Industry News


Women's Preventive Health Update

On August 1, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an amendment to the Interim Final Regulations for preventive care under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The amendment applies to non-grandfathered individual insurance policies as well as non-grandfathered insured and self-insured group health plans.

The amendment provides additional guidelines for women’s preventive services. Health plans will need to cover women’s preventive services, including birth control, without copayments or deductibles. The guidelines reflect the recommendations made last month by the independent Institute of Medicine.

For plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012, non-grandfathered plans will be required to cover the following additional preventive care services for women with no cost sharing:

  • Annual well-woman visits
  • Screening for gestational diabetes
  • HPV DNA testing for women 30 years and older
  • Sexually-transmitted infection counseling
  • HIV screening and counseling
  • FDA-approved contraception methods and contraceptive counseling
  • Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling
  • Domestic violence screening and counseling

For more detail on the amendment and the additional preventive care services for women, visit:



Federal Health Care Reform Timeline Overview



New Programs:
* Temporary retiree reinsurance program is established
* National risk pool is created, small business tax credit is established
* $250 rebate for Medicare members who reach the ”doughnut hole”

Insurance Reforms:
* Prohibits lifetime benefit limits – based on dollar amounts
* Allows restricted annual limits on the dollar value of certain benefits
* Coverage rescissions/cancellations are prohibited (except for fraud or intentional misrepresentation)
* Cost-sharing obligations for preventive services are prohibited
* Dependent coverage up to age 26 is mandated
* Internal and external appeal processes must be established
* Pre-existing condition exclusions for dependent children (under 19 years of age) are prohibited
* New health plan disclosure and transparency requirements are created


Insurance Reforms:
* Uniform coverage documents and standard definitions are developed
* Minimum medical loss ratios are mandated

Medicare Reforms:
* Medicare Advantage cost sharing limits effective
* Medicare beneficiaries who reach the doughnut hole will receive a 50% discount on brand name drugs
* A 10% Medicare bonus will be provided to primary care physicians and general surgeons practicing in underserved areas, such as inner cities and rural communities.
* Medicare Advantage plans would begin to have their payments frozen.

* Employers are required to report the value of health care benefits on employees' W2 tax statements.
* Annual industry fee for pharmaceutical manufacturers of brand name drugs.
* Voluntary long term care insurance program would be made available to provide cash benefit for assisting disabled individuals to stay in their homes or cover nursing home costs. Benefits would start five years after people begin paying a fee for coverage.
* Funding for community health centers would be increased to provide care for many low income and uninsured people.


* Hospitals, physicians, and payers would be encouraged to band together in "accountable care organizations."
* Hospitals with high rates of preventable readmissions would face reduced Medicare payments.


* Individuals making $200,000 a year or couples making $250,000 would have a higher Medicare payroll tax of 2.35% on earned income —up from the current 1.45%. A new tax of 3.8% on unearned income, such as dividends and interest, is also added.
* Medical expense contributions to flexible spending accounts (FSAs) limited to $2,500 a year—indexed for inflation. In addition, the thresholds for claiming itemized tax deduction for medical expenses rise from 7.5% to 10% of income.
* Medical device manufacturers would have a 2.9% sales tax on medical devices; devices such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, and hearing aids would be exempt.
* Eliminates deduction for expenses allocable to Medicare Part D subsidy for employers who maintain prescription drug plans for their Medicare Part D eligible retirees.


Coverage Mandates & Subsidies:
* Individual and employer coverage responsibilities are effective. 
* Individual affordability tax credits are created and small business tax credits are expanded.

Health Insurance Exchange & Insurance Reforms:
* State individual and small group health insurance exchanges operational.
* Guaranteed issue, guaranteed renewability, modified community rating and minimum benefit standards (“essential benefits” plan) effective. 
* Lifetime and annual dollar limits are prohibited for essential benefits.
* Pre-existing condition exclusions are prohibited.

Taxes & Fees:
* Addition of new taxes on health insurers

Medicaid and Medicare Reform:
* Medicaid expanded to cover low income individuals under age 65 up to 133% of the federal poverty level—about $28,300 for a family of four.
* Minimum medical loss ratio of 85% required for Medicare Advantage plans


Taxes & Fees:
* Tax (“Cadillac tax”) imposed on employer sponsored health insurance plans that offer policies with generous levels of coverage.


Medicare Reform:
* Doughnut hole coverage gap in Medicare prescription benefit is fully phased out. Seniors continue to pay the standard 25% of their drug costs until they reach the threshold for Medicare catastrophic coverage.




IRS Releases 2022 Limits for

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA),
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

and Commuter Benefits

Revised to show correct HSA contribution limits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Rev. Proc. 2021-45, which calls for an adjustment to the spending limits for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and Commuter Benefits. Effective January 1, 2022 the following will be the new limits:





Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA)



$100 increase

Healthcare FSA Carryover



$20 increase

Monthly Maximum Mass Transit



$10 per month

Monthly Maximum Parking



$10 per month

HSA Contribution Limit

Self Only - $3,650

Family - $7,300

Self Only - $3,600

Family - $7,200

$50 increase

$100 increase

HSA Catch-up Contribution

Age 55 and older



No change

HDHP Minimum Deductibles

Self Only - $1,400

Family - $2,800

Self Only - $1,400

Family - $2,800

No change

No change

Maximum Out-of-Pocket

Self Only - $7,050

Family - $14,100

Self Only - $7,000

Family - $14,000

$50 increase

$100 increase