Ascensus Health & Benefits news

Industry & Regulatory News
From the Compliance Manager Cyber Attacks: Why Russia and Korea are Targeting Health Plans

September 27, 2022

In light of the security and privacy incidences we hear about in the news on a daily basis, it seems to be a good time to highlight Cyber Security in this quarter’s Compliance Watch. On March 21, 2022, President Joe Biden gave an official statement regarding Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. — making his most prominent alert yet about what he called new intelligence concerning the Putin regime’s plans.

September 16 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Is Your Flexible Spending Account Configured to Meet Your Company’s Needs?

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans must be designed to meet the requirements defined in federal tax code, but employers have several opportunities to choose features that best fit the needs of their organization.

September 16 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Philadelphia Adds Commuter Benefit Requirement

On June 22, 2022, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, signed the Employee Commuter Transit Benefit ordinance. The ordinance takes effect on December 31, 2022, and requires employers with 50 or more covered employees to provide commuter transit benefits for their workers.

September 16 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
What Happens to Unused Amounts in an Employee’s HRA When Their Employment Terminates?

When an employee who has a balance in their health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) terminates from the plan (either due to termination of employment or any other reason that would cause them to lose eligibility, like a reduction in hours), the employer is not permitted to “cash out” the HRA. In other words, the employer is not allowed to provide cash or other benefits in an amount equal to some or all of the HRA balance. This is because cashing out would trigger taxation of all HRA distributions, even if they were used to pay qualified medical expenses.

September 16 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
ACA Deadline Changes and Elimination of Transitional Good Faith Relief

Earlier this year the proposed regulations updating deadlines and ending good faith relief for Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting became law. (See Federal Register : Information Reporting of Health Insurance Coverage and Other Issues)

Among other things, the regulations require that:

  • The deadline for furnishing IRS Forms 1095-C to employees will be March 2 (or March 3 in a leap year) – which is 30 days more than what was previously allowed; and
  • The transitional “good faith relief” for employer ACA reporting would no longer apply to tax years after 2020.
September 16 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Health Savings Accounts as a Retirement Plan

There has been a focus on Health Savings Accounts (HSA) in recent years. This is a valuable vehicle that extends even beyond the "triple-tax-free" benefit that most employers are aware of. HSAs can reduce taxable income in retirement, which may affect Medicare premiums and the portion of Social Security benefits subject to federal income tax.

September 16 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
The Impact of the Inflation Reduction Act on Group Health Plans

On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act. Employer-sponsored health plans are only indirectly impacted by the Act, but there are three main points to consider.

  • Enhanced ACA premium tax credit
  • Reduction on Prescription Drug Prices for Medicare
  • Expanded Safe harbor for High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP)
September 16 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
IRS Announces Midyear Increase to Standard Mileage Rates

Normally the IRS adjusts the standard mileage rates at the beginning of each year, but occasionally they announce changes at other times to correspond with current costs.

July 05 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
New HSA Limits for 2023

On April 29, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2023 maximum amounts for high deductible health plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts.

July 05 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Affordable Care Act (ACA): What You Need to Know

Most private sector employers, including non-profit organizations, are subject to ERISA. Most government plans, as well as church and church-related plans are excluded.

July 05 2022