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New ACA Rules Allow Employees a Second Trip Through the Cafeteria Plan Election Line

Under Notice 2014-55, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will now permit a cafeteria plan to allow an employee to revoke his election for coverage under the employer's group health plan in order to purchase a qualified health...more

10/10/2014 - Affordable Care Act Cafeteria Plans Flexible Spending Accounts Healthcare Healthcare Reform IRS

Affordable Care Act: Hobby Lobby Decision Limits Contraception Requirement

As widely reported, on June 30th, the United States Supreme Court held in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores that certain methods of contraception under the preventive health services requirements of the Patient Protection and...more

7/9/2014 - Affordable Care Act Burwell v Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Contraceptives Hobby Lobby Religious Exemption Religious Freedom Restoration Act SCOTUS

DOL Settlement Is a Cautionary Tale for ESOP Trustees

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently settled a case involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that provides guidance but also a warning for trustees and employers contemplating ESOP transactions that later go awry....more

7/8/2014 - Appraisal DOL Employer Liability Issues ESOP GreatBanc Trustees

ESOP Fiduciaries Not Entitled to Presumption of Prudence

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that there is no presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who invest in employer securities. The case...more

7/7/2014 - Duty of Prudence Employee Benefits ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer SCOTUS US Bancorp

Exclusion of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses Did Not Interfere with Protected Rights under ERISA

In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a federal district court addressed the issue of whether a self-funded health plan could include language that denied dependent coverage to same-sex spouses without violating Section...more

6/3/2014 - DOMA ERISA Marriage Retirement Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

Changes & Opportunities in 2014 for Small Employers under ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) brings about significant healthcare reform changes, as well as opportunities for small employers in 2014. Many of the reforms affect all employers who sponsor group health plans; however, the...more

5/19/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Health Insurance Health Insurance Exchanges Healthcare Healthcare Reform Tax Credits

More Guidance on the Windsor Decision: Mid-Year Amendments to Safe Harbor Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has issued Notice 2014-37 to provide guidance on amendments to reflect the outcome of United States v. Windsor, which invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act regarding the...more

5/19/2014 - 401k DOMA IRS New Amendments Notice 2014-37 Safe Harbors US v Windsor

Good News for Employers: IRS Simplifies Rollover Validation Process

To simplify the rollover validation process, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a new Revenue Ruling 2014-9 that provides guidance on the process for a trustee-to-trustee tax-free rollover between tax-qualified...more

4/4/2014 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Form 5500 Hiring & Firing IRA IRA Rollovers IRS New Hires Plan Administrators Qualified Retirement Plans Retirement Plan Tax-Free Transfers

Affordable Care Act: Final Rules Provide Transition Relief for Key Provisions of the Employer Mandate

The U.S. Treasury Department has issued final regulations implementing the employer shared responsibility provisions, also referred to as the play-or-pay penalties, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)...more

2/17/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule Transition Relief

IRS Issues Final Regulations on Suspending or Reducing Safe Harbor 401(k) Contributions

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have issued final regulations providing guidance on permitted midyear reductions or suspensions of safe harbor nonelective and safe harbor matching...more

11/23/2013 - 401k Defined Contribution Plans IRS Retirement Plan Safe Harbors

IRS Clarifies Tax Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) have issued a landmark ruling that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax...more

9/3/2013

Affordable Care Act: Implementation of Reporting Requirements and Penalties Delayed One Year

The Department of Treasury announced on July 2 that it will provide transition relief of one additional year for the mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...more

7/5/2013 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employer Mandates Healthcare Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule Tax Penalties U.S. Treasury

Defense of Marriage Act: What the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision May Mean for Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is an unconstitutional “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment of...more

6/27/2013 - Discrimination DOMA Due Process Employee Benefits Equal Protection Estate Tax Health Insurance Retirement Plan Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS

Final Rules on Wellness Programs under the Affordable Care Act

Plan sponsors should review wellness programs for compliance with recently issued final rules, which among other things increase the maximum permissible award for certain wellness programs. On May 29, the Internal Revenue...more

6/17/2013 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Final Rules Health Plan Sponsors Healthcare Wellness Programs

Affordable Care Act: Employers Must Soon Provide Marketplace Notices to Employees

Employers have until October 1, 2013, to provide notice to current employees of coverage options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act. On May 8, 2013, the U.S....more

5/15/2013 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Notice Requirements

Affordable Care Act: New Requirements for Summary of Benefits and Coverage

The Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health & Human Services have issued new guidance on the content requirements for health plan summaries of benefits and coverage (“SBCs”). Plan sponsors should ensure that the SBCs...more

4/30/2013 - Affordable Care Act Health Plan Sponsors Healthcare Minimum Essential Coverage SBC

Supreme Court Clarifies Subrogation Rights, Emphasizes Need for Precise Plan Language

Plan sponsors, particularly those that sponsor self-funded health plans, should review plan document provisions in light of the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen. In...more

4/25/2013 - Health Plan Sponsors McCutchen v. U.S. Airways SCOTUS Subrogation US Airways

Employer Compliance in 2013 under the Affordable Care Act

Having survived the election and a Supreme Court challenge (for the most part), the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay. Employers should evaluate the requirements under ACA that apply to their group health plans for...more

2/20/2013 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Flexible Spending Accounts Health Insurance Exchanges Medicare Taxes Notice Requirements Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Retiree Drug Expenses Tax Deductions W-2

Final HIPAA Regulations: What's Changed (and What Hasn't) for Group Health Plans

The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (“OCR”) has issued final regulations modifying the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Privacy, Security, Breach...more

2/8/2013 - Business Associates Covered Entities Data Breach Employer Group Health Plans Enforcement GINA HHS HIPAA HIPAA Omnibus Rule HITECH Notice Requirements OCR PHI Privacy Policy

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