The IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have released a raft of proposed and final regulations that implement the Affordable Care Act health care reform law, which becomes fully operational in nine months. The proposed regs won’t become effective until final regs are issued.
Essential health benefits
Effective with the 2014 plan year, final regs require nongrandfathered insured small-group plans to offer a core group of 10 essential benefits and services, such as preventive services, hospitalization, prescription drugs and maternity and newborn care.
With a few exceptions, deductibles are limited to $2,000 for employee-only coverage and $4,000 for family coverage. The limits don’t take into consideration employees’ health flexible spending accounts. Mental health and substance abuse disorder benefits must meet current parity standards.
Plans must meet certain actuarial values, which, as in the Olympics,...(register to read more)