United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Karen Hsu

Director of Compliance at United Benefit Advisors

Recent Posts

Status of Court Case Challenging ACA Constitutionality

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Feb 6, 2020 7:15:00 AM

As background, in 2018, 20 states filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. District for the Northern District of Texas (District 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 of 2017 (TCJA) that reduced the individual mandate penalty to $0, starting in 2019.

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Topics: ACA, compliance recap, Tax Cuts, TCJA, Constitutionality

President Signs Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jan 31, 2020 7:36:00 AM

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Act) to keep the federal government running through September 2020. The Act significantly affects provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), largely though one fee extension and the repeal of three taxes.

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Topics: FMLA, ACA, Consolidated Appropriations Act, compliance recap

HHS Releases Inflation-Adjusted Federal Civil Penalty Amounts

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jan 23, 2020 12:45:00 PM

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its Annual Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustment. Here are some of the adjustments:

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Topics: HHS, HIPAA, Medicare, compliance recap

CMS Releases SBC Materials for Plan Years Beginning 2021

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jan 16, 2020 7:46:00 AM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released SBC materials and supporting documents including a template SBC, sample completed SBC, uniform glossary, instructions, and guidance for plan or policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2021. 

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Topics: Medicaid, SBC, CMS, Medicare coverage, compliance recap

IRS Releases Draft 2019 Instructions for Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Jan 7, 2020 11:07:41 AM

The IRS released draft instructions for both the 1094-B and 1095-B forms and the 1094-C and 1095-C forms and the draft forms for 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C. There are no substantive changes in the forms or instructions between 2018 and 2019.

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Topics: compliance, IRS

DOL Releases Advance Copies of Form 5500 and Related Instructions for 2019

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Dec 26, 2019 11:15:10 AM

The Department of Labor (DOL) released advance copies of Form 5500 Annual Return / Report (Form 5500) and related instructions for 2019.

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Topics: compliance, Form 5500, DOL

OCR and ONC Release HHS Security Risk Assessment Tool Version 3.1

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Dec 19, 2019 8:47:00 AM

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have released version 3.1 of the HHS Security Risk Assessment (SRA) Tool.

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Topics: compliance recap, ONC, SRA

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