BAS Blog


 

Puerto Rico Insurance Company Subject to Huge Fines for Privacy Violation

A Puerto Rico based insurance company, Triple-S Salud, was found to have exposed protected health information in Medicare-eligible individuals’ medical records.

The company manages Medicaid in Puerto Rico. In September 2013, Triple-S Salud mailed letters to Medicare Advantage customers with Medicare numbers visible from the envelope.

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Final Regulations on Waiting Periods and Certificates of Creditable Coverage

The U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services issued another round of regulations on health care reform requirements. These regulations address the maximum waiting period that may be applied for health coverage, confirm the elimination of preexisting condition exclusions, and eliminate the need to issue Certificates of Creditable Coverage.

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Grace Period Deadline Approaching for Calendar Year FSAs

Some Flexible Spending Account Plans (FSAs) may include a grace period after the end of a plan year during which participants may incur claims to be reimbursed from prior year contributions. This grace period may last up to 2-1/2 months after the close of the plan year. For calendar year plans, the grace period expires March 15.

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Question of the Week

Q.- We are a small employer with 25 employees. One of our employees has a substance abuse problem. She is reducing her hours to work 10 hours a week so she can attend rehab meetings. What should we do with her health insurance? We only offer health coverage to employees who work 30 or more hours per week.

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Dependent Verification and Approval Services

BAS’ dependent verification service through MyEnroll.com offers employers the ability to reduce health care costs by confirming that only eligible dependents are covered under their plan.

A dependent eligibility audit can be conducted on a one-time or annual basis, as BAS’ Dependent Verification and Approval Services are fully customizable. Each dependent eligibility review is tailored to the individual employer’s needs.

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New Government Cybersecurity Framework Issued

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued a new cybersecurity framework describing best practices for organizations to develop their information security programs. The framework is the result of a collaboration between government groups and private businesses.

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IRS Revises Individual Penalties for Lack of Health Coverage

Health care reform requires virtually all individuals to have minimum essential health coverage or pay a penalty on their tax return. This health care reform requirement is called the “individual mandate.”

The IRS issued a proposed set of rules describing what coverage will be considered minimum essential coverage for purposes of the individual mandate.

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Trip to Vegas Qualifies as FMLA Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees of covered employers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave with continuation of group health insurance during the leave. Employers with 50 or more employees during 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding year are covered by the FMLA.

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Question of the Week

Q.- We processed a COBRA qualifying event letter with Cobra Control Services a month ago. We just now realize that when the employee terminated employment, he gave us a new address. We sent the letter to the old address. Do we have to do anything to correct the mailing?

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User IDs and Passwords for Administrator

MyEnroll.com allows as many people as needed to have access to a particular employer account as an administrator. Each individual identified as an employer administrator is assigned a unique user ID and password to access the employer account in MyEnroll.com.

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Another Health System Security Breach

A Texas healthcare system was the target of a recent security breach in which hackers accessed protected health information of around 405,000 individuals.

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Employer Mandate to Provide Health Coverage Delayed Again

Regulations issued this week once again delay, for some employers, the requirement to offer health coverage to all full-time employees.

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Business.USA.gov Offers Resources for Small Businesses

Business.USA.gov is a website intended to provide business resources for small employers. The website offers an interactive module for help with Starting a Business, Growing a Business, Financing, Exporting, Veterans, Health Care Changes and Taxes.

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee is sending her daughter to camp for the summer. Can she be reimbursed from her FSA from the cost of the camp?

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Reminders for Employers Who Offer Debit Card with FSA

Employers who offer the Benny Card pre-paid debit card in connection with their health flexible spending account plan administered by BAS will find the following questions and answers helpful information for Benny Card holders.

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Unencrypted Hard Drive Stolen from Pharmacy School

A health insurance company based in Wisconsin notified over 41,000 participants of a possible HIPAA breach.

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Excepted Benefits Expanded under Health Care Reform

The Affordable Care Act applies to health plans, excluding plans that provide “excepted benefits.” The government recently proposed rules expanding what coverage classifies as a benefit that is excepted from health care reform.

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Cafeteria Plans

Many employers sponsor cafeteria plans under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code to allow their employees to pay for benefits with pre-tax dollars. Since all benefits employers provide to their employees are taxable, a properly-structured cafeteria plan allows employees to receive benefits that are not subject to federal income tax.

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Question of the Week

Q.- Our business is closing up shop. We are terminating employment for all employees and cancelling health coverage. What happens with people who are on COBRA?

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