Tuesday Tidbits

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Federal News Network called the FEHBlog’s attention to the fact that the OPM Inspector General has released his annual report on top management challenges that OPM faces, a number of which as always concern the FEHBP.

The IRS yesterday released a boatload of 2021 tax information —

  • Rev. Proc. 2020-45 provides inflation-adjusted items for 2021. Of note the Society for Human Resource Management points out that

For 2021, the dollar limit for employee contributions to health flexible spending accounts (health FSAs), made pretax through salary reductions, remains unchanged at $2,750, the IRS announced on Oct. 27 when it issued Revenue Procedure 2020-45.

The limit also applies to limited-purpose FSAs that are restricted to dental and vision care services, which can be used in tandem with health savings accounts (HSAs).

For health FSA plans that permit the carryover of unused amounts, the maximum carryover amount for 2021 is $550, an increase of $50 from the original 2020 carryover limit.

  • IRS Notice 2020-79 provides inflation-adjustments “affecting dollar limitations for 401(k), pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2021. The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $19,500.”

Medscape reports that

Eli Lilly announced it will halt its ACTIV-3 trial evaluating the antibody bamlanivimab in combination with remdesivir for people hospitalized with COVID-19, after new evidence regarding efficacy emerged. The new data from the National Institutes of Health suggest that the experimental neutralizing antibody therapy does not offer significant clinical benefit for people with more advanced COVID-19 illness, according to a company statement. Eli Lilly also announced it plans to continue its other trials evaluating the antibody, including those assessing a potential role in treating people in the earlier stages of COVID-19.

A friend of the FEHBlog called his attention to this interesting NCQA publication on social determinants of health. Check it out.

Health Affairs provides a useful perspective on low value care in the age of COVID-19. In short,

There is the chance to use surveys or qualitative methods to compare the diverse harms experienced by patients who did and did not receive a low-value service because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be important to examine harms both across and within potentially high-risk or vulnerable subpopulations, as the distribution of harms may differ by demographics, social determinants, and presence of comorbid illnesses.

And to close the loop, the Senate confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court last evening, and Justice Barrett was sworn in soon thereafter. The Senate has joined the House of Representatives on the campaign trail.