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Cypress Solution eNews 
November 24, 2010  -  Cypress Benefit Administrators
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We enjoy bringing you information and reminders to help you stay abreast of new Cypress developments and industry compliance requirements. Please let us know how Cypress Solution eNews can be of further service to you.

  • Cypress Business Hours for November will remain the same, except that our offices will be closed on Thursday, November 25, and Friday, November 26, for the holiday.

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topIn This Issue:
grandfatherAmendment to Regulation on "Grandfathered" Health Plans Under the Affordable Care Act
On June 17, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury issued the "grandfather" regulation, which addressed how health plans can retain a "grandfathered" exemption from certain new requirements. The most recent amendment modifies the original regulation regarding changes in third-party administrators / insurance companies and its effect on grandfathered status. Learn more details.
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noticesAnnual Notices Reminder
Cypress Benefit Administrators wants to make you aware of certain annual notice requirements that must be provided to Employees who are covered under a group health care plan to ensure you are staying within compliance of the ERISA guidelines. These laws require Employer-sponsored group health plans to provide the following notices, which describe guidelines for enrollment rights, treatment and care that pertain to:
  • Special Enrollment Rights
  • The Newborns' Act Disclosure Requirement (NMHPA)
  • Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA) 
  • Children's Health Insurance and Protection Act of 2009 (CHIP)
  • Notice of Privacy Practices
  • Medicare Part D Notices to those newly eligible
Read more for sample language and details on rules.
otc2011 FSA Reminder for Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs
The IRS released Notice 2010-59 revising the definition of medical expenses as it relates to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Section 9003 of the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" changes the definition of medical expenses for health flexible spending arrangements (FSA). Briefly, only insulin or medicines or drugs that are prescribed should be treated as reimbursement for medical expenses. Read for more details regarding this change and a sample listing of eligible/ineligible health care FSA expenses.
discountDo Network Discounts Really Save Money?
USA Today recently featured a front page article that discussed how a small physical therapy firm in Michigan successfully sued Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan for attempting to put the small firm out of business for offering Ford and other U.S. automakers an alternative to existing physical therapy programs that would have saved them millions of dollars per year. This situation brings to light an important question -- when it comes to true savings, which is more important: higher discounts or total plan costs?  Read more.
If you have any questions or are looking for solutions, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help!
Cypress Benefit Administrators