Saturday, February 10, 2018

Budget Deal Boosts Healthcare Programs, Owners in HRAs, COBRA & HRAs, and Top Issues with Medical Management Carve-Outs

Health Care Reform News: 

House passes deal to end shutdown
February 9, 2018 – The Hill
Excerpt: “The House approved a sweeping budget deal early Friday morning that would fund the government through March 23, sending legislation to President Trump that would end a brief shutdown of the government that began at midnight.”

Bipartisan Senate Budget Deal Boosts Health Programs
February 7, 2018 – Kaiser Health News
Excerpt: “In a rare show of bipartisanship for the mostly polarized 115th Congress, Republican and Democratic Senate leaders announced a two-year budget deal that would increase federal spending for defense as well as key domestic priorities, including many health programs.”

Questions and Answers about Information Reporting by Employers on Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C
February 6, 2018 – The Internal Revenue Service
Excerpt: “These Q&As provide additional information about completing Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C for calendar year 2017 that are to be filed in 2018. The Q&As may be used in conjunction with the Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, which provide detailed information about completing the forms.”

In Other News:

Information Letter Addresses Calculation of COBRA Premium for HRA
February 8, 2018 – Thomson Reuters
Excerpt: “The information letter explains generally that an employer may charge the “applicable premium” for COBRA coverage, which is the cost to the plan of coverage for similarly situated beneficiaries for whom a qualifying event has not occurred, plus a 2% administrative fee.”

Can a Company’s Owners Participate in Its HRA?
February 8, 2018 – Thomson Reuters
Excerpt: “While self-employed individuals cannot participate in HRAs, they can have HSAs, although they cannot receive tax-free contributions to their HSAs through a cafeteria plan.”

AI mines EHR data to predict diabetic patients at risk for kidney damage, study finds
February 5, 2018 – Healthcare IT News
Excerpt: “By isolating less than 5 percent of the 400,000 diabetic population selected among the company's database of 15 million patients, the algorithm was able to identify 45 percent of patients who would progress to significant kidney damage within a year, prior to becoming symptomatic, the start-up reported. This represents 25 percent more patients than would have been identified by commonly used clinical tools and judgment, the company contended.”

Top 10 Questions re: Management Carve Outs in Group Health Plans
February 2, 2018 – E is for ERISA
Excerpt: “One issue that remains perpetually murky, in this regard, is the legality of management carve-outs, whereby an employer offers certain group health insurance options or classes of coverage only to management or other highly paid groups. The following true or false discusses some of the rules that come into play.”

Medicare Part D Disclosures due by March 1, 2018 for Calendar Year Plans
February 1, 2018 – BB&T Insurance Services
Excerpt: “The plan sponsor must complete the online disclosure within 60 days after the beginning of the plan year. For calendar year health plans, the deadline for the annual online disclosure is March 1.”

Changes to ERISA’s Disability Claims Regulations Coming April 1
January 31, 2018 – Jackson Lewis P.C.
Excerpt: “Employers who offer short-term and long-term disability plans governed by ERISA (and their plan administrators) need to prepare for the approaching deadline. This article provides background on the flux of the regulations and offers steps to take now to ensure timely compliance.”