Bulletins

Blue KC releases new virtual health care app

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) now offers a new app, called Blue KC Virtual Care, for online health care visits. With the app, members can schedule a video visit with a physician for sick care needs and a behavioral health therapist for mental health needs.

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Online creditable coverage disclosure due annually

An online disclosure notice must be submitted to CMS no later than 60 days from the beginning of a plan year. The notice requires employers to verify whether the company’s prescription drug coverage is “creditable” or “noncreditable” as defined by CMS. This is an annual requirement.

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Congress repeals several ACA taxes; PCORI tax reinstated

Three tax provisions within the Affordable Care Act have been shuttered by recent congressional action, and the recently expired PCORI fee has been reinstated for another 10 years starting in 2020. Passed in both the House and Senate, the measures were signed into law by President Trump on...

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IRS extends distribution deadline for ACA returns to March 2

Employers will have until March 2, 2020, to distribute Forms 1095 to employees. The original January 31 deadline has been extended for the fourth, consecutive year.

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EEO-1 pay-data collection extended

The collection period for the newly required EEO-1 pay data, also called Component 2, has been extended until January 31, 2020. If employers missed the original deadline of September 30, 2019, they should still work to submit company pay data.

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Reminder: Blue KC to transition to new pharmacy benefit manager

Some members will experience a network change

Starting January 1, 2020, OptumRx will be the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) members. Express Scripts, the current PBM, will provide pharmacy services through December 31, 2019.

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IRS expands preventive care benefits for HSA-compatible HDHPs

Because of the tax-favored treatment of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) integrated with a health savings account (HSA), individuals are required to pay out-of-pocket for all medical expenses, with the exception of qualified preventive care, until the plan deductible is satisfied. In Notice...

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DOL issues opinion letter clarifying FMLA leave requirement

A DOL opinion letter clarifies that employers must designate FMLA leave once they learn that an absence qualifies for protection under the law. The opinion letter makes clear that neither the employer or employee may decline FMLA protection by substituting paid-time-off benefits or other leave...

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IRS announces 2020 contribution limits

The IRS issued new contribution limits for 2020 tax-advantaged accounts. The limits, adjusted for inflation annually, are effective January 1, 2020. Limits for cafeteria plans were adjusted slightly.

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Social Security payroll tax increases in 2020

The Social Security Administration announced that the 2020 maximum earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $137,700. Currently, workers are required to pay Social Security taxes on the first $132,900 of earnings. The increase takes effect January 1, 2020.

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