA?


The short answer is the employee, spouse, eligible children and dependents are eligible for tax-free medical care reimbursement from the health FSA. But, with recent changes in regulation, who qualifies as a spouse, eligible child or dependent?

By Compliance on 12/11/2014 10:11 AM

The IRS has announced that the medical mileage rate for 2015 will be $.23 per mile, down ½ cent from 2013.

By Compliance on 12/9/2014 4:43 PM

The maximum out of pocket (OOP) limit for a high deductible health plan (HDHP) will be less than the maximum OOP for an ACA compliant health plan in 2015. Employers and brokers need to be careful when designing and purchasing plans in 2015 to avoid confusion and possible tax consequences.

By Compliance on 12/8/2014 4:16 PM

Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved a bill to increase the monthly pre-tax transit benefit to $250 from the current $130 limit retroactive to January 1, 2014. However, the bill would expire at the end of 2014, thus returning the maximum pre-tax transit benefit to $130.

Although the House passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771), the Senate still must act to pass the legislation and the president would need to sign the bill to enact the provision. With the end of the tax year fast approaching, there may not be enough time for the process to be completed in time.

By Compliance on 12/8/2014 9:22 AM

The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a Transitional Reinsurance Fee (TR Fee) of $27 per covered life for calendar year 2016.

By Compliance on 11/24/2014 9:59 AM

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published the final regulations related to amendments to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

One of the amendments confirms guidance that the Department of Labor provided earlier that employers need not provide certificates of creditable coverage after December 31, 2014.

By Compliance on 11/18/2014 8:39 AM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a delay in the deadline from November 15th to December 5th for insurers of group major medical plans and for the employer-sponsors of self-insured group major plans to report the number of covered individuals for which they owe the transitional reinsurance (TR) fee for 2014.

By Compliance on 11/10/2014 1:49 PM

The Department of Labor has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Part XXII for implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The FAQ reiterates prior guidance that if an employer reimburses or pays for an employee’s individual medical insurance plan the arrangement is an employer payment plan and does not comply with the no annual limit provision of the ACA.

This guidance builds on previous guidance provided in DOL Technical Release 2013-03 and IRS Notice 2013-54, both of which we wrote about and were issued on September 13, 2013. Last May, the IRS issued a terse Q&Athat arrangements that reimburse or pay for individual medical plan premiums do not comply with the regulations and those employers that continue such arrangements or implement such an arrangement are in violation of the no annual limit provision of the ACA and are subject to a $100 per day penalty times the number of employees covered by such an arrangement.  

By Compliance on 11/3/2014 10:35 AM

CMS has announced that it is exercising its enforcement discretion to “delay until further notice” enforcement of the Health Plan Identifier (HPID) requirements. The announcement comes only days before many insured health plans and some self-insured health plans would be required to have registered for a HPID and begin using the HPID when performing HIPAA standard transactions on November 5, 2015.

This means that health plan insurers or employers that sponsor self-insured health plans that did register for the HPID need not use the HPID in standard transactions. Further, insurers or employers that have not yet registered for a HPID need not do so until further notice from HHS.

By Compliance on 10/31/2014 1:30 PM

The IRS has announced that the pre-tax maximum monthly elections for qualified transportation benefits will be the same for 2015 as they have been for 2014. The pre-tax maximum amounts will continue at $250 per month for parking benefits and $130 per month for transit benefits.

Under Code Section 132, the IRS allows an employer to offer a Transportation Plan to its employees. Through the plan, the employees have the right to elect or be paid for pre-tax parking and/or transit benefits. The employer can also provide employer paid bicycling benefits to those employees that do not elect parking and transit benefits.

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Recent Entries From Around Our Site

Medical Mileage Rate for 2015 Announced (12/11/14)
Out of Pocket Limits for 2015 Confusing (12/9/14)
2016 TR Fee Proposed (12/8/14)
TR Fee Report Deadline Delayed (11/18/14)
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This Blog is made available by the authors and Employee Benefits Corporation for educational and general informational purposes only, not to provide legal advice. By using this Blog you understand that there is no attorney/client relationship between you and the Blog author.
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