Innovative Benefit Planning Blog

Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive Preventive Services at No Additional Cost

Posted On: August 3, 2011 | Categorized as: Company News

Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible. “The Affordable Care Act helps stop health problems before they start,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.”  Before health reform, too many Americans didn’t get the preventive health care they need to stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, lead productive lives, and reduce health care costs.  Often because of cost, Americans used preventive services at about half the recommended…

EBSA Extends 408(b)(2) to April 2012

Posted On: July 22, 2011 | Categorized as: Company News

The Employee Benefits Security Administration, an arm of the U.S. Department of Labor, has extended the effective date for the interim final fiduciary-level fee disclosure rule, 408(b)(2), from July 16, 2011 to April 1, 2012. Initially proposed in the summer of 2010, the Department ruled to enhance the required fee disclosures from certain pension plan service providers to plan fiduciaries.  Now known as Regulation 408 (b)(2) under ERISA, this disclosure is considered to be part of a “reasonable” contract or arrangement for services. The Department received many requests for an extension of the effective date based on the need for updating systems and procedures in order to more accurately collect and disclose information.  A January 1, 2012 extension was agreed upon.  In addition, the Department agreed to align the 408(b)(2) regulation with participant-level disclosure regulation believing that the additional time would assist plan fiduciaries and administrators in gathering the information…

$10 Million In Funding Available For Workplace Health Programs

Posted On: July 7, 2011 | Categorized as: Company News

In addition to the President’s Childhood Obesity Task Force, the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative, and the National Prevention Council, which was formed to design and implement a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy, the government has now embarked upon another area of wellness, this time aimed at supporting workplace health promotion programs.  The United States Department of Health and Human Services announced the availability of $10 million from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health fund to establish and evaluate comprehensive workplace health promotion programs across the nation to improve the health of American workers and their families. This funding will enable the development of programs promoting healthy living to be available to companies of all sizes.  Work environments that promote a healthier lifestyle by:   1) encouraging physical activity through the availability of flex-time;  2) offering healthier food choices in worksite cafeterias and vending machines and;   3) discouraging…

Voucher Provision Repealed

Posted On: April 21, 2011 | Categorized as: Company News

After much negotiation and the threat of a government shutdown the budget was passed last week.  This is good news for employers as members of Congress agreed to have the Voucher Provision taken out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in an effort to reduce the budget.  This provision was originally instituted last spring as part of health care reform.  Although it won’t affect the budget until 2014, this repeal removes the large burden that would otherwise have been felt by employers. Under the provision, an employer offering health coverage for employees would have been required to provide free choice vouchers to each employee meeting two criterion.  First, the employee’s premium contribution must be between 8.0% and 9.8% of the employee’s household income, assuming such employee’s household income is less than 400% of FPL; and second the employee is enrolled in the Exchange.The voucher amount would have…

Samaritan Hospice Announces Gala

Posted On: January 17, 2011 | Categorized as: Company News

As posted on By Patch Staff | Email the author | January 7, 2011 Samaritan Hospice will hold its 30th annual gala Feb. 26 at The Westin Mt. Laurel, CEO Mary Ann Boccolini announced. “I am pleased that Terriann Procida of Moorestown, president of Innovative Benefit Planning LLC in Cinnaminson agreed to serve as this year’s gala chairman,” said Boccolini.  “She has been successful in pulling together a fabulous group of volunteers, who have developed our Mardi Gras theme and have given generously of their time and talents to ensure another successful gala.” Pennsauken-based Holman Automotive is the Presenting Sponsor of the event.            American Medical Association President-elect Dr. Peter W. Carmel is this year’s honoree. Carmel, who operates at University Hospital in Newark, chairs the Department of Neurological Surgery at the New Jersey Medical School and is the co-medical director of the Neurological Institute of New Jersey.  Proceeds from…

Medicare Secondary Reporting Requirements for HRAs

Posted On: December 15, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

Beginning 10/1/10, HRA plans are required to report on a quarterly basis all covered HRA participants and dependents that meet specific criteria. The purpose of reporting is to enable CMS to correctly pay for health insurance benefits of Medicare beneficiaries by determining primary vs. secondary payer responsibility. The employee/dependent data helps to assure that claims will be paid by the appropriate organization at first billing. CMS Reporting is required for HRA plans with any of the following parameters: • Groups with 20 or more full-time or part-time employees. • Groups with less than 20 full-time or part-time employees if a covered individual is receiving dialysis or has had a kidney transplant. • Multi Group Health Plan – if at least one employer of the group has 20 or more employees, all employers must report unless approved for a small employer exception by CMS. (Note: this exception does not apply to reporting those already…

Model Notices on PPACA Grievance and Appeal Rules

Posted On: August 30, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

The Department of Labor this week published its model notices under the PPACA Claims and Appeals Regulation, providing model notices that can be used in connection with adverse benefit determinations, appeals of adverse benefit determinations, and a final external review decision. DOL also published Technical Release 2010-1, which provides an interim enforcement safe harbor for plans that are subject to the federal external review process. It details many new requirements with which these plans will have to comply. Links to the model notices and the Technical Release are available on the Employee Benefits Security Administration's home page: 

Notice Published in Federal Register on Lifetime Income Options for Retirement Plans

Posted On: August 26, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

The Agencies published in the Federal Register a request for information (RFI) regarding whether, and, if so, how, by regulation or otherwise, it would be appropriate for them to enhance the retirement security of participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans and in individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) by facilitating access to, and use of, lifetime income or other arrangements designed to provide a lifetime stream of income after retirement. Click here to read more

The Occupational Training Center of Camden County

Posted On: August 24, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

We recently partnered with the Occupational Training Center in Berlin NJ to help us put together some of our promotional items. We have had great feedback and success on the work they have done for us. The OTC is a great partner to hiring high paid temporary services or running extra labor shifts. The OTC workforce is ready to be scheduled to handle your small or large volume production needs and to meet your deadlines.  The nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing a realistic work experience to individuals with disabilities who are not currently seeking a competitive job.  The program offers a variety of manufacturing, assembly and packaging jobs assignments to the participants to experience. We recommend the OTC if you have labeling, shrink-wrapping, inspection, and sorting projects that require assistance, contact them at 856-768-0845; they offer pick up and delivery services too. To learn more about the OTC please…

Preventive Care Regulation Released

Posted On: July 28, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

On Wednesday, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury released an interim final regulation outlining the details of the preventive care coverage requirement for health plans established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). PPACA requires that all plans provide first-dollar coverage of specific preventive care services recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force beginning on the first day of the first plan year following September 23, 2010. The requirements apply to all individual and group health plans, including self-funded plans, but grandfathered plans are exempt as long as they retain their grandfathered status. The complete list of preventive care services that are required to be covered can be found here. click here to read more

PA Mini-Cobra Extended

Posted On: July 27, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

On July 9th, Governor Rendell signed House Bill 1251 that included a change to Pennsylvania Mini-COBRA to allow for coverage beyond 9 months if a covered individual is also receiving a federal premium subsidy.  This means that individuals who are eligible for the premium subsidy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) would be eligible for up to 15 months of continuation coverage (for assistance eligible individuals only).  This will likely result in the necessity to send notices to affected individuals and reinstate their mini-COBRA coverage.  To date, details on who is eligible to be reinstated have not been released.  Model notices and guidance are expected. To read the Governor's Office press release, go to PA Governor's Office News Room and view the release titled "Governor Rendell Signs Legislation, July 9." To read the text of the amended law: House Bill 1251

5500 Efast Filing

Posted On: July 27, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

As you may already be aware, new regulations were recently passed requiring all sponsors of qualified plans to file their Form 5500 and accompanying schedules electronically beginning January 1, 2010.  Hard copies will no longer be accepted, rather will need to be submitted via the Department of Labor’s EFAST2 electronic on-line filing system.  We will still be preparing your filing as in previous years. To comply with these regulations and to update and streamline the ERISA filing process, the DOL has created a new, web-based electronic filing system known as EFAST2. The EFAST2 system provides all of the basic functionality required to fulfill annual reporting requirements from the website For the sake of accuracy, security, and timeliness, you must complete the registration process in a single session. Incomplete registration forms will not be saved in the EFAST2 database. If you end the session prior to completing the registration form,…

New Break Time Requirement for Nursing Mothers

Posted On: July 27, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

The United States Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recently released a Fact Sheet providing guidance on the new break time requirement for nursing mothers. This new requirement took effect when Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") was amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010. The Fact Sheet explains that employers with 50 or more employees must provide "reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk." In addition, employers must supply a functional space, aside from a bathroom, for mothers to express breast milk. If an employer does not have a dedicated space, it must create a temporary or converted space that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public. Although the…

Interim Final Rule on Internal Claims and Appeals and External Review Processes Released

Posted On: July 26, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

New Regulations Give Patients Right To Appeal Health Plan Decisions; New Grants Program Strengthens State and Territory Consumer Assistance Programs The Obama Administration is announcing both new regulations to empower consumers to appeal decisions made by their health plans or insurance companies and the availability of resources that will be used to help give consumers more control of their health care decisions. These provisions of the Affordable Care Act will help support and protect consumers and help end some of the worst insurance company abuses. For more detailed information visit these links: Regulation: Fact Sheet: Related Press Release: NAIC Uniform External Review Model Act:

Regulations Issued on Lifetime and Annual Limits

Posted On: July 23, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

Close on the heels of their regulations concerning grandfathered plans, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Treasury have now released interim final regulations relating to preexisting condition exclusions, lifetime and annual limits, rescissions, and other patient protections under the Affordable Care Act (the "Act").  Lifetime Limits Under the Act, a group health plan may not establish any lifetime limit on the dollar amount of "essential health benefits" provided to any individual. This requirement is effective for plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010. It applies to both grandfathered and non-grandfathered plans, although not to health FSAs or health savings accounts. According to the Act, essential health benefits include, at a minimum, items and services in the following categories: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization, maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and…

IBP sponsors 401(k) Educational Luncheon

Posted On: July 23, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

Mark Sulpizio, a founding partner at IBP, was the presenter at a qualified plan educational luncheon held at Union Trust Steakhouse in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 22 2010. At the luncheon, Mark reviewed the recently released 408(b)(2) "interim final regulations" from the Department of Labor and how the new rules will affect the fiduciary responsibilities of plan sponsors. Mark provided valuable insight on what plan sponsors needed to do in preparation for the July 16, 2011 effective date of the regulations. The event was well attended and received tremendous interest due to timeliness of the topics discussed. If you would like to learn more about the added fiduciary responsibilities employers face because of the new regulations please feel free to call our office. To view a fact sheet from the Department of Labor please  click here.

Fiduciary Update – The SEC and Target Date Branding

Posted On: June 25, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

As discussed at our recent fiduciary luncheon events, the regulatory agencies are continuing to look at target date funds.  Last week, the commissioners at the SEC approved new regulations regarding the marketing of target date funds. The agency wants to require the use of a visual aid illustrating the funds glide path, which outlines how the funds allocation changes as it reaches the specified retirement date.  In addition, target date funds will be required to provide a statement of the funds asset allocation at the landing point/retirement date. There will also be new disclosure statements outlining the fund’s lack of a guaranteed return, that allocations may change and that participants should not select a fund based solely on their age or retirement date. Mary Schapiro, chairperson of the SEC, stated that “these proposed rule changes would help clarify the meaning of the date in a target date fund and improve…

Innovative Sponsors 401(k)/403(b) Fiduciary Luncheon

Posted On: June 23, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News, Retirement Plans

Mark Sulpizio, a founding partner at IBP, presented a workshop on the added fiduciary responsibilities plan sponsors will face due to the upcoming Department of Labor 408(B)(2) regulations at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Princeton, NJ.  The program reviewed what plan sponsors should be doing to prepare for the regulations and offered guidance on how to unbundle a retirement plan to determine the fees being assessed to participants, a requirement of the new regulations.  Attendee feedback was extremely positive, with many comments on the timeliness and value of the material presented.  If you would like more information on how the new regulations will affect your plan, feel free to call our office.

US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Labor & Treasury Issue Regulation on “Grandfathered” Health Plans Under the Affordable Care Act

Posted On: June 15, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

While the Affordable Care Act requires all health plans to provide new mandated benefits under the law, plans that existed on March 23, 2010 are exempt from some new requirements. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury issued new regulations on “Grandfathered” health plans under the Affordable Care Act. In order for a plan to keep its “Grandfathered” status the plan must abide by the stipulations outlined below when making plan changes. Cannot Significantly Cut or Reduce Benefits.  For example, if a plan decides to no longer cover care for people with diabetes, cystic fibrosis or HIV/AIDS. Cannot Raise Co-Insurance Charges. Typically, co-insurance requires a patient to pay a fixed percentage of a charge (for example, 20% of a hospital bill).  Grandfathered plans cannot increase this percentage. Cannot Significantly Raise Co-Payment Charges. Frequently, plans require patients to pay a fixed-dollar amount for doctor’s office visits and other…

Innovative Presents on Healthcare Reform

Posted On: June 11, 2010 | Categorized as: Company News

Terriann Procida, one of our  founding partners, had the privilege of delivering an informative talk about Healthcare Reform on Wednesday, June 9th in Philadelphia.  She covered topics such as The Patient and Affordable Care Act as well as the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, both of which have become the most sweeping legislation since Medicare.  Kenneth  R. Gilberg, a shareholder of Flaster/Greenberg also presented at this event about Employee Handbooks.  Based on the feedback everyone found it very timely and beneficial.

Need a custom plan designed for your team?

Schedule a Consultation

Contact Us Now To Get Your Business Covered