May 2012  |  Volume 3, Number 5

Contracts, Compliance and Research Updates 


IRS Issues Proposed Rule on Comparative Effectiveness Research Fee 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) includes a provision imposing an annual assessment on insurers and group health plans to fund a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which will assist patients, clinicians, purchasers and policy makers in making informed health decisions by advancing comparative clinical effectiveness research.


The institute is funded by a trust fund, which, in turn, is partially funded by fees paid by issuers of health insurance policies and sponsors of self-insured health plans. This "comparative effectiveness research fee" applies to policy/plan years ending on or after 10/1/2012.


Proposed regulations were published on April 12, and although not yet final, this Proposed Rule provides more information on calculation, reporting and payment fees.


To read the full article, click here.



IRS Issues Limits for HSA Contributions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued the 2013 limits for health savings account (HSA) contributions, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses.

  • The annual HSA contribution limit for individuals with self-only coverage is $3,250, and $6,450 for individuals with family coverage.
  • Qualified "high deductible health plans" must have an annual deductible that is not less than $1,250 for self-only coverage or $2,500 for family coverage, and annual out-of-pocket expenses may not exceed $6,250 for self-only coverage or $12,500 for family coverage.

To view the full Revenue Procedure, click here.

Wisconsin Updates
Wisconsin Taxpayers Continue to Pay More Than Other States for Employee Health Insurance

Wisconsin taxpayers still pay significantly more to provide health insurance to state employees than taxpayers in surrounding states, even after increasing the employee premium contribution and making plan changes to reduce costs. Wisconsin taxpayers also continue to pay significantly more than most private-sector employers in the greater Milwaukee area.


HCTrends analyzed 2012 state employee health plan benefits in Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan, and compared them with the benefits offered to state employees in Wisconsin. The analysis also compared Wisconsin state employee benefits to those offered to private-sector employees in southeastern Wisconsin.


The study's findings:

  • Wisconsin taxpayers will pay $13,972 to provide health insurance to a state employee, which is 9 percent ($1,207) more than taxpayers will pay in Michigan, the next most-expensive state, and 21 percent more ($2,433) than the average per-employee cost for taxpayers in the five states analyzed.
  • Wisconsin taxpayers will also pay $3,762 more per employee than large private-sector companies with union workforces and $5,565 more than large non-union employers.

The complete study ("One Year After Act 10") is available for free here.

In This Issue
Contracts, Compliance and Research Updates
Wisconsin Updates
BSG Events


More information regarding Health Care Reform and other benefit resources is available on the HR360 website, available to BSG clients under the "Resources" menu of their HR Express website. HR360 includes new features such as step-by-step interactive guides which make the processes of hiring, termination, COBRA and FMLA so much easier. In addition, there are new online tools such as a job description builder and salary benchmarking tool.

BSG subscribes to this service for your benefit. If you would like more information regarding this resource please contact your account management team at BSG. 


2012 County Health Rankings Released

Now in its third year, the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have jointly released this year's County Health Rankings, which measures the health of every county in all 50 states. The rankings assess key factors that affect health, such as education, income, access to healthy foods, and air quality. The rankings further provide vital data to better understand what is making people sick and healthy, as well as providing insights about areas for improvement and change. New this year are graphs illustrating premature death trends over 10 years.


Click here to view the interactive map. 


Upcoming BSG Events  


FSP Professionals Day

Milwaukee, WI ----   May 10, 2012

Gerald W. Frye will present: Using Data to Transform Health Care (3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

For more information, click here or visit the FSP National website. 



MRA HR Conference 

Elkhart Lake, WI ---- May 15, 2012

BSG will be a sponsor exhibitor.

Click here for additional conference information.



UCS Chicago

Chicago, IL ----   June 5-8, 2012

Michelle Spehr will present: Beyond Health Fairs: Building a Business Plan for a Sustainable Wellness Program (Wednesday, 10:15 - 11:15 a.m.)


Gerald ("Jerry") W. Frye will present: Leverage Health Care Data to Change the Value Chain (Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)

Jerry will also participate in the Friday morning panel discussion: Improving Employee Decision Making from 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.


For more information, view the conference brochure or visit the UCS website.

Enlighten is published by The Benefit Services Group, Inc., (BSG®) and is provided free of charge to select BSG client representatives and associates.

By providing links to other sites, BSG does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to BSG.

The preceding is not intended to be and is not offered as legal advice. We are prohibited from the practice of law. Compliance is the responsibility of the employer or Plan sponsor and affected employees who should seek their own legal counsel regarding questions about information presented in this newsletter.

Copyright© 2012 The Benefit Services Group, Inc. BSG® is a registered trademark of The Benefit Services Group, Inc.