The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the maximum Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution amounts for 2012. Under IRS Revenue Procedure 2011-32, the maximum contribution will increase as follows:
- Single Coverage $3,050 $3,100
- Family Coverage $6,150 $6,250
Maximum out-of-pocket expense, including deductibles will also increase for 2012 as indicated blow:
- Single Coverage $5,950 $6,050
- Family Coverage $11,900 $12,100
HSA’s must be linked with a high-deductible health insurance plan. According to America’s Health Insurance Plans, about 10 million people were enrolled in this type of insurance plan, which was a 25% increase of 2009. Enrollment figures for 2011 are expected to be released soon.
The recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as healthcare reform is a complicated piece of legislation with many parts.
One part, that hasn’t gotten a lot of press, is the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act.
CLASS creates a national voluntary long term care insurance program. The program is set to begin in 2011. The Department of Health and Human Services still needs to develop guidelines, so we don’t know much about it. However, employers should begin to think about whether they’ll participate in the program and stay tuned as facts become available. The program is to be fully funded by employees and benefits will be available to employees after they have paid premiums for at least 60 months.
CLASS provides small supplementary benefits for in home care, and is not enough to pay for assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
The U.S. government gave thousands of unemployed workers an early Christmas gift when the Senate, in a rare session Saturday, December 19, approved a military spending bill that would extend federal COBRA health insurance premium subsidies for the unemployed.
H.R. 3326, which the House approved this week, cleared the Senate on an 88-10 vote.
President Barack Obama signed the bill Monday, December 21.
The bill would extend the nine-month, 65 percent premium federal subsidy by six months. The change would apply to those who are involuntarily terminated through February 28, 2010.
Under current law, employees who lose their jobs after December 31 are ineligible for the subsidy.
The legislation also would provide another six months of subsidized coverage for beneficiaries whose nine-month COBRA premium subsidy has run out.
In addition, the legislation would give beneficiaries whose subsidy expired and who didn’t pay the full premium the opportunity to receive retroactive coverage. For example, a b
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eneficiary whose nine months of subsidized coverage ran out November 30 and who didn’t pay the unsubsidized premium for December could pay his or her 35 percent share in January and receive COBRA coverage for December.
The legislation would require employers to notify current and future COBRA beneficiaries of the new 15-month premium subsidy.
The fate of the legislation has been followed closely by terminated workers—eager to know whether the subsidy will be extended—as well as employers who need to tell beneficiaries the COBRA premium they should pay.
The legislation makes clear that employers can offset future COBRA premiums or issue refund checks for beneficiaries who overpaid their COBRA premium. That could happen if a beneficiary whose subsidy ran out in November paid the full premium rather than the 35 percent share in December.
Source: workforce.com, Jerry Geisel
p.s. Yes I know today is not Friday . . . because Christmas Day is on Friday I am posting this a bit early. Merry Christmas! PH