Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform

On March 23, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as Health Care Reform) was signed into law. The Health Care Reform bill involves a number of changes to employer-sponsored health care and benefit plans. The majority of the changes will not take effect for several years, while some mandates will be implemented in the upcoming months.

Below are some of the highlights you should be aware of:

Effective January 1, 2011
For those employees enrolled in the lab's Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Program: 

  • Employees enrolled in a Health FSA will not be allowed to spend their FSA dollars on over-the-counter medical supplies that aren’t specifically prescribed by a physician. If you set aside dollars in your FSA to pay for aspirin, cough syrup, etc. be sure to stock-up your supplies before January 1, 2011.
  • JLab’s FSA plan year runs from April 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011.  Again, this means that from January 1, 2011 through March 31, 2011, over-the-counter medical supplies will not be eligible for reimbursement. Note: we are still waiting further clarification on the difference between medicines and medical supplies.
  • FSAs will remain “use-it-or-lose-it” accounts.  Thus, any unused balances that are used toward eligible reimbursable expenses as of March 31, 2011 will be forfeited.  You have until June 30, 2011 to submit claims incurred in the plan year (April 1, 2010 – March 31, 2011) for reimbursement.

    Effective with Jefferson Lab's April 1, 2011 Benefit Plan Year Renewal

  • Dependent children will be eligible for the lab’s health care coverage, regardless of student status or marital status up to age 26, provided the adult child is not eligible to enroll in another group plan.
  • The plan cannot limit coverage for pre-existing conditions for children under age 19, regardless of whether the child has a gap in coverage.

Effective January 1, 2013
Contributions to Health FSAs will be capped at $2,500. The contribution cap will be re-evaluated annually.

Again, we will continue providing up-to-date information regarding the Health Care Reform provisions and how this will impact the lab's benefit plans as the regulations become more comprehensible. In the interim, if you have any questions, please contact Treva Ferguson (ext. 7291) or Douglas Roeder (ext. 7576).

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