United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Karen Hsu

Director of Compliance at United Benefit Advisors

Recent Posts

CMS Publishes 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters Final Rule

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jun 13, 2019 1:05:12 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule and fact sheet for benefit payment and parameters for 2020. Although the final rule primarily affects the individual market and the Exchanges, the final rule addresses the following topics that may impact employer-sponsored group health plans:

  • The 2020 maximum annual limitation on cost sharing is $8,150 for self-only coverage and $16,300 for other-than-self-only coverage.
  • For fully-insured plans, any indication of a reduction in the generosity of a benefit for individuals that is not based on clinically indicated, reasonable medical management practices is potentially discriminatory.
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Topics: health insurance, Medicaid, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare coverage

CMS Releases 2020 Parameters for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jun 6, 2019 1:11:48 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the following parameters for the defined standard Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit for 2020:

 

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Topics: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, prescription drugs

District Court Vacates Portions of the Association Health Plans Final Rule

Posted by: Karen Hsu    May 2, 2019 5:42:05 PM

shutterstock_149240627As background, on June 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Final Rule that broadened the definition of “employer” and the provisions under which an employer group or association may be treated as an “employer” sponsor of a single multiple-employer employee welfare benefit plan and group health plan under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). 

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Topics: DOL, association health plans

HHS Releases Bulletin that Extends Grandmothered Plans Through 2020

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Apr 25, 2019 2:58:31 PM

shutterstock_245503777As background, in the fall of 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a transitional relief program that allowed state insurance departments to permit early renewal at the end of 2013 of individual  and small group policies that do not meet the “market reform” requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and for the policies to remain in force until their new renewal date in late 2014.

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Topics: compliance

Status of Court Case Challenging ACA Constitutionality

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Apr 16, 2019 2:52:00 PM

shutterstock_754468558As background, in February 2018, twenty states filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Court) to strike down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) entirely. The lawsuit came after the U.S. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017 that reduced the individual mandate penalty to $0, starting in 2019.

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Topics: compliance

IRS Releases Information Letter on Returning HSA Contributions to an Employer

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Mar 14, 2019 4:30:02 PM

shutterstock_564470320Generally, a person’s interest in a Health Savings Account (HSA) is nonforfeitable. However, in the past, the Internal Revenue Service’s Notice 2008-59 described limited circumstances under which an employer may recoup contributions made to an employee’s HSA.

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Topics: IRS, HSA

DOL’s Annually Adjusted Federal Penalties

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Feb 28, 2019 3:47:52 PM

shutterstock_434519134DOL’s Annually Adjusted Federal Penalties

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Topics: Adjustments, Department of Labor, inflation

Proposed 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters Rule

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jan 29, 2019 2:50:29 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule for benefit payment and parameters for 2020. CMS also released its draft 2020 actuarial value calculator and draft 2020 actuarial value calculator methodology.

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Topics: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Affordable Care Act, Benefit Payment and Parameters rule

Advance Informational Copies of 2018 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jan 25, 2019 2:40:40 PM

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released advance informational copies of the 2018 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions.

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Topics: ERISA, IRS Form 5500

IRS Releases 2019 Inflation-Adjusted Limits

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jan 17, 2019 2:13:54 PM

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released its inflation-adjusted limits for various benefits. For example, the maximum contribution limit to health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) will be $2,700 in 2019. Also, the maximum reimbursement limit in 2019 for Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements will be $5,150 for single coverage and $10,450 for family coverage.

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Topics: IRS, inflation