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Genetic Testing Kits and FSAs

The IRS issued a private letter ruling (PLR) this week indicating that an FSA (and presumably an HSA and HRA) may reimburse a portion of the purchase of genetic testing and reports regarding ancestry and health. The IRS noted that the health services portion of such a cost is a reimbursable medical expense under Code Section 213(d) because the tests fall under “diagnosis of a disease.” With respect to the genetic services incurred by the individual seeking the PLR, the IRS noted that the reports contained genotyping (a qualified medical expense), as well as general information and ancestry information (not a qualified medical expense). It is incumbent upon the taxpayer to allocate the cost for the reimbursement to the portion which was attributable to a qualified medical expense. IRS private letter rulings are only applicable for the taxpayer that requests it; however, this is helpful insight to IRS approach to genetic testing kits as Code Section 213 medical...

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The Basics of Health Savings Accounts and Health Flexible Spending Accounts

In a recent webinar, Jake Mattinson and Sarah Raaii discussed the basics of health savings accounts (HSAs) and health flexible spending accounts. They provided an overview of the various regulations surrounding HSA, such as eligibility requirements, high deductible health plans, and contributions and distributions, and cafeteria plans. Additionally, they analyzed the differences between HSAs and Health FSAs and HRAs. View the full presentation.

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Modification of “Use It or Lose It” Rule for Health Flexible Spending Arrangements

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued new guidance modifying the “use it or lose it” rule applicable to health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) to allow carryover of certain unused health FSA amounts into the next plan year. On October 31, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2013-71, which modifies the existing requirement that unused amounts in a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) at the end of a plan year (or applicable grace period) must be forfeited. This new guidance permits an employer to amend its cafeteria plan, effective as early as the 2013 plan year, to allow up to $500 of unused amounts as of the end of the plan year to be carried forward for use in the following plan year. The tradeoff is that a health FSA cannot have both a grace period and a carryover feature; it is one or the other. Carryover of Certain Unused Amounts Permitted The “use it or lose it” rule applicable to health FSAs requires unused amounts...

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Recent PPACA Guidance on New $2,500 Health FSA Limit

by Maureen O'Brien and Susan Nash The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released guidance on the implementation of the $2,500 limit on health flexible spending accounts (FSA) scheduled to go into effect in 2013.  IRS Notice 2012-40 (Notice) clarifies the application of the new limit for plan years beginning after 2013 and solicits comments regarding whether to modify the use-or-lose rule set forth in the current proposed regulations under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Code). The Notice states that the $2,500 limit on contributions to health flexible spending accounts is applicable for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2013.  This means that non-calendar year plans do not need to institute a mid-year limit to comply with applicable law.  In addition, the Notice states that the $2,500 limit does not apply to heath savings accounts or health reimbursement accounts or “flex-credits” granted by an employer.  In...

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