The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officially published the guidance requiring plan sponsors to use all ERRP (Early Retiree Reinsurance Program) reimbursements by December 31, 2014.
This notice did not change how the proceeds must be used, however. In general, ERRP requires a sponsor to use ERRP proceeds (1) to reduce the sponsor's health benefit premiums or health benefit costs, (2) to reduce plan participants' health benefit premium contributions, co-payments, deductibles, coinsurance, or other out-of-pocket costs, or any combination of these costs, or (3) to reduce any combination of the costs specified in (1) and (2). ERRP proceeds may not be used as general revenue of the sponsors. Thus, to the extent a sponsor decides to use the reimbursement for its own purposes, it may use the reimbursement only to offset increases in the sponsor's health benefit premiums or health benefit costs.
Click here to read the full guidance.
Source: Mark L. Stember, Kilpartick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Update: Final Rule on Summary of Benefits and Uniform Glossary of Terms
Overview of Final Rule
On February 14, 2012 the Secretaries of HHS, Labor, and the Treasury issued a final rule establishing federal standards for summaries of benefits and coverage (SBC) and a uniform glossary.
Under the rule, an SBC must be provided:
- by a group health plan issuer to a group health plan;
- by a group health plan issuer and by a group health plan to participants and beneficiaries of the plan; and
- by an individual health plan issuer to individuals and their dependents in the individual (non-group) market.
Click here to read the full article.
No Delay for Implementation of Summary of Benefits and Coverage
Officials issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding implementation of the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
In February, the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury published the final rules regarding the SBC (see "EBSA Releases Final PPACA Regulations"). The FAQs aim to answer some of the questions that have been raised to date. The agencies said they intend to release additional FAQs. The American Benefits Council expressed disappointment that the new guidance did not indicate an extension in the time to comply with SBC rules.
"We had urged the agencies to either delay the effective date by twelve months or provide a transition rule to allow employers to meet these new obligations as smoothly as possible," Council President James A. Klein said in a statement. "Disclosure and communications regarding health benefits are an important component of benefit plan administration and design, and we appreciate the daunting task the agencies face in implementing the new law. But while the federal government gave itself the extra time needed to craft the rules, employers and their administrative partners must now work double-time to perform the more difficult job of implementing these standards in the next six months," Klein contended. "The guidance issued today restates that these new disclosures must be provided by most employers starting September 23, 2012, but the Council will continue to pursue every opportunity to obtain needed flexibility and adequate time for employers to comply," he added.
For more information:
New Cervical Cancer Screening Recommendation
Based on the March 14, 2012, release date for New Cervical Cancer Screening Recommendation: PPACA guidance suggests an effective date for non-grandfathered plans will be for the plan years beginning on or after April 1, 2013. This is to cover evidence-based items or services with an A or B rating recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Further confirmation of the effective date will be required from HHS/HRSA. BSG will monitor for future updates.
For more information:
Source: EBIA Health Care Reform for Employers and Advisors - XII.C. Coverage of Preventive Health Services