Learn More Details By Participating In November 13, 2014 WebEx Briefing
Employers of 100 or more full-time employees that plan currently offering or planning to offer after November 4, 2014 health plans with mandate only or other “skinny” plan designs which do not provide “substantial coverage” for both in-patient hospitalization and physician services should re-evaluate the implications of their proposed plan design as well as existing and planned employee enrollment or other communications about those plans, in light of the new guidance provided by Notice 2014-69 released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today. Learn all the details about this new guidance and its implication by participating in our November 13 , 2014 briefing.
Plans Must Provide “Substantial Coverage” for Both In-Patient Hospitalization & Physician Services To Provide Minimum Value
Notice 2014-69 makes it official that the Department of Treasury (including the IRS) and Department of Health and Human Services (collectively the Departments) believe that group health plans that fail to provide substantial coverage for in-patient hospitalization services or for physician services (or for both) (referred to in the Notice as Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plans) do not provide the “minimum value” necessary to fulfill the minimum value requirements of Code §36B and 4080H(b).
The Notice also notifies sponsoring employers about the Departments expectations about notifications and other communications to employees about Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plans) as well as shares details about the Departments plans for implementing their interpretation in planned final regulations by March, 2015.
Standards On Employer Communications About Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plans
The Notice cautions employers about the need to use care in communicating with employees about Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan. Among other things, the Notice states that an employer that offers a Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan (including a Pre-November 4, 2014 Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan) to an employee must:
- Not state or imply in any disclosure that the offer of coverage under the Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan precludes an employee from obtaining a premium tax credit, if otherwise eligible, and
- Timely correct any prior disclosures that stated or implied that the offer of the Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan would preclude an otherwise tax-credit-eligible employee from obtaining a premium tax credit.
- Without such a corrective disclosure, the Notice warns that a statement (for example, in a summary of benefits and coverage) that a Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan provides minimum value will be considered to imply that the offer of such a plan precludes employees from obtaining a premium tax credit. However, an employer that also offers an employee another plan that is not a Non-Hospital/Non/-Physician Services Plan and that is affordable and provides minimum value (MV) is permitted to advise the employee that the offer of this other plan will or may preclude the employee from obtaining a premium tax credit.
Anticipated Approach In Planned Regulations
Regarding the Departments plans to adopt regulations implementing the interpretation of Code § 36B announced in the Notice, the Notice indicates:
- HHS intends to promptly propose amending 45 CFR 156.145 to provide that a health plan will not provide minimum value if it excludes substantial coverage for in-patient hospitalization services or physician services (or both).
- Treasury and the IRS intend to issue proposed regulations that apply these proposed HHS regulations under Code section 36B. Accordingly, under the HHS and Treasury regulations, an employer will not be permitted to use the MV Calculator (or any actuarial certification or valuation) to demonstrate that a Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan provides minimum value.
- Treasury and IRS anticipate that the proposed changes to regulations will be finalized in 2015 and will apply to plans other than Pre-November 4, 2014 Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plans on the date they become final rather than being delayed to the end of 2015 or the end of the 2015 plan year. As a result, a Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan (other than a Pre-November 4, 2014 Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan) should not be adopted for the 2015 plan year.
- Solely in the case of an employer that has entered into a binding written commitment to adopt, or has begun enrolling employees in, a Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan prior to November 4, 2014 based on the employer’s reliance on the results of use of the MV Calculator (a Pre-November 4, 2014 Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan), however, Notice 2014-69 states the Departments anticipate that final regulations, when issued, will not be applicable for purposes of Code section 4980H with respect to the plan before the end of the plan year (as in effect under the terms of the plan on November 3, 2014) if that plan year begins no later than March 1, 2015.
- Employers offering Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plans should “exercise caution in relying on the Minimum Value Calculator to demonstrate that these plans provide minimum value for any portion of a taxable year after publication of the planned final regulations.
- The IRS will not require an employee to treat a Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan as providing minimum value for purposes of an employee’s eligibility for a premium tax credit under Code section 36B, regardless of whether the plan is a Pre-November 4, 2014 Non-Hospital/Non-Physician Services Plan before final regulations take effect.
Employers & Plans Most Likely To Be Affected
The interpretation of minimum value and planned future regulatory changes announced in Notice 2014-69 primarily will impact large employers subject to the “pay or play” shared responsibility rules of Code § 4980H that offer a health plan providing coverage that meets the “minimum essential coverage” standards of Code § 4980H.
Under Code § 4980H(a), large employers that fail to offer employee and dependent coverage under a health plan providing “minimum essential coverage” to each full-time employee generally become liable to pay an employer shared responsibility payment of $165 per month ($2000 per year) (commonly referred to as the “A Penalty”) for each full-time employee.
In contrast, the penalties (commonly referred to as the “B Penalty”) created under Code § 4980H(b) generally comes into play when a covered large employer offers health plan coverage under a health plan providing minimum essential coverage but the plan either:
- Does not provide minimum value; or
- The cost to the employee for coverage exceeds 9.5% of the employee’s family adjusted gross income or an otherwise applicable safe harbor amount allowed under IRS regulations.Register For Briefing To Learn More
- To learn more about Notice 2014-69 and its implications on employer health plan obligations and Code § 4980H shared responsibility exposures, register to participate in a special Solutions Law WebEx Briefing on the new guidance conducted by Attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. Central Time here.
- Assuming at least one full-time employee of a covered large employer receives a subsidy for enrolling in health coverage through a health care exchange or “Marketplace” established under ACA, the B Penalty generally is equal to $250 per month ($3000 per year) multiplied by the number of such subsidized employees of the employer.
Learn More By Joining November 13, 2014 Solutions Law Press, Inc. Virtual Briefing Register Now!
To learn more about Notice 2014-69 and its implications on employer health plan obligations and Code § 4980H shared responsibility exposures, register to participate in a special Solutions Law WebEx Briefing on the new guidance conducted by Attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from Noon to 1:00 p.m. Central Time here.
During the briefing, Ms. Stamer will:
- Explain what health benefits, if any, employers must offer employees under current ACA guidance
- Brief participants on this new guidance and other related guidance
- Discuss potential implications for employers and their health plans
- Discuss potential options for employers dealing with these plans and
- Take questions from virtual audience participants as time permits.
Registration Fee is $35.00 per person Registration required for each virtual participant. Payment required via website registration in advance of the program.. Payment only accepted via website PayPal. No checks or cash accepted. Participation is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Persons not registered at least 24 hours in advance not guaranteed to receive access information or materials prior to commencement of the briefing.
This briefing will be conducted via WebEx over the internet. Participants may have the opportunity to participate via telephone, provided that participants electing to participate may incur added charges for telephone connectivity. Solutions Law Press, Inc. is not responsible for any power or system failures. Solutions Law Press, Inc. also expects to offer the opportunity for individuals unable to participate in the live briefing to listen to a recording of the briefing beginning approximately one week after the program via the Internet by registering, paying the required registration fee and following listening instructions received in response to such registration.
Interested persons can register here now!
About The Speaker
A Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, recognized in International Who’s Who, and Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, attorney and health benefit consultant Cynthia Marcotte Stamer has 25 years experience advising and representing private and public employers, employer and union plan sponsors, employee benefit plans, associations, their fiduciaries, administrators, and vendors, group health, Medicare and Medicaid Advantage, and other insurers, governmental leaders and others on health and other employee benefit. employment, insurance and related matters. A well-known and prolific author and popular speaker Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, Ms. Stamer presently serves as Co-Chair of the ABA RPTE Section Welfare Plan Committee, Vice Chair of the ABA TIPS Employee Benefit Committee, an ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Representative, an Editorial Advisory Board Member of the Institute of Human Resources (IHR/HR.com), Insurance Thought Leadership,com and Employee Benefit News, and various other publications. With extensive domestic and international regulatory and public policy experience, Ms. Stamer also has worked extensively domestically and internationally on public policy and regulatory advocacy on health and other employee benefits, human resources, insurance, tax, compliance and other matters and representing clients in dealings with the US Congress, Departments of Labor, Treasury, Health & Human Services, as well as state legislatures, attorneys general, insurance and labor departments, and other agencies and regulators. A prolific author and popular speaker, Ms. Stamer regularly authors materials and conducts workshops and professional, management and other training and serves on the faculty and planning committees of a multitude of symposium and other educational programs. See http://www.CynthiaStamer.com for more details.
A Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, recognized in International Who’s Who, and Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, attorney and health benefit consultant Cynthia Marcotte Stamer has 25 plus years’ experience advising and representing private and public employers, employer and union plan sponsors, employee benefit plans, associations, their fiduciaries, administrators, and vendors, group health, Medicare and Medicaid Advantage, and other insurers, governmental leaders and others on health and other employee benefit. employment, insurance and related matters. A well-known and prolific author and popular speaker Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law, Ms. Stamer presently serves as Co-Chair of the ABA RPTE Section Welfare Plan Committee, Vice Chair of the ABA TIPS Employee Benefit Committee, an ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Representative, an Editorial Advisory Board Member of the Institute of Human Resources (IHR/HR.com), Insurance Thought Leadership,com and Employee Benefit News, and various other publications. With extensive domestic and international regulatory and public policy experience, Ms. Stamer also has worked extensively domestically and internationally on public policy and regulatory advocacy on health and other employee benefits, human resources, insurance, tax, compliance and other matters and representing clients in dealings with the US Congress, Departments of Labor, Treasury, Health & Human Services, as well as state legislatures, attorneys general, insurance and labor departments, and other agencies and regulators. A prolific author and popular speaker, Ms. Stamer regularly authors materials and conducts workshops and professional, management and other training and serves on the faculty and planning committees of a multitude of symposium and other educational programs. See http://www.CynthiaStamer.com. for more details.
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For Added Information and Other Resources
If you found this update of interest, you also may be interested in reviewing some of the other updates and publications authored by Ms. Stamer available including:
- IRS Guidance Raises Concerns For Many Employers Offering “Skinny” & Other Limited Coverage Health Plans
- Supreme Court Delays Deciding Availabilities of ACA Subsidies For Coverage Purchased On Federal Exchange
- HHS Delays Enforcement Of HIPAA HPID Requirements
- Plan’s Purchase of Company Stock Triggers $6.48 Million Judgment Against ESOP Sponsor, Shareholder, Board Members & Trustees
- Government Contractors Get More Time To Comment On Burdens Of OFCCP Proposed Compensation Transparency Disclosure Regs
- IRS Announces Employee Plan Cost-Of-Living Adjustments
- Encourage Workers To Review Withholding As Part Of Annual Enrollment
- OFCCP FAQs On Veteran Hiring & Telework Rules
- New EEOC Lawsuit Challenges Orion Energy Systems Employee Benefit Program Under ADA
- Shell Oil/Motiva Enterprises $4.5M FLSA Overtime Backpay Settlement Reminder To Pay Workers Properly
- OFCCP Proposes Compensation Transparency Mandates For Government Contractors
- Labor Department Adds State Unemployment Insurance To War Against Worker Misclassification
- EBSA Invites Input By November 19 On Need for More Regulation Of Investment Windows
- House Hearings Consider Authorizing House Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of Obama’s Health Care Reform Actions
- Review & Update HR & Benefit Practices For DOL Proposed Change In FMLA Regs, Other Rules Treating Some Same-Sex Couples As Spouses
- Employee & Other Whistleblower Complaints Common Source of HIPAA Privacy & Other Complaints
- Consider Fiduciary & Other Risk Management When Planning For ACA Transitional Reinsurance Costs, Other Plan Design Changes
- HHS Claims Average $69/Month Cost for Subsidized Coverage Shows ACA Success Challenged
- HIPAA Compliance & Breach Data Shares Helpful Lessons For Health Plans, Providers and Business Associates
- Review & Update Health Plan Notices, Language & Process For New Guidance On COBRA, Other Key Health Plan Rules
- EEOC Suit Against Pipe Fitting Business Shows Disability Discrimination Risks For Employers Hiring Vets With PTSD
- Businesses Face Rising Disability Discrimination Enforcement Risks
- EEOC Finalizes Updates To Disability Regulations In Response to ADA Amendments Act: Employers Should Manage Risks
- NLRB Settlement Shows Care Necessary When Employers Use Social Networking & Other Policies Restricting Employee Communications
- Wage & Hour Law Settlements Highlight Rising Wage & Hour Risks of U.S. Employers
- OCR Requires Rhode Island DHS To Provide Translation, Other Services For Limited English, Other Language Impaired Accommodations
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