In The Know

/In The Know
VCG’s VANTAGE
A view into the latest Benefits and HR topics

IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadline (Again)

Authors: |December 4th, 2018|Administration, Benefits, Communications, Compliance, In The Know, Technology|

In the recently released Notice 2018-94, the IRS provided reporting relief for employers for the 2018 calendar year.  Here are the key points. The due date for providing Forms 1095-C or 1095-B to employees and individuals is extended 32 days to March 4, 2019 Despite the extension, the IRS is encouraging reporting entities to furnish [...]

IRS Announces 2019 Health FSA and Commuter Contribution Limits

Authors: |November 15th, 2018|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, In The Know|

The IRS announced annual adjustments to Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts and Parking and Transit Accounts. Benefit Plan 2018 Limit 2019 Limit Health FSA $2,650/year $2,700/year Parking and Transit Account $260/month $265/month   Employers are not required to increase their Health FSA to reflect the new limit.  It may not be administratively feasible for groups [...]

Required Reporting, Disclosures and Notices for Group Health Plans

Authors: |November 2nd, 2018|Administration, Benefits, Communications, Compliance, In The Know|

Participants must be provided with various notices in connection with an employer’s group health plan.  The notices are required at certain intervals including initially, upon annual open enrollment and at termination. Notices with Initial Enrollment Materials Notice of Exchange Availability. This notice must contain certain basic information about the employer’s group health coverage so the [...]

Annual Enrollment Checklist

Authors: |October 23rd, 2018|Benefits, Communications, Compliance, Human Resources, In The Know|

For employers operating their group health plans on a calendar year basis, now is the time of the year to prepare for open enrollment with respect to group health and welfare benefits.  Typically, the focus is on evaluating the services and performance of vendors, renewing rates and considering design changes.  In addition to these items, [...]

Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

Authors: |September 20th, 2018|Administration, Benefits, Communications, Compliance, In The Know|

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance issuers to spend a minimum percentage of premium dollars on medical care and health care quality improvement, which is intended to lower the cost of care. This percentage is known as "medical loss ratio" (MLR). In the large group insurance market, the required MLR is 85%; the [...]

Medicare Part D Notices – Creditable (or Non-Creditable) Coverage

Authors: |August 28th, 2018|Benefits, Communications, Compliance, In The Know|

Plan sponsors of group health plans providing prescription drug coverage to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage are required to satisfy certain notice requirements. Background Individuals must enroll in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage when first eligible (generally, at age 65).  If they do not do so, they are [...]

When Can SPDs and Participant Notices be Distributed Electronically?

Authors: |August 23rd, 2018|Administration, Benefits, Communications, Compliance, In The Know, Technology|

Summary Plan Description (SPD) is a document that employers are required to give to employees in retirement plans or health benefit plans covered by ERISA.  The SPD is simply a summary of the plan document required to be written in such a way that the participants of the benefits plan can easily understand it. Employers [...]

U.S. News Best Hospitals Rankings 2018-2019

Authors: |August 22nd, 2018|Administration, Benefits, Decision Making, In The Know, Technology, Workplace Wellness|

On August 14th, U.S. News and World Report released their annual top hospitals rankings. The top five nationally were: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN Cleveland Clinic Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine Ann Arbor They also reported regional rankings for 200 metropolitan areas and the top five hospitals in selected [...]

2017 PCORI Fee Due July 31st

Authors: |July 30th, 2018|Benefits, Communications, Compliance, In The Know|

The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers and employers that sponsor self-funded group health plans (including health reimbursement arrangements) to pay a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee for each year from 2012 to 2019. The PCORI fee for plan years ending in 2017 is due by July 31, 2018. If the plan is fully [...]

DOL Finalizes Association Health Plan Rules

Authors: |June 21st, 2018|Benefits, In The Know|

June 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its long-awaited final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs).  The final rule attempts to create more opportunities for small employers and certain self-employed individuals to access affordable health coverage through AHPs. AHPs are not a new concept.  However, under prior guidance, it has historically been [...]