Thursday, December 23, 2010

Comp Limits for Health Insurance Providers

The IRS issued Notice 2011-2 (interestingly after they issued Notice 2011-3) discussing the new $500,000 deductible compensation limitation under Code Section 162(m)(6) for certain health insurance providers. You can read it yourself here:

The group of people who are going to be interested in this is pretty darn narrow -- generally, companies that provide health insurance and consultants who work with them. The rest of you are probably bored already.

Particularly notable is the 'de minimis' rule that the IRS put in the notice (kudos to the IRS here for following the intent of the law where the actual wording may have been untenable. Consider that under PPACA, one might have construed that any company that self-insured for health care might have been covered under Section 2716 of Health Care Reform. The de minimis rule exempts companies where less than 2% of their revenues for the year are received in premiums for health insurance. This makes sense, at least to the extent that you believe the law makes sense.

The guidance goes on to say that companies whose exposure to health insurance coverage is in the area of reinsurance are covered. Finally, it discusses how to determine for which years a company is covered under this section. What is missing is detail on how to determine excess compensation. If I were consulting to a company in this area, I would focus on the guidance provided to TARP recipients who had similar restrictions.

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