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The First ACA Shoe Drops

January 23, 2017

Authors

Lisa Van Fleet and Chris Rylands

The First ACA Shoe Drops

January 23, 2017

by: Lisa Van Fleet and Chris Rylands

ACA Blue HighlightOnly hours into the new administration, steps were taken to eliminate, or at the very least minimize the impact of, the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  In his first Executive Order, President Trump affirmed his intent to repeal the ACA and further sought to minimize the economic burden of the ACA.  The order instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies to,  “take all actions consistent with the law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burden of the act, and prepare to afford the states more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.”

This is not a repeal of the ACA (the President cannot unilaterally do that).  However, what

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Scratch & Sniff the New Health Plan FAQs

November 12, 2015

Authors

Serena Yee and Lisa Van Fleet

Scratch & Sniff the New Health Plan FAQs

November 12, 2015

by: Serena Yee and Lisa Van Fleet

ACA Blue HighlightLast month the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury published FAQs offering a veritable potpourri of guidance addressing preventive services, wellness programs and mental health parity.  Some potpourris offer a pleasing aroma – other not so much.  Decide for yourself whether this potpourri of guidance is pleasing based on the following summary.

PREVENTIVE SERVICES – New guidance expands coverage obligations.

Non-grandfathered health plan must cover certain preventive services without the imposition of any cost sharing.

Lactation Counseling/Equipment. Among the preventive services that a non-grandfathered health plan must cover in-network without cost-sharing is comprehensive prenatal and postnatal lactation support, counseling, and equipment rental. The Departments provided the following clarifications with respect to such preventive service:

  • If participants do not have access to lactation counseling in-network, the plan
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Recent Guidance on Normal Retirement Age Regulations for Governmental Plans

May 8, 2012

Authors

benefitsbclp

Recent Guidance on Normal Retirement Age Regulations for Governmental Plans

May 8, 2012

by: benefitsbclp

The IRS and Treasury Department recently issued Notice 2012-29, which provides new guidance for the final “normal retirement age” regulations relating to governmental plans. The Notice provides that the IRS and the Treasury intend to further extend the effective date for governmental plans to comply with the final regulations to annuity starting dates that occur in plan years beginning on or after the later of:

  • January 1, 2015, or
  • the close of the first regular legislative session of the legislative body with the authority to amend the plan that begins on or after the date that is three months after the final regulations are published in the Federal Register.

The Notice also provides that the IRS and Treasury will make two important clarifications in the final regulations:

  • The final regulations will clarify that governmental plans that do not provide for in-service distributions before age 62
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Treasury Department Offers Proposed Lifetime Income Guidance

February 2, 2012

Authors

benefitsbclp

Treasury Department Offers Proposed Lifetime Income Guidance

February 2, 2012

by: benefitsbclp

Today, the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released proposed regulations along with a series of rulings intended to reduce regulatory barriers and increase the employer’s ease in offering lifetime income choices (i.e., annuities) to retirees to help them avoid outliving their retirement savings.  As described in the “fact sheet” issued by the Treasury, these proposed regulations aim to offer workers more accessible options as to how they receive their retirement benefits, including:

  • a combination retirement benefit option, which would allow an individual to take a portion of their income as a lifetime annuity while taking the remainder in another form (e.g., a lump-sum);
  • a “longevity annuity” option, which would allow employees to use a portion of their account balance (the lesser of 25% or $100,000) to provide a life annuity that would not begin until the retiree had reached age 80 or 85, to protect those
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