May 16, 2013
Is this the end of "Use it or Lose it"?
The "Use it or Lose it" rule that forfeits unused money from FSA accounts has been discussed for years. The rule was one of the major reasons that some people decided against using Flexible Spending Accounts as a way to help fight the rising costs of healthcare. This rule has been in the news lately and it appears that this may be the end of the rule.
The following is from our partners with the ECFC:
"Late yesterday, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) along with Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced S. 966, the Medical FSA Improvement Act, to eliminate the use-or-lose rule by allowing individuals to cash-out unused flexible spending arrangement (FSA) balances with the amounts treated as taxable income."
We will keep you updated as we learn more about these possible changes.
May 14, 2013
Is a Consumer-Driven Health Plan right for you?
CDHPs offer many benefits to consumers, the biggest being a way to save money in a time of rising healthcare costs. Take a look at the video and see if CDHPs can help you save money. Click here to learn more.
May 2, 2013
Peak1 Administration is proud to announce that we have joined ECFC. The Employers Council on Flexible Compensation is a group "dedicated to the advocacy, education, advancement, and innovation of tax-advantaged benefit programs that facilitate choice for employers and their employees."
We feel that the partnership will allow us to do our part to help shape government policies and regulations that support tax-advantaged benefits like the solutions we offer at Peak1.
April 8, 2013
Our phone systems are currently experiencing voicemail issues. We are dillegently working on a solution. Thank you for your patience with this issue.
April 5, 2013
Effective today at 5:00 PM Pacific Time, we will be undergoing system maintenance with an anticipated completion time of 8:00 A.M. Monday Pacific Time
April 1, 2013
We will have one central location for all mail to Peak1 Administration. To avoid any delays, please send all correspondence and payments to:Peak1 Administration
7600 Mineral Drive, Suite 450
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815
February 11, 2013
FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation: HRA
On January 24th, 2013 new FAQs were released to help better understand some of the changes with health care reform. Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury department were part of creating this document.
One major question was the wording that said “integrated” HRA. The FAQs defined an “integrated” HRA as an “HRA that is available only to employees who are covered by primary group health plan coverage provided by the employer and meeting the requirements of Public Health Service (PHS) Act section 2711.” This section of the PHS Act generally prohibits plans and issuers from imposing lifetime or annual limits on the dollar value of essential health benefits.
The information becomes effective January 1, 2014, as waivers currently in place will expire, subjecting HRAs to the annual and lifetime limit restrictions. Standalone HRAs contain an annual limit and will no longer be a benefit allowed under the health care reform regulations. Employers will want to review their HRA eligibility requirements in order to ensure their HRA meets the integrated new definition for HRA before the January 1, 2014 deadline. The HRA will need to be designed so that employees are eligible for the HRA only if they are enrolled in the employer’s group health coverage.
These are more questions and responses from the document:
May an HRA used to purchase coverage on the individual market be considered integrated with that individual market coverage and therefore satisfy the requirements of PHS Act section 2711?
No. The Departments intend to issue guidance providing that for purposes of PHS Act section 2711, an employer-sponsored HRA cannot be integrated with individual market coverage or with an employer plan that provides coverage through individual policies and therefore will violate PHS Act section 2711.
If an employee is offered coverage that satisfies PHS Act section 2711 but does not enroll in that coverage, may an HRA provided to that employee be considered integrated with the coverage and therefore satisfy the requirements of PHS Act section 2711?
No. The Departments intend to issue guidance under PHS Act section 2711 providing that an employer-sponsored HRA may be treated as integrated with other coverage only if the employee receiving the HRA is actually enrolled in that coverage. Any HRA that credits additional amounts to an individual when the individual is not enrolled in primary coverage meeting the requirements of PHS Act section 2711 provided by the employer will fail to comply with PHS Act section 2711.
How will amounts that are credited or made available under HRAs under terms that were in effect prior to January 1, 2014, be treated?
The Departments anticipate that future guidance will provide that, whether or not an HRA is integrated with other group health plan coverage, unused amounts credited before January 1, 2014, consisting of amounts credited before January 1, 2013 and amounts that are credited in 2013 under the terms of an HRA as in effect on January 1, 2013 may be used after December 31, 2013 to reimburse medical expenses in accordance with those terms without causing the HRA to fail to comply with PHS Act section 2711. If the HRA terms in effect on January 1, 2013, did not prescribe a set amount or amounts to be credited during 2013 or the timing for crediting such amounts, then the amounts credited may not exceed those credited for 2012 and may not be credited at a faster rate than the rate that applied during 2012.
For more information about these and other questions, visit http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca11.html
February 5, 2013
Peak1 Mobile App Continues to Grow in Popularity
Over the past few months we have noticed a substantial growth in the use and downloads of our Peak1 mobile app. We have received great feedback about this app and users are starting to see how it can make things easier for them.
The app is available for both iPhone and Android and has proven to be a convenient way for users to check balances of their account based plans (HRA, HSA and FSA). Participants can also check their claim history and even take a picture of their receipts for faster claim processing! Here are more details about the app:
IT’S EASY AND CONVENIENT
Designed to work just as other apps, making it easy to learn and use
IT CONNECTS YOU WITH THE DETAILS
- Check available balances 24/7
- View account activity for your accounts
- Drill into claim transactions for your HRA and FSA accounts
TAKE PICTURES OF CLAIM RECEIPTS
- View claims requiring receipts
- Take a picture of a receipt and submit for a claim
No sensitive account information is ever stored on your mobile device and secure encryption is used to protect all transmissions
- Mobile File A Claim— Enables you to submit a new FSA or HRA claim from your Mobile app at any time, and to add a receipt at the same time a claim is being filed.
- HSA Transaction Details—Enables you to drill into details of your HSA transactions. The specific HSA information displayed includes details of cash account activity, and participant and employer contributions.
- Enhanced Login (Passcode) —Allows you to login to your Lighthouse1 Mobile App with a convenient 4-digit passcode. For added security, no login information is ever stored on your mobile device.
To download, please visit the following sites:
January 31, 2013
IRS Imposes New Tax on HRAs
With the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), a new fee has been announced for sponsors and issuers of individual and group policies, called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee. This fee was developed to support research on clinical effectiveness. IRS Bulletin 2012-19 explains that this fee is to be paid by the issuer of fully insured group health plans (the insurer) and sponsors of applicable self-insured group health plans (the employer), including HRAs.
An HRA is considered a self-insured plan, and as a result you are now responsible for paying the fee (through an excise tax) for all lives covered under your HRA. The first year of the fee is $1 per covered life per year, the second year fee adjusts to $2 per covered life per year and then it's indexed to national health expenditures until it terminates in 2019.
How the Fee is calculated
According to Section §4376 of the IRS Code, the fee is equal to the average number of covered lives for the policy year times the applicable dollar amount.
- For policy years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012, and before Oct. 1, 2013 - the applicable dollar amount is $1.
- For policy years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2013, and before Oct. 1, 2014 - the applicable dollar amount is $2.
- For policy years ending in any fiscal year beginning on or after Oct. 1, 2014 - the applicable dollar amount is the prior fiscal year's dollar amount plus an adjustment for medical inflation (TBD).
How to Pay the Fee
Your annual HRA plan fee is to be paid by July 31st of the calendar year following the plan year end via IRS Form 720 Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. (The IRS plans to revise Form 720 to reflect these changes.)
The fee applies to policy/plan years ending on or after October 1, 2012. For a calendar year plan, the fee will first be applicable for the 2012 plan year.
For more information on IRS Bulletin 2012-19, visit http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb12-19.pdf
January 14, 2013
Transit and Parking Benefits Get a Cost of Living Increase for 2013
On Friday, January 11, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service announced inflation adjustments for the 2013 tax year, which included items from the recently passed American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was signed into law last week. The provision to re-instate the parity of transit and parking benefits was included in the inflation adjustment. For 2013, the amount of pre-tax dollars that can be used to pay for Transit and/or Parking Benefits has increased to $245 per month.
Peak1 is making changes to the monthly maximums set in the debit card and Lighthouse1 administration platforms to accommodate the changes. The IRS monthly maximum reimbursement for parking and mass transit plans will be increased to $245 with an effective date of 01/01/2013. The monthly maximums for 2012 will not be changed. Any claims submitted for reimbursement with dates of service in 2012 will be subject to a $240 monthly maximum reimbursement. These changes will be in place on Monday, January 14, 2013.
Any claims entered after this change has been made in your database will be subject to the new monthly maximum. Please contact Peak1 if you have any additional questions.
- 2012 Parking & Mass Transit Limits Released
- Peak1 Adds Free Mobile App
- COBRA subsidies finally at an end?
- IRS Releases Mileage Rates Effective 7/1/2011
- IRS Announces 2012 HSA Limits
- Text Message Alerts Now Available to Participants!
- More Online Access to HSA Tax Documents
- IRS Issues PPACA Guidance on W-2 Reporting
- Don’t Lose It - Use It!
- Transit and Parking Benefits Get a Cost of Living Increase for 2013
- IRS Imposes New Tax on HRAs
- Peak1 Mobile App Continues to Grow in Popularity
- Accounting Mailing Address Update
- System maintenance
- FAQs about Affordable Care Act Implementation: HRA
- Peak1 Joins ECFC
- Fax Number Change
- Is a Consumer Directed Healthcare Plan Right for You?
- Is this the end of "Use it or Lose it"?