IRS Allows Mid-Year Changes to Health Plans, FSAs

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The IRS has loosened restrictions on employees who want to make election changes to their group health plans and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) in the middle of the policy year. IRS rules are typically stringent and rigid, barring changes from being made to health plans except during open enrollment. Under the new rules, the employer would still have to approve letting staff make changes to their plans if they have more than one option to choose from. The IRS issued the new guidance after employer groups lobbied the agency and Congress to loosen the rules because the COVID-19 pandemic has…
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FSAs, HSAs Can Now Be Used for Non-Prescription Medications

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The recently enacted $2 trillion stimulus law aimed at providing financial assistance during the coronavirus outbreak also includes a key change on how health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts can be used. The Coronavirus Aid, Recover and Economic Stabilization Act, or CARES Act for short, reverses an Affordable Care Act rule that barred policyholders from using funds in HSAs and FSAs to pay for over-the-counter medications. Health Savings Accounts, known as HSAs, and Flexible Spending Accounts, known as FSAs, allow people to set aside pre-tax funds for medical costs, medical out-of-pocket and copays, as well as for the cost…
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Executive Order on Healthcare: New Directives Order Price Transparency, FSA Changes

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

President Trump has issued a multi-faceted executive order on healthcare aimed at reducing costs and increasing pricing transparency in the healthcare system and health insurance industry. The parts of his order that could affect benefits that are part of employer-sponsored plans include: Helping people with chronic conditions The order directs the Treasury Department to issue guidance that can help people with chronic conditions who are enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with attached health savings accounts. The guidance, which was issued in July, requires HDHP insurers to pay for a number of preventative services and medications with no copay or…
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With Health Insurance Laws in Flux, Flexible Spending Accounts Can Save Your Workers Money

| posted in Blog

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding eligible employees that now is the time to begin planning to take full advantage of their employer’s health flexible spending arrangement for next year. If you don’t offer a flexible spending account (FSA) for your employees, you should consider starting one as they allow them to use tax-free dollars to pay medical expenses not covered by their health plan, including deductibles, copays and any pharmaceuticals. Now that the year is winding down, even if your employees were using an FSA this year, they must decide again how much they want to set aside pre-tax…
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Bill Would Reverse Ban on Using FSAs, HSAs for Over-the-counter Meds

| posted in Blog

Legislation in Congress would reverse a controversial portion of the Affordable Care Act that bars employees from tapping their flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements to pay for over-the-counter medications. The ACA barred the practice of spending funds that had been set aside using pre-tax dollars to spend on medications that can be purchased without a prescription. HR 1270 was introduced last year to remedy what bill sponsor Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) says has resulted in patients having to spend more money than necessary. That ban is resulting in “families spending more money to see their…
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