Friday, April 29, 2011

Webinar on HSA compliance issues

Senn Dunn Insurance invites you to participate in an Assurex Global webinar on May 26, 2011 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM EST.
Reserve your seat now at:

More and more employers are considering an HSA as one of their benefit options. While there are many advantages of an HSA there are also significant compliance issues employers must be aware of. This session will focus on the HSA compliance issues which most directly affect the employer including:
• Employer contribution rules both when the HSA contributions are made through a Section 125 plan and when made outside the 125 plan.
• Employee eligibility rules
• How to correct employer and employee contribution mistakes
• And more…

This webinar is designed for any employer currently offering an HSA to employees and also for employers considering an HSA.

Presented by: Fritz Hewelt, Compliance Consultant, Benefit Comply, LLC
Fred W. (“Fritz”) Hewelt brings over thirty years of experience to his clients, assisting them with a broad range of issues related to the evaluation and remediation of employee benefit and human resource compliance challenges. Fritz has also assisted numerous clients with welfare benefit plan due diligence in merger and acquisition situations. Fritz holds a BS in Business Administration from Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois. He also has earned designation as a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) and a Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BCBSNC assists members affected by tornado state of emergency

BCBSNC has extended premium payment deadlines and made it easier for members to get prescription drugs in counties affected by the recent tornado disaster.

The provisions apply to counties covered by the disaster declaration issued by Gov. Bev Perdue. Members and employers located within those counties will get an additional 30 days to pay their premiums. Members in those areas will also be able to get an early prescription refill or replace a lost or destroyed prescription, by making a request at any participating pharmacy.

In addition, as required by state statute, BCBSNC will provide a month extension for other deadlines or requirements that would fall during the first 30 days following the disaster declaration date. Those include requirements related to:
• Submission of claims
• Filing of appeals of denied claims
• Requests for authorization of medical services
• Additions of newborn and adopted children to a medical policy

Monday, April 25, 2011

Free choice vouchers are latest provision eliminated from health reform law

The recent budget bill signed into law by President Obama on April 15th, eliminated the Free Choice Voucher program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The program would have required employers to provide low-income employees who declined their employer's health coverage with an employer-paid voucher to seek coverage in the health insurance exchanges.

For more information on this change, visit the Society for Human Resource Management article, Budget Deal Eliminates Employer-Paid Health Care Vouchers.

UnitedHealth Group supports tornado victims in southern states

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) and its benefits and services businesses, UnitedHealthcare and Optum, are taking immediate action to assist people in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia affected by the recent tornadoes. This includes opening a free counseling line; relief to health plan participants who may need to refill prescription medications that may have been misplaced as a result of the tornado; and support of the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which is assisting people in the affected communities.
  • Free Help Line - Staffed by experienced master’s-level behavioral health specialists, the help line offers assistance to callers seeking help in dealing with stress, anxiety and the grieving process. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, such as financial and legal issues. 1(866)-342-6892, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. This service is free of charge to all affected individuals, even if they are not UnitedHealthcare enrollees. Resources and information are also available online at and in Spanish at
  • Early Prescription Refills - Individuals who have been displaced or do not have access to their medications, who call and identify that they have been affected by the tornado, will be able to have prescription medications filled if they have refills remaining on file at a participating retail or mail-order pharmacy. This includes plan participants enrolled in all fully insured commercial products, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement or Medicare Part D offerings and AARP MedicareRx plans. For mail-order delivery service to affected areas or any other questions related to their prescriptions, people are encouraged to call the pharmacy number on the back of their ID card, or speak directly to a pharmacist about their situation. This policy is effective immediately and will remain active until at least May 4, 2011.
  • Support for the American Red Cross - UnitedHealth Group participates in the Annual Disaster Giving Program of the American Red Cross, which is offering shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to people in the affected communities. Individuals can join forces with companies who are members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program and help provide food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, like the recent tornadoes in the southern states, either by going to or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a donation.

Friday, April 15, 2011

President Obama signs repeal of 1099 provision in health reform law

President Obama has signed the first repeal of a part of last year's health reform law, by rolling back the 1099 provision that would have required businesses to issue a Form 1099 for any payments for goods and services over $600 during the year.  The repeal measure was initially passed by bipartisan votes in both the House (314-to-112) and Senate (87-to-12).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Senate votes to repeal 1099 provision in health reform law

The Senate voted on Tuesday, April 5th, to repeal the 1099 provision in the health reform law, which would have required businesses to issue a 1099 for all vendors from which they purchase $600 worth of goods or services during the year.  The original provision was expected to raise $19 billion to help pay for health reform.  The Senate passed the House's version of the repeal bill by a vote of 87-12, which is paid for by requiring consumers to return any overpayments they receive in tax subsidies for exchange coverage.

Now that the bill has been passed by both the House and the Senate, it will arrive on President Obama's desk for him to either sign or veto.

Employer seminar on compliance, retirement plans and health care reform

Senn Dunn invites you to join us for an employer seminar hosted by Morton Wealth Management, Senn Dunn Insurance and Sharrard, McGee & Co., P.A. We will give an employer-specific update on the following topics:
• Compliance – recent business tax changes, tax implications of health care reform and recent changes for 401(k) plan compliance
• Retirement Plans – the importance of employee education and investment selection oversight for your company’s 401(k) plan
• Health Care Reform – An in-depth look at 2014 and what it means for employers

Event details:
Tuesday, May 10th at the Greensboro Country Club
410 Sunset Drive, Greensboro NC 27408
Registration & Breakfast at 8:00 am, Seminar 8:30 am to 10:45 am

Space is limited; RSVP to Susan Shanahan by Wednesday, May 4th at or 336.272.7161.

This program has been pre-approved for 2 general recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. To print this invitation, please access the PDF version at Seminar Invitation.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Webinar on COBRA compliance for employers

Senn Dunn Insurance invites you to participate in an Assurex Global webinar on April 28, 2011 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM EST. Reserve your seat now at:
Originally passed on April 7th, 1986, COBRA “celebrates” its 25th anniversary this April.  Even after all these years COBRA administration continues to concern employers.  This session will review important COBRA concepts, and focus on areas employers must address even if they use a COBRA administrator including:
• Written procedures regarding the requirement for employees and QBs to notify the employer of certain events
• Setting the proper COBRA premium, especially for plans such as health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and Section 125 Health FSAs
• When to start COBRA in the case of leave of absence or severance arrangements
• And more…

This webinar is designed for employers with at least 20 employees that are subject to the COBRA continuation rules whether they use a COBRA administrator or not.  Smaller employers are often subject to state “mini-COBRA” rules, but this session will not cover state specific rules in any detail. 

Presented by Bob Radecki, President, Benefit Comply, LLC:  Bob Radecki has more than 25 years experience in the HR and employee benefits industry helping employers deal with difficult benefit and compliance matters.  Previously, Bob founded and served as President of A.E. Roberts Company, a nationally recognized compliance consulting and training firm.  He has served as the principal HIPAA consultant to a number of health insurance companies, and is recognized as a leading expert on a variety of benefit compliance issues including COBRA, FMLA, Health Reform and more.  Bob has been the featured speaker at numerous industry events and conferences, and has published a number of articles concerning various compliance issues.