Categorized as: Blog

Market Stabilization Final Rule Issued

OVERVIEW On April 14, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a market stabilization final rule under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The final rule includes new reforms intended to help lower premiums, stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets and increase choices for the 2018 plan year. Specifically, the rule includes a variety of policy and operational changes to existing standards to stabilize the Exchanges, including changes to the annual open enrollment period and special enrollment periods. ACTION STEPS The rule does not directly impact plans in the large group market. Instead, it aims…

1st Quarterly Newsletter of 2017

Below please find our Compliance Observer Newsletter for the first quarter of 2017. This newsletter contains information on many employee benefits compliance issues. The following articles, information, and important reminders are contained in this Newsletter: ACA Replacement Bill Withdrawn IRS to Continue Processing Tax Returns without Health Coverage Information Beware! 2017 Tax Scams March 31, 2017 – Deadline to Electronically File Returns with IRS Group Term Life Insurance Imputed Income & the Straddle Rule Reminder! New Summary of Benefits & Coverage (SBC) Telemedicine – Impact on HSA Eligibility Compliance Observer Newsletter- Quarter 1 2017

The American Healthcare Act

On Monday evening House Republicans released the “American Health Care Act,” draft legislation intended to repeal and replace Obamacare (the ACA).  Committee mark-ups are scheduled for March 8th and although revisions may occur, it is expected to advance to the House and Senate before eventually being presented to President Trump for signature, possibly as early as April. Key Points: Delays Cadillac Tax until 2025 but does not repeal it. Delays repeal of many of the ACA’s tax increases until 2018, a year later than previous versions. Continues to prohibit health insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums for patients…

4th Quarter Newsletter 2016

Below please find our Compliance Observer Newsletter for the fourth quarter of 2016. This newsletter contains information on many employee benefits compliance issues. The following articles, information, and important reminders are contained in this Newsletter: Is Your Wellness Program Compliant? New Overtime Rule Blocked ACA Reporting for 2016 Employers Face New W-2 Filing Deadline Soliciting SSNs/TINs for Form 1095-C Paid Sick Leave for Contract Workers Revised EEO-1 Reporting 21st Century Cures Act Allows Stand-Alone HRA Option for Small Employers 2017 Employee Benefit Plan Limits 4th Quarter Newsletter 2016

Overtime Rule Halted!

A federal judge has halted the new FLSA overtime rule just days away from its effective date of December 1, 2016 BACKGROUND In May 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rule which was scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016. Among other changes, the new rule would have raised the salary threshold for executive, administrative, and professional overtime exemptions from $23,660 to $47,476. The threshold would then automatically increase every three years, with the first automatic update taking place on January 1, 2020. On October 14, twenty-one states, led by Nevada…

Welcome Extension for Furnishing ACA Statements and Penalty Relief

The IRS has extended the deadline for furnishing individual statements under Sections 6055 and 6056 of the ACA for 2016. Additionally, the IRS has extended good-faith transition relief from penalties related to 2016 information reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056. Announced in NOTICE 2016-70 (the “Notice”), the IRS extended the due date for furnishing to individuals the 2016 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the 2016 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. The Notice also provides for good-faith transition relief from the penalties imposed by sections 6721 and 6722 of the…

The Future of the ACA and Employee Benefit Plans

It’s been over a week since the election results came in and since then, you have likely been inundated with emails, seen many television interviews, and heard other news sources espousing predictions of what is on the horizon for employee benefit plans, and specifically, the future of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Indeed, the Trump administration and the Republican-dominated Congress will likely come out swinging, raring to take down the ACA as one of its top priorities in an effort to show supporters that President Trump is fulfilling one of his campaign promises immediately. Since almost no one predicted this…

Third Quarterly Newsletter of 2016

Below please find our Compliance Observer Newsletter for the third quarter of 2016. This newsletter contains information on many employee benefits compliance issues. The following articles, information, and important reminders are contained in this Newsletter: Medicare Part D Notices are due by October 14th Final Nondiscrimination Standards under ACA Section 1557 IRS Finalizes Regulations Implementing Same-Sex Marriage Decisions and Guidance Proposed Notice of Benefit & Payment Parameters for 2018 Health Savings Account (HSA) Eligibility Rules ACA Reporting – Section 6055/6056 3rd Quarter Newsletter 2016