Welfare Benefit Plan ERISA News
November 2015

 
Aetna and Anthem Defend Mergers with Humana and CIGNA Claiming Markets Will Remain Competitive
"In their testimony before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, Mark T. Bertolini of Aetna and Joseph R. Swedish of Anthem emphasized that health care is delivered largely on a local basis, and they argued that markets would remain competitive if they completed their mergers. Both CEOs also said their deals would benefit consumers and encourage new forms of payment to health-care providers." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)
60% of Employers Expect To Be Subject to
Cadillac Tax
"Nearly nine in ten employers have calculated whether their health plan will trigger the Cadillac tax, and 60% say that without any future changes, their plan will face the tax.... Of those that are on track to trigger the tax, 62% say they will likely face the tax right away in 2018. An additional 10% say they will hit the tax in 2019, 12% in 2020, and 11% in 2021 or later." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])
Post-2018 HSA Contribution Strategies
"The vast majority of employers that offer HSA-qualified high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) offer the ability for employees to make pre-tax payroll HSA contributions and even encourage them to do so. For now, such contributions count towards the calculation of the gross cost of 'high cost' health coverage for excise tax purposes. Should employers take away the pre-tax payroll HSA contribution feature from their cafeteria plans? Otherwise, an HDHP with a lower gross cost than a traditional PPO plan may actually end up triggering a greater excise tax because any employee pre-tax payroll HSA contributions would get tacked on to the total cost of the employer's health coverage." (Mercer/Signal)
What Employee Premium Assistance Notices
You Will and Won't Receive in 2016
"Employers should be aware... that in the spring of 2016, the first notices they receive, if any, will be from the IRS, not from the exchanges. Assessable payment liability notices from the IRS will, at that time, indicate that at least one of an employer's employees received an advance premium tax credit (APTC) in 2015. Therefore, employers will not be getting a heads-up in the coming year with regard to whether or not they could be subject to penalties because one of their employees received an APTC." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
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© 2017 ERISAPros, LLC, All rights reserved. Information on ERISAPros' website, its newsletter, “News & Views,” and its blog, “ERISA Wonk,” is published as a general informational source. Information and articles are general in nature and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice in any particular matter. Blog posts and comments reflect the personal views of their respective authors - not those of ERISAPros. Transmission of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. ERISAPros, LLC is not a law firm and is not giving legal or tax advice. It does not warrant and is not responsible for errors or omissions in the content on its website or in its newsletters. ERISA is a complicated and confusing law. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Wrap Plan Documents, and Form 5500s require review and updating by qualified ERISA compliance professionals.

 

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