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Benefits

New Cobra Subsidy Under ARPA Effective April 1st

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Act Plan of 2021 (ARPA) into law. Subsidy Overview The sweeping $1.9 trillion package includes a range of policies to provide additional pandemic relief. Among the provisions of the most interest to employers, ARPA provides for a 100% COBRA subsidy for up to six months for anyone who lost health coverage because of an involuntary termination or involuntary reduction in hours. ARPA also provides a “second chance” election for those who did not initially elect COBRA or who let their COBRA coverage lapse. ARPA subsidies cover the full cost of COBRA or State Continuation premiums from April...

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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Impact on Healthcare

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law on March 11, 2021. Along with providing financial relief for individuals, state and local governments, schools, businesses and for other purposes, the law contains the following measures of special interest to employers and their employees: A subsidy for COBRA premiums, funded through employer tax credits Expansion of subsidy for ACA premiums Increase in DCAP contribution limits Action Steps Employers should review the ARPA’s provisions to identify any requirements and opportunities that apply to them. Employers are also advised to watch for official guidance on the implementation of the...

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Benefits Payroll Deductions Best Practices

Benefits Payroll Deductions Best Practices SIMA proudly provides your company with comprehensive financial services allowing you to focus on your business. Below we have outlined some best practices related to maintaining your company’s employee benefit deductions. These practices are intended to support your existing company procedures and enable your team to find any discrepancies in a timely manner. As always, please feel free to reach out to your benefits team with any questions you may have at (804) 285-5700 or benefits@simafinancialgroup.com.   Manage & Update Payroll Deductions You are responsible for maintaining your payroll system and payroll deductions. It is important to develop processes to...

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President Biden Issues Executive Actions Addressing Health Care Access

President Biden Issues Executive Actions Addressing Health Care Access President Joe Biden has signed two executive actions to strengthen Americans’ access to affordable health care. Among the actions is an executive order aimed at expanding enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid, and a memorandum rescinding regulations on reproductive health access. Biden’s executive order on health care access is aimed to increase access to the Health Insurance Marketplace. It is expected that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will open a “Special Enrollment Period” in the Marketplace from Feb. 15 through May 15. According to the White House,...

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Employee Benefits Plan Limits for 2021

Many employee benefits are subject to annual dollar limits that are periodically updated for inflation by the IRS. The IRS typically announces the dollar limits that will apply for the next calendar year well in advance of the beginning of that year. This gives employers time to update their plan designs and make sure their plan administration will be consistent with the new limits. Although some of the limits will increase for 2021, most of the limits remain the same. Increased Limits For plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2021, the following limits have increased: Health savings account contributions: Single coverage—$3,600 (up...

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Final Rule on Health Care Transparency Issued

The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) issued a final rule that imposes new transparency requirements on group health plans and health insurers in the individual and group markets. Specifically, the final rule requires plans and issuers to disclose: Price and cost-sharing information to participants, beneficiaries and enrollees upon request: A list of 500 shoppable services must be available via the internet for plan years beginning or after Jan. 1, 2023. The remainder of all items and services is required to be available for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2024. In-network...

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PCORI Fee Amount Adjusted for 2021

The Fee is $2.66 per Covered Life for Plan Years Ending in 2021 The IRS issued Notice 2020-84, which increases the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee amount for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and before Oct. 1, 2021. Specifically, the PCORI fee amount for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and before Oct. 1, 2021, is increased to $2.66 multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan. The IRS provided transition relief related to the 2020 PCORI fee calculation, due to the anticipated termination of the PCORI fee prior to its extension. This transition relief...

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Final Forms and Instructions for 2020 ACA Reporting Released

2020 ACA Reporting is Due in Early 2021 The IRS has released final 2020 forms and instructions for use in early 2021 to report under IRS Code Sections 6055 and 6056 for the 2020 calendar year. 2020 Form 1094-B and Form 1095-B (and related instructions) will be used by providers of minimum essential coverage (MEC), including self-insured plan sponsors that are not ALEs, to report under Section 6055. 2020 Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C (and related instructions) will be used by applicable large employers (ALEs) to report under Section 6056, as well as for combined Section 6055 and 6056 reporting by ALEs who sponsor self-insured plans. The forms and instructions include a...

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