United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Karen Hsu

Director of Compliance at United Benefit Advisors

Recent Posts

The Treasury Releases 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Dec 5, 2019 8:35:00 AM

The Treasury released its 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan (Priority Guidance Plan) that sets forth guidance priorities for the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the twelve-month period from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

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Topics: FMLA, benefits, compliance recap, HFSAs, Priority Guidance Plan, FY2020

District Court Vacates Parts of ACA Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Rule

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Nov 21, 2019 8:29:00 AM

As background, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1557 provides that individuals shall not be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any health program or activity which receives federal financial assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The current rule applies to any program administered by HHS or any health program or activity administered by an entity established under Title I of the ACA. These applicable entities are “covered entities” and include a broad array of providers, employers, and facilities. On May 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule (current rule) implementing Section 1557, which took effect on July 18, 2016.

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Topics: ACA, HHS, ACA Section 1557, compliance recap

DOL, HHS, and Treasury Release Final FAQs on Mental Health / Substance Use Disorder Parity

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Nov 14, 2019 9:30:00 AM

The U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) released final FAQs About Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Implementation and the 21st Century Cures Act Part 39. The Departments respond to FAQs as part of implementing the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). The FAQs contain a model disclosure form that employees can use to request information from their group health plan or individual market plan regarding treatment limitations that may affect access to mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits.

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Topics: ACA, HHS, DOL, mental health, compliance recap, MHPAEA

IRS Releases Information Letter on Employer Shared Responsibility Penalties under the ACA

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Nov 7, 2019 9:45:00 AM

The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) released an information letter responding to an inquiry of whether employer shared responsibility penalties (ESRPs) may be waived or reduced based on hardship or other factors and whether the IRS will extend the transition relief for employers with fewer than 100 employees.

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Topics: ACA, IRS, compliance recap, ESRPs

IRS Announces Health Insurance Providers Fee to Resume in 2020

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Oct 29, 2019 9:12:00 AM

As background, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a fee on each covered entity (for example, health insurers or a non-fully insured MEWA) engaged in the business of providing health insurance for United States health risks.

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Topics: ACA, IRS, ACA fees, compliance recap

IRS Publishes Proposed Rules on Affordability Safe Harbors and Nondiscrimination for ICHRAs

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Oct 22, 2019 8:32:00 AM

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed rules clarifying how the employer shared responsibility provisions and Section 105(h) nondiscrimination rules apply to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans that are integrated with individual health insurance coverage or Medicare.

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Topics: HRAs, IRS, compliance recap, Individual Coverage

DOL Issues Updated Medicaid / CHIP Model Notice

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Oct 10, 2019 10:36:48 AM

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued an updated Premium Assistance Under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Model Notice. Employers should distribute the updated model notice before the start of the plan year if they have any employees in a state listed in the notice.

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Topics: DOL, CHIP, compliance recap

CMS Requires Prescription Drug Coverage Reporting under Section 111 MSP Reporting

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Oct 3, 2019 9:18:00 AM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revised its Section 111 Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) User Guide and issued FAQs that require responsible reporting entities (RREs) to submit primary prescription drug coverage information as part of their Section 111 MSP Mandatory reporting requirements effective January 1, 2020.

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Topics: prescription drug coverage, compliance recap

IRS Releases Private Letter Ruling Regarding Section 213(d) Medical Care Expenses

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Sep 24, 2019 10:15:00 AM

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a private letter ruling (Letter) regarding whether the price of a DNA collection kit – specifically services and reports related to a person’s health that are generated from analyzing the collected DNA – qualify as Section 213(d) medical care expenses.

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Topics: IRS, compliance recap, DNA Collection Kit, Medical Care Expenses

DOL Issues Advisory Opinion on Intermittent FMLA Leave

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Sep 13, 2019 11:00:00 AM

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued an advisory opinion regarding whether an employee may take intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to attend special education meetings with a speech pathologist, school psychologist, and occupational therapist to discuss the employee’s children’s individualized education programs.

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Topics: FMLA, compliance recap, Individualized Education Programs