About Tina Bull
Current Maryland insurance law requires all policies issued or renewed in the state after January 1, 2018 to provide coverage for male contraception and sterilization procedures without being subject to any cost-sharing requirements (including the deductible).
This mandate created a question as to whether such plans could still be considered Qualified High Deductible Health Plans (QHDHP) under current IRS guidance and uncertainty regarding the eligibility of individuals covered by these plans to make Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions or receive employer HSA contributions on a tax favored basis. As a reminder, only fully-insured plans issued in Maryland are impacted.
On January 12, 2018, the Maryland legislature enacted the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (MHWFA) by overriding Governor Hogan’s veto from the prior legislative session. The MHWFA requires all Maryland employers to provide sick and safe leave to eligible employees. Legislative attempts to delay the effective date of the Act have been unsuccessful, so it is in force as of February 11, 2018. Continue Reading
This Benefit Minute provides an overview of benefit-related items in the new tax reform law and in the short-term continuing resolution that ended the partial federal government shutdown and funded the government through February 8th. Continue Reading
On December 22, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service extended the deadline to provide 2017 Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C from January 31, 2018 to March 2, 2018. This 30-day extension is automatic. Employers and insurers do not have to request it. Employers and insurers are still encouraged to distribute the forms as soon as they are able. There is no extension of the due dates to file with the IRS. The due date is April 2, 2018 for electronic filing (or February 28, 2018 if filed on paper). Continue Reading
Set forth below are the 2018 and 2017 limitations for qualified plans and other benefit related items. See the table of information.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has begun assessing Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate penalties for 2015 by sending certain employers Letter 226J, the preliminary tax penalty notification letter. Continue Reading
In the last week, the Trump administration has taken action to make changes to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This action includes two new interim final regulations that scale back the ACA’s contraceptive coverage mandate, an Executive Order related to association health plans (AHP), health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) and short-term limited-duration insurance, and an announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that government payments to insurers for cost-sharing reductions will cease immediately. The recent flurry of activity appears to be the administration’s response to the failure of repeal and replace legislation to move through Congress. Continue Reading
This issue of the Benefit Minute summarizes recent judicial activity which may affect employers and their benefit plans. Continue Reading
The continuing increases in prescription drug costs has led some group health plan sponsors to consider arrangements whereby employees are provided with a referral to an international pharmacy or dispensing service to obtain drugs from outside the United States. This referral program will generally be offered on a voluntary basis (in addition to other prescription drug benefits offered under the plan) and provide for purchase of brand name drugs at little or no cost to the employee or dependent. Promoters of these programs view them as an expansion of the FDA’s long-standing practice of allowing individuals to import prescription drugs for their own personal use. Continue Reading