Early this morning, the Senate voted against the “skinny repeal” of several provisions of the Affordable Care Act by a vote of 51 to 49. Three Republicans joined the Democrats in voting against the bill that would have repealed the individual mandate, the employer mandate, several of the taxes that fund the ACA, and key protections of health benefits. Senator John McCain released a statement on why he voted against the bill, siting the lack of a replacement plan that would reform health care. He urged congress to take the bill back to committee, get input from multiple sources, and come up with “a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people.”
Read more here.
Effective January 1, 2018, ALL private employers are required to provide Paid Family Leave (PFL) to employees who have worked for at least 26 consecutive weeks. Employees are entitled to 8 weeks during a 52-week calendar period in order to:
- bond with a newborn, adopted or foster care child during the first 12 months;
- care for a seriously ill family member; or
- address important needs related to a family member’s military service
In 2018, the benefit is 50% of average weekly wages to a maximum of $1,296.48. Employers won’t need to administer PFL since the DBL carriers will have that responsibility, and the premium will be funded through payroll deduction. There may be indirect costs and planning required to change payroll deductions, update employee handbooks and policies, and to make adjustments for employees taking leave under the new benefit. For more information, follow this link.
The federal election results have many people wondering about the fate of the Affordable Care Act and the effect changes will have on insurance coverage. The “repeal and replace” mantra and promises to act quickly may be catchy sound bites, but the reality will likely be “repeal and delay” or a series of small changes in the law. It’s safe to say that nothing will change immediately since insurance companies file their plans months in advance, and many in congress have pledged not to make disruptive changes to the insurance market. The changes won’t be retroactive, and there will be time for insurance companies to re-design their plans to meet changing regulations and for us to plan for those changes. We’ll keep our clients informed and help to sort out the new options as they come. In the meantime, all regulations are still in effect, and groups with 50+ employees should still follow reporting requirements!
The Central New York Business Journal featured BDS in an article titled BDS merger with Utica firm spurs revenue growth.
BDS is looking for a full time Employee Benefits Representative. If you’d like to join us in providing innovative benefit solutions to new and existing clients in CNY, the North Country and the Southern Tier, email your resume to us at [email protected] with “Employee Benefits Representative” in the subject line.
BDS Retirement Services, LLC is pleased to announce it has been named as one of the 2016 PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers.
The PLANADVISER Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers is an annual listing of adviser individuals and teams that stand out in the industry in terms of a series of quantitative measures. These include the dollar value of qualified plan assets under administration (AUA), as well as the number of plans under advisement. BDS Retirement Services, LLC was recognized in the Small Team segment with over 100 plans under advisement.
Through its magazine, website, events and email newsletter, PLANADVISER, an Asset International brand, provides comprehensive industry news, regulatory and investment information, research and training to financial advisers who specialize in the sale, design and administration of institutional qualified and nonqualified retirement plans and executive compensation plans, including 401(k), defined benefit and deferred compensation plans. For more information, please visit www.planadviser.com.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 was passed by congress and signed by President Obama on December 18th, 2015. Among the many provisions are 2 related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA): The excise tax on health plans that cost more than $10,200/year for single coverage or $27,500/year for family (dubbed the “Cadillac Tax”) was slated to begin in 2018 but will be delayed two years. The 2.3 % excise tax imposed upon manufacturers and importers of medical devices (in effect since January 1, 2013) has been placed on hold for devices sold in 2016 and 2017. Full text of the bill can be found here.
The Supreme Court has upheld a key provision of the Affordable Care Act allowing federal tax credits for those who are eligible and enrolled in health plans through the federal insurance marketplace. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the majority in a decision that has been eagerly anticipated for months.
If the provision had not been upheld, Americans in the 34 states that have federally-facilitated exchanges would have lost tax credits that make coverage more affordable for those who are eligible. (New York is one of 14 states that have their own exchanges, so the tax credits would not be affected.)
Justice Scalia wrote the dissenting opinion and was joined by Justices Alito and Thomas.
Read more here or get the full transcript here.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has surveyed adult patients after a stay in the hospital to ask their opinions and to give star ratings based on 11 aspects of patient experience including how well their pain was relieved, staff communication with patients and whether they would recommend the hospital to others. To see how hospitals in your state rated, click here.
The Supreme Court has accepted the case of King v. Burwell which challenges the Federal subsidies received by those who enroll in an insurance plan through the Federal Exchange. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) language provides for subsidies (in the form of tax credits) for those who obtain coverage through state-run exchanges. It does not specifically state that the subsidies are also allowed in the Federal Exchange for people who live in states that did not establish an exchange. Supporters of the law argue that the language can be interpreted in different ways, while opponents see the subsidies that millions of Americans have received as illegal.
Arguments in the case should begin in March of 2015 with a decision expected by July. Read more