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Keyes Insurance Services Inc. Client Newsletter

September 2011Vol 3
In This Issue
Court Update - Health Care Reform
SBC Requirements Released
Texting while driving
Federal Appeals Court Dismisses Two Challenges to the Individual Mandate

On September 8, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia issued rulings on two appeals. They dismissed lawsuits by the State of Virginia and Liberty University that challenged the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (PPACA) individual mandate.


Both cases were dismissed on procedural grounds, so the court did not consider the constitutional challenges to the individual mandate in the PPACA.


In the State of Virginia case, the court ruled that the state did not have the legal right to challenge the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Virginia was challenging the individual mandate on the grounds that Virginia has a state law that individuals cannot be forced to buy health insurance.

In the Liberty University case, the court ruled that a federal tax law prevented them from considering the case because the mandate imposes a tax that has not yet been collected. 



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Reminder - Flex Spending and Go-Direct Dental account summaries are available on our website.

Electronic FSA Submissions now available!

     A new tool has been added to our website for those of you that would like to go paperless with your FSA submissions.  
     Employees that participate in either the Medical FSA or Dependent Care reimbursement accounts with Keyes Administrators can now submit their claims electronically.  This link  is located at the bottom of our home page under "Reimbursement Requests".  
     Hard copy reimbursement forms can also be printed from the site as well.
     We will continue to accept claims that are faxed or mailed as well.  


Summary of Benefits Requirements Released



One of the requirements of the new health care law is that each participant receives a four page summary of the provisions of their health care coverage, called the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).  On August 17th, the three federal agencies responsible for implementing the provisions of the health care reform law jointly proposed regulations which spell out what the four page summary must contain along with a mandatory glossary which must be used.  The proposal is to be effective in March of 2012, at which time the SBC would have to be provided to each participant.  The proposal asks for comments which indicates that the agencies may be willing to make changes based on responses received.


The SBC must be provided to insurance applicants, policy holders, and enrollees.  In an insured plan, the responsibility to provide the SBC falls to the insurance company.  In a self insured plan, this responsibility belongs to the plan sponsor.  At least for insured plans, it appears that plan sponsors can rely on their insurance companies to prepare and deliver this new notice. The agencies request comments on whether it would be appropriate to make the SPC part of the plan booklet which is already required by law to be prepared and distributed.


We will continue to keep you informed of these new SBC requirements as more detail is released.



Auto Insurance Quick Tip 


Distracted driving and texting while driving has become an increasing problem with motorist.   While most drivers are aware of the facts of what can happen, they are not aware of the tickets and fines that can be attached to these violations.  With most auto insurance companies a distracted or inattentive driving ticket cost as much or more than a ticket for a DUI.  The surcharge your insurance company places on this violation will increase your insurance premiums significantly. 
Driving Facts:
  • Texting while driving increases the risk of accident 23.2 times over unimpaired driving
  • Texting while driving results in longer response times than even drunk driving
  • In the moments before an accident, drivers spend almost 5 seconds looking at their phones, which is enough times to cover more than the length of a football field going normal highway speeds
  • Though 95% of drivers surveyed said texting behind the wheel was unacceptable and unsafe, at least 21% admit doing it anyway

*Study from the Virgina Tech Transportation Institute