Form 5500 Is Due by July 31 for Calendar Year Plans

Employers with employee benefit plans that operate on a calendar year basis must file their annual reports (Forms 5500) for 2018 with the Department of Labor (DOL) by July 31, 2019. An employer may extend this deadline by two and one-half months (until Oct. 15, 2019) by filing IRS Form …

Sleep in Heavenly Peace Luzerne County

All children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads. Across the US, too many children go without a bed—or even a pillow—to sleep on; leaving children to rest on couches, blankets, and even floors. That’s where Sleep in Heavenly Peace comes in, a group of volunteers dedicated to …

Final Rule Expands Options for HRAs

On June 13, 2019, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) issued a final rule that expands the usability of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Effective in 2020, the final rule establishes two new types of HRAs: Individual Coverage HRA: Allows employers to offer …

Reporting and Paying the PCORI Fees

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a fee on health insurance issuers and plan sponsors of self-insured health plans to help fund the PatientCentered Outcomes Research Institute. The fee, called the PatientCentered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee, is calculated based on the average number of lives covered under the policy …

New Bipartisan Bill Aimed at Reducing Healthcare Costs Proposed

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, the Senate Health Committee proposed a bipartisan bill called the Lower Health Care Costs Act. This bill sets out to address surprise medical billing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs and the overall cost of delivering health care, and improve transparency. The proposed bill is the latest move …

HSA/HDHP Limits Increase for 2020

On May 28, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2019-25 to announce the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2020. These limits include: The maximum HSA contribution limit; The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs; and The maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs. …

Improving Your Well-Being May Help Lower Your Healthcare Costs

Healthcare costs continue to rise, and it can feel as though there is nothing you can do to combat the expenses—but there is. Taking control of your overall well-being can greatly lower your healthcare costs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 86% of the nation’s healthcare …

Update on Association Health Plans (AHPs)

On June 21, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule that gave small businesses more freedom to join together as a single group to purchase health insurance in the large group market or to self-insure. These benefit arrangements are called association health plans (AHPs). By forming AHPs, small …

Trump Announces Plan to Combat Surprise Medical Billing

On May 9, 2019, President Donald Trump delivered a speech criticizing the practice of surprise medical billing. He announced a general plan of attack and hinted at a few specifics for curbing the trend. The president’s speech aligned with this administration’s American Patients First initiative—a blueprint for lowering consumer health …

Final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020

On April 19, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. This rule describes benefit and payment parameters under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that apply for the 2020 benefit year. Standards included in the rule relate to: …

Women In Transition Collection

This past month, Creative Benefits’ CBI CARES collected items for Women in Transition – a non-profit organization that supports women facing domestic violence and substance abuse. It is their mission  “to empower women to attain safety, equality and justice, and build independent and self-sustaining lives for themselves and their children; …

IRS Allows Employers to Recover Mistaken HSA Contributions

The IRS recently released an information letter describing circumstances that would allow an employer to recover contributions mistakenly made to its employees’ HSAs. Previously, IRS guidance allowed employers to recover HSA contributions in very limited situations, such as when the contribution exceeded the applicable annual limit. The new guidance also …

2018: A Record Year for HIPAA Enforcement Actions

In 2018, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled 10 cases and was granted summary judgment in a case in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) enforcement. The enforcement actions resulted in an all-time record year for OCR, with enforcement penalties collected totaling $28.7 million—a 22 percent increase from the …