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Executive Order Calls for Minimizing Economic Burden of ACA

President Trump has signed an executive order calling upon federal administrative agencies to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pending repeal of the law. Until further guidance is issued or legislation is signed, however, all ACA requirements remain in effect, including penalties for noncompliance. In addition to making clear that the Trump administration seeks the prompt repeal of the ACA, the executive order specifically calls upon agencies to exercise authority and discretion to: Waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any ACA provision or requirement that would impose a fiscal...

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New Executive Order Calls for Minimizing Fiscal Burdens of ACA

President Trump has signed an executive order calling upon federal administrative agencies to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pending repeal of the law. Until further guidance is issued or legislation is signed, however, all ACA requirements remain in effect, including penalties for noncompliance. In addition to making it clear that the Trump administration seeks the prompt repeal of the ACA, the executive order specifically calls upon agencies to exercise authority and discretion to: Waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any ACA provision or requirement that would impose a...

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Important update for groups using Anthem’s 2017 National Drug List

The goal of the Anthem National Drug List is to provide access to drugs and therapies with clinical evidence to improve the health of our members, while keeping health care affordable. Our drug lists include brand-name and generic prescription medications that have been reviewed through our Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) process. Through the P&T process, which includes an independent group of doctors, pharmacists and other health care professionals, we review new and existing drugs and choose medications based on safety, effectiveness and value. Reviews are conducted on a quarterly basis. Additions are made quarterly while deletions may be made twice yearly, in...

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Certain Small Employer HRAs Exempt From ACA Market Reforms

A new law allows certain small employers--those with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees who do not offer a group health plan--to offer new "qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements" to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses, including individual health insurance premiums, for years after December 31, 2016. The law also includes a notice requirement for these new HRAs. Qualified Small Employer HRAs Qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are exempt from the ACA's market reforms. To be considered a qualified small employer HRA, the arrangement generally must: •    Be funded solely by an eligible small employer without salary reduction contributions; •    Provide,...

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IRS: Opt-Out Arrangement Rules To Be Finalized ‘At A Later Time’

In July 2016, the IRS released a proposed rule addressing how opt-out arrangements -- arrangements whereby an employer offers its employees a cash payment in exchange for declining coverage under an employer-sponsored plan-- are to be taken into account for purposes of determining whether the coverage is affordable under certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. While the IRS anticipated finalizing this rule prior to the end of 2016, the IRS has announced that it expects to finalize such guidance "at a later time." Latest Opt-Out Arrangement Guidance Until final regulations are applicable, employers can rely on the opt-out arrangement guidance provided...

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5 HR Compliance Resolutions for 2017

The new year is a great time to take stock of your company's compliance with important federal, state, and local labor law requirements. Keep these resolutions in mind to help start your company off right in 2017: 1. Give your poster wall a thorough check-up. Make sure all of your workplace posters are up-to-date and the correct size. Check with your state labor department for any industry-specific poster requirements that may apply to your business. Note that certain localities may also have posting requirements. 2. Stay on top of notice requirements. From summary plan descriptions (SPDs), to COBRA- and FMLA-related notices, employers...

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Speed Up Business Decisions with Dashboard Reports

Would you drive a car without a functional dashboard? Perhaps once a month someone could tell you how fast you were going and how much fuel you had left. Sound good? Probably not. Yet this is how many business owners run their companies. The good news is there’s a solution. With the right software and some help from our firm, you can regularly receive dashboard reports that provide a one- or two-page summary of key business performance metrics in a concise, visual format. Good looking info Similar to a car’s control panel, dashboard reports provide business owners and managers with timely, relevant input...

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Should you offer spousal health care coverage?

When looking to manage benefits costs, employers have many ideas to consider. One in particular is whether and how to offer health care insurance to their employees’ spouses. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t require spousal coverage. It only requires coverage for dependent children. But many employees may frown on seeing spousal coverage suddenly become expensive or vanish entirely. So this is a question warranting careful forethought. 2 established ways Essentially, there are two established ways of saving money on spousal coverage: 1) rationalizing the expense through a cost-sharing surcharge, or 2) eliminating coverage altogether through a “spousal carve-out” policy. Few employers appear willing to lower the...

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HSA + HDHP = Your ideal benefits strategy?

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created as a tax-favored framework to provide health care benefits mainly for small to midsize businesses and the self-employed. So, assuming your company falls into one of these categories, have you considered the strategy of using these accounts with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP)?   Tax benefits The tax benefits of HSAs are quite favorable and substantial. Eligible individuals can make tax-deductible (as an adjustment to AGI) contributions into HSA accounts. The funds in the account may be invested (somewhat like an IRA), so there’s an opportunity for growth. The earnings inside the HSA are free from federal...

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