This new feature will start your week with three important facts, developments or conversations from recent and upcoming events. Want to keep on top of developments in benefits, health care, finance and employment? Then these are Things You Need to Know.

This week, let’s look at the new IRS guidelines, final ruling from CMS on MLR ratio and what’s going on in Europe with retirement taxes.


1. IRS formally issues rule on health insurance tax

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday issued a proposed rule on the estimated $100 billion health insurance tax as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. According to America’s Health Insurance Plans, the tax on health insurers will begin at $8 billion in 2014, increase to $14.3 billion in 2018 and increase each year after that. The estimate of $100 billion is based on Joint Committee on Taxation numbers across the next 10 years. 

The rule will appear in today’s Federal Register and is open for the customary 60 days of comments. A final ruling will be issued after that.


2. CMS rule on benefit and payment parameters finalizes MLR rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services amended the medical loss ratio program with a rule on Friday that also more broadly addressed benefit and payment parameters. The CMS statement says “issuers include premium stabilization amounts in medical loss ratio and rebate calculations. Department of Health and Human Services is extending the annual medical loss ratio reporting deadline from June 1 to July 31, and the rebate disbursement deadline from August 1 to September 30 to take into account the premium stabilization programs.”

CMS says the change will allow issuers to allow more accuracy and speed to MLR calculations. HHS is also permitting non-profits to “deduct community benefit expenditures (subject to caps) and state premium tax from premium in calculating medical loss ratios and rebates.” The statement says this is intended to “level the playing field” in each state.

Friday’s CMS notice also finalized rules on premium tax credits, cost-sharing reductions and new market reforms. The full posting can be viewed here:


3. Pension funds clash with Semeta on transaction-tax harm

Opponents of a European Union financial-transactions tax say pension funds will be hurt even if their home governments don’t sign up. >>Read more

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