Federal regulators have proposed regulations to make it easier, for the dwindling number of employers still boasting grandfathered health plans, to retain grandfathered status.
Feeling good about your ACA reporting compliance? A federal audit might foreshadow a more intolerant IRS
The IRS has alarmed many employers over the last few years by sending 226-J letters assessing potential penalties for alleged violations of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While in most cases the employers have been able to dodge those penalties by convincing the IRS that the employer had satisfied the mandate but had merely misreported that fact to the IRS, a Treasury Department audit reports wants the IRS to become less forgiving of those errors in the future.
The Supreme Court has handed the Trump administration a major, but perhaps temporary, victory in the long-simmering fight over whether employer-sponsored group health plans can be required by the Affordable Care Act to provide no-cost contraceptives to their female members.
EEOC bars mandatory antibody testing, and feds clarify that return-to-work testing is beyond the scope of the coronavirus health plan testing mandate
The EEOC, while allowing mandatory fever screening of employees, and even swab tests designed to reveal the active presence of the virus, has put the kibosh on mandatory coronavirus antibody testing, due to reliability concerns.
IRS proposes rules allowing HRA reimbursement of direct primary care and healthcare sharing ministry fees
The IRS has proposed regulations that would treat direct primary care arrangement (DPCA) fees as medical care or medical insurance, opening the door to their reimbursement from health reimbursement arrangements. While the proposal is unsurprising in many respects, the definitive guidance is welcome.
Employer plans and electronic communications: Good news, sort of, for employer health and welfare plans
Recent DOL guidance on electronic communications for retirement plans provides a roadmap employers may find palatable.
Claim filing deadline extended to July 30: $10B earmarked for opioid claims for employers and other parties
A federal court in New York is overseeing bankruptcy claims related to the prescription opioid crisis. With $10 billion at stake, should an employer file a claim to try and recoup its health and disability costs related to its employees and family members who were victims of the opioid crisis?
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, some carriers are declaring a credit against future premiums owed under group benefits contracts. While this is a win for employers and/or their covered employees, some employers have asked about the ERISA implications of the credit, specifically, how they may apply the credit.
Federal authorities provide limited coronavirus-related relief for plan sponsors and individual taxpayers
Along with the immediate and unique challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to employers, these same employers – in their capacity as plan sponsors – are still tasked with their routine benefits plan reporting responsibilities. Happily, federal authorities have provided relief related to these obligations and deadlines.
State-mandated or encouraged insurance premium payment grace periods, and the risks they pose to ERISA plan sponsors
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, some states have prohibited or pointedly encouraged carriers from canceling benefits policies, so for some employers, deferring premium payments appears to be a win-win – employers retain cash for other immediate needs and employees don’t lose coverage. However, employers and their plans’ fiduciaries should be cautious for several reasons.
Prompted by recent closures of big-name companies like Toys R Us, New Jersey is the first state to implement a severance pay requirement for employees experiencing mass layoffs.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has again updated the model Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) notice employers are required to provide annually to employees residing in any state, listed in the notice, in which the employer maintains a group health plan.
The Department of Labor recently finalized regulations containing civil penalty inflation adjustments for 2020 in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015.
As employers are likely aware, state and local governments continue to adopt paid leave requirements on a fast and furious basis. Several important paid leave-related deadlines occur in December 2019 or become effective Jan. 1, 2020.