This document sets forth final rules to expand opportunities for working men and
women and their families to access affordable, quality healthcare through changes to rules under
various provisions of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA), and the Internal Revenue Code (Code) regarding health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans.
On June 13, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor (DOL) and Treasury (Treasury) issued final regulations on Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans (Final Regulations), along with model attestations, notices, and frequently asked questions. Set forth below is a summary of the Final Regulations.
The Department proposes to revise its Section 1557 regulation in order to better comply with the mandates of Congress, address legal concerns, relieve billions of dollars in undue regulatory burdens, further substantive compliance, reduce confusion, and clarify the scope of Section 1557 in keeping with pre-existing civil rights statutes and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability
Final regulations, released by the IRS on June 13, permit employees to use health reimbursement account (HRA) funds to purchase health insurance on the individual market. HRAs are employer-sponsored accounts funded with pre-tax dollars and used to pay for premiums and other qualified medical expenses. Under previous IRS interpretations, IRS Notice 2013-54, employers were effectively prevented from offering stand-alone HRAs that allow employees to purchase coverage on the individual market.
On June 5, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved four pieces of guidance: (1) Regulation Best Interest, (2) an interpretation of the "solely incidental" prong of the broker-dealer exclusion from the definition of investment adviser, (3) an interpretation of the standard of conduct for investment advisers, and (4) Form CRS relationship summary; amendments to Form ADV. Set forth below are summaries of Regulation Best Interest and the two interpretations.
We write on behalf of the American Benefits Council ("the Council") to provide comment in connection with the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program Proposed Rule ("Proposed Rule") published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2019, by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (84 Fed. Reg. 7424).
WASHINGTON, DC – "The biggest and most urgent problem in health care is that fewer and fewer people are able to afford it," American Benefits Council Senior Vice President, Health Policy, Ilyse Schuman, said today. "Lowering health care costs requires a comprehensive, bipartisan solution, and we commend Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) for producing the Lower Health Care Costs Act discussion draft."
WASHINGTON, DC – "For more than a century, American employers have sponsored retirement plans that offer financial security to workers and their families. These plans, long supported by bipartisan public policy, enjoy a legacy of remarkable success," said Lynn Dudley, American Benefits Council senior vice president, global retirement and compensation policy today. "The challenges that retirement plans and participants face today require renewed bipartisan commitment to that system."