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Mar 02
2007

March 02 2007
New Tax Relief Act Includes Significant Upgrades for HSA's
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are more attractive now that President George W. Bush signed the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 into law on December 20, 2006. Among other items, the Act includes substantial changes to current rules governing HSAs and the requirements applicable to High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP). The new rules apply to taxable years beginning on or after December 31, 2006.
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Dec 02
2006

December 02 2006
Employer HSA Contributions Must Be Comparable for “Comparable
Employers sponsoring a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), in tandem with a health savings account (HSA), can choose whether to make contributions to the HSA, or to leave it to participating employees to take care of the funding. However, if the employer does decide to contribute to employees’ HSAs, IRS regulations require that contributions be comparable among “comparable participating employees.” Contributions are comparable when they are the same dollar amount or same percentage of the HDHP deductible.
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Jul 08
2006

July 08 2006
IRS Gives Employees More Time to Spend FSA Dollars
Now, the IRS has made HCFSAs more attractive by extending the period of time over which an employee may incur expenses eligible for reimbursement from the plan year account. While retaining the use-it-or-lose-it rule, the IRS has added 2-1/2 months onto the 12-month plan year as the period of time for eligible reimbursements.
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Apr 05
2006

April 05 2006
IRS Claifies FSA Grace Period Rules
Employers opting to extend the grace period for flexible spending accounts will provide employees a partial reprieve from the "use-it-or-lose-it" rule.
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Sep 10
2005

September 10 2005
HIPAA Portability Rules Finalized
Final regulations for the portability provisions of HIPAA— which were issued December 30, 2004—are effective for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2005. For plans that operate on a calendar year basis, this means that the final rules apply beginning with the 2006 plan year. Although the final regulations are substantially similar to proposed rules issued back in 1997, given their importance, group health plan sponsors should ensure that their plans are in compliance.
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Jul 02
2005

July 02 2005
Continuation Period Lengthened for Active Duty Personnel
In December 2004, Congress passed the Veterans Benefits Improvement Act of 2004. One element of this Act increases the period for which an employee called to active duty may continue health coverage under the employer’s plan from 18 months to 24 months. This coverage is similar to COBRA, in that the employer may charge 102% of the premium (under USERRA, however, the employer may, for the first month, only charge 100% of the active employee rate). This extension applies only to elections for USERRA coverage made on or after December 10, 2004, so it will not affect the plan’s duties to employees who departed for active duty prior to that date.
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Apr 01
2005

April 01 2005
Growth in Health Care Spending
Total health care spending is projected to reach 18.7 percent of the gross domestic product by the year 2014, up from the 15.3 percent it represented in 2003, according to health tracking trends published in Health Affairs.
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