Viewing posts from: September 2015

Benefits Compliance Webinar Series

Posted September 29, 2015 by ABlume

August_Top_15_Renewal_Topics_Webinar_v6 thumbCrawford Advisors has produced dozens of webinars over the last few years on benefits compliance, administration, and legislation. These issues can prove challenging and nuanced for businesses of all sizes, across the country. The webinars cover a range of issues from ACA Medicaid migration and ERISA to HIPAA, GINA, and more. And the laws, regulations, and best practices are constantly shifting. Register for free to view some of our most popular webinars, including:

  • Tips for Your 2016 Renewal: Ensuring Compliance and Avoiding Penalties
  • ACA and Medicaid Migration Benefits – Helping Employees Increase Coverage While Reducing Employer Costs
  • The Cadillac Tax – Repeal or Comply? How Should Employers Prepare?
  • Intersection of ACA & ERISA: Healthcare Reform and New Claims and Defenses

To learn more about benefits compliance and administration or our webinar series – contact us!

IRS and Treasury Officials Provide Informal Views on 401(k) Issues

Posted September 22, 2015 by ABlume

IRS-logoFrom EBIA

The Joint Committee on Employee Benefits (JCEB) of the American Bar Association has reported on its May 2015 Q&A session with IRS and Treasury officials. The report includes unofficial, nonbinding remarks about 401(k) plans, health care reform, and other topics. Here are highlights of the 401(k)-related items:

  • After-Tax Contribution Rollover (Q/A-7). Under a plan permitting the withdrawal of after-tax contributions and earnings at any time, the officials agreed that a participant could take a plan distribution consisting of only after-tax contributions and earnings and designate that the contributions be directly rolled into a Roth IRA and the earnings into a traditional IRA, as permitted under Notice 2015-54. The officials confirmed that the participant is not required to take a distribution of the entire plan account balance to take advantage of the basis allocation rules under Notice 2015-54.
  • Hardship Expenses (Q/A-9). In the example presented, a participant requested a hardship distribution for tuition to attend a cosmetology school. The officials agreed that, if the cosmetology school is eligible to participate in a student aid program run by the U.S. Department of Education, the tuition would count as a post-secondary educational expense for purposes of the hardship safe harbor.
  • Plan Loans in Terminating Plan (Q/A-10). The officials confirmed that a terminating plan could, for a period of time, permit participants to continue repaying their plan loans; the officials cautioned, however, that the repayments must end in time for the plan to distribute all assets as soon as administratively feasible (generally, within one year of the termination date), as required by Revenue Ruling 89-87.
  • Coverage and Safe Harbor Plans (Q/As-11 and -16). The officials responded to two questions about coverage requirements relating to ADP and ACP safe harbor plans. First, the officials confirmed that the plan disaggregation rules applicable to a safe harbor plan under Code § 401(k)(12) also apply to a safe harbor plan using automatic enrollment under Code § 401(k)(13). Second, the officials agreed that, when a company sponsoring a safe harbor plan acquires a company sponsoring a non-safe harbor plan, the transition relief from combined coverage testing can apply, so long as no plan amendments significantly change coverage under either plan during the transition. In other words, the acquiring company can continue to maintain its safe harbor plan during the transition period.
  • Earned Income as Plan Compensation (Q/A-17). The question noted that many pre-approved plan documents fail to explicitly address the compensation of self-employed individuals when the W-2 or tax withholding definition of compensation is elected. The officials agreed that, when a W-2 or income tax withholding definition is elected and the compensation of self-employed individuals is not explicitly addressed, compensation for self-employed individuals is their earned income. (They will not have zero compensation based on a technicality.)

Other Q&As of potential interest to 401(k) plan sponsors consider the plan loan leave-of-absence rules (Q/A-1), Form 1099-R reporting for plan loan deemed distributions and offsets (Q/A-2), and completion of the power of attorney Form 2848 for determination letter submissions (Q/A-5).

EBIA Comment: The answers in this report do not necessarily represent IRS policy, but they provide helpful insight regarding the issues addressed. While some answers have broad significance, others are dependent on the specific facts presented, so readers should be careful when considering the application of these answers to other facts. For example, the remarks regarding plan loans in a terminating plan did not mention that plan loans can be rolled over into another plan if the receiving plan is able to administer the loan according to its original terms. In addition to health care reform, the report also includes items of interest to sponsors of defined benefit plans, 457(b) plans, and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.

EBSA Webinar on the Transitional Reinsurance Program

Posted September 16, 2015 by ABlume

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration is providing the following information from HHS:

Registration is open for the “2015 Reinsurance Contributions: Form Completion, Submission, and Payment” webinar being held on September 23, 2015, September 28, 2015 and September 30, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET.

Tdept-of-laborhis webinar provides an overview of the Transitional Reinsurance Program while focusing on the contribution submission process, notable updates for 2015, preparation needed before filing, the 2015 ACA Transitional Reinsurance Program Annual Enrollment and Contributions Submission Form, key deadline dates and next steps. The intended audience for this webinar is health insurance issuers, self-insured group health plans, third party administrators, and administrative services-only contractors.

In addition, CMS maintains a website with published guidance and FAQ’s about the reinsurance contributions for the Transitional Reinsurance Program at https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Premium-Stabilization-Programs/The-Transitional-Reinsurance-Program/Reinsurance-Contributions.html. FAQ’s are located at US-DeptOfHHS-Seal-3D.svg (1)https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/index.html and within REGTAP at https://www.regtap.info/ (registration required).

Register for this webinar at https://www.regtap.info/. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please forward any questions about the Transitional Reinsurance Program’s contributions to reinsurancecontributions@cms.hhs.gov.

Through the Looking Glass: A New Perspective on Population Management

Posted September 8, 2015 by ABlume

Healthcare costs have spiraled out of control over the last several decades, despite numerous efforts from public and private entities to the contrary. Doing things the old way simply isn’t working. This video from University HealthSystem Consortium explores the challenges behind managing healthcare cost and quality, changing attitudes toward patient care accessibility, and redefining the relationship between patients, primary care providers, and specialists. Watch the video to learn more. For more information on this and other related healthcare and compliance issues, contact us.

Webinar: Using Analytics to Manage Benefits and Generate an ROI – HRCI Preapproved*

Posted September 4, 2015 by ABlume

Benefits and Compliance WebinarJoin Crawford Advisors Director of Data Analytics, Scott Mayer, for this complimentary HRCI preapproved webinar*, as he reviews how HealthCare Reform is impacting benefit plans, data analytics and plan ROI. PPACA reform caused a significant transformation in benefits management relating to compliance, data analytics, and plan management. In the PRE–Health Care Reform world, the combination of third-party administrators, networks, case management, utilization management, and stop loss carriers were the focal point in how the employee benefit costs were managed. In the POST-HealthCare Reform world, the transformation is moving towards incentives, risk stratification/predictive modeling, value based plan designs, and connectivity. This one hour webinar will explain how these changes impact benefit plans and how HR teams can adjust in a compliant manner. Topics include:

  • Identifying conditions trending in cost, severity, and/or prevalence
  • Measuring the impacts of care gap closures on risk scores
  • “Low Hanging Fruit” of benefit designs can alter behavior and incentivize better decisions.
  • Innovative design plans to generate ROI (independent of employee behavior changes)
  • Identify Prevention / Early Identification Opportunities. Developing incentive programs tied to preventive care.

Open to all HR professionals – but not brokers, agents, TPAs

Date & Time: Thu, Sep 24, 2015 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
Space is limited – reserve yours here

* This webinar has been approved for 1 HR General recertification credit hour toward California, GPHR, HRBP, HRMP, PHR, and SPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. The use of this seal is not an endorsement by HRCI, it means that this activity has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

Top 5 Benefits News & Compliance Posts

Posted September 1, 2015 by ABlume

congress2As Affordable Care Act rulings and regulations continue to roll out, benefits compliance grows increasingly complex. Are you filing all necessary forms to comply with 2015 standards for your organization? Are you doing so in an efficient and effective way? Do you understand how your filing obligations will change in 2016? Do you evaluate changes to employee health and morale as benefits and wellness programs shift? With so much to track, many organizations are falling behind – and it costs them. But the Crawford Advisors benefits news & compliance blog is here to help. Check out a few of our most popular recent articles: