Greta Cowart

Greta Cowart

Winstead PC

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Perspectives for Employers on the Proposal for Health Reform About to Be Voted on in the House

Congress is scheduled to vote on the revised proposal to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (the ”ACA”). This bill is currently called the American Health Care Act of 2017 (the “2017 Bill”). It is important to...more

3/24/2017 - Affordable Care Act CBO Report Health Insurance Repeal Trump Administration

Cybersecurity Risks and Liabilities for Employers, Retirement Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

Many employers historically were only concerned with privacy and security for health plans under the privacy regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (‘‘HIPAA’’) and State laws;...more

2/24/2017 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Cyber Insurance Cybersecurity ERISA HIPAA Personally Identifiable Information Retirement Plan

Presidential Memo Directs Department Of Labor to Look At Conflict of Interest/Fiduciary Regulation Again

Many retirement plan sponsors, fiduciaries and retirement plan service providers and investment advisors have been waiting and hoping for a delay in the Conflict of Interest or Fiduciary (the “COI Package”) regulatory package...more

2/7/2017 - Benefit Plan Sponsors DOL Fiduciary Rule Presidential Memorandum Retirement Plan Trump Administration

What the January 20, 2017 Executive Orders Say and Do Not Say

ACA Related Executive Order - The Affordable Care Act Executive Order signed by the new president on January 20, 2017 talks about minimizing the economic burden of the ACA, but when it directs the Secretary of Health...more

1/25/2017 - Affordable Care Act Executive Orders Regulatory Agenda Trump Administration

Health and Welfare Grab Bag of End of Administration Changes

21st Century Cures Act Impacts Employers with 50 or More Employees - Employers with 50 or more employees need to watch developments under the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures”) because in addition to the establishment of...more

1/23/2017 - 21st Century Cures Initiative Affordable Care Act Disability Benefits Employer Group Health Plans HIPAA Mental Health Parity Rule Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Plan (QSEHRAs)

Sponsors Shouldn’t Wait to Find Answers To Challenges of Unwinding the ACA

A great deal has already been written about how easy or difficult it would be to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, but what would the elimination of President Barack Obama’s hallmark health legislation mean for employee...more

12/5/2016 - Affordable Care Act Benefit Plan Sponsors Employer Group Health Plans Trump Administration

The U.S. Department Of Labor’s Conflict of Interest/Fiduciary Regulatory Package Survives Challenge in DC

One of the District Courts hearing challenges to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest regulatory package has upheld the regulation and related prohibited transaction class exemptions, including the Best...more

11/9/2016 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Best Interest Contract Exemptions DOL Fiduciary Duty Fiduciary Rule

Another Party Enters ACA Enforcement and HIPAA Privacy and Security Enforcement Expands

OSHA Joins the ACA Enforcement Regime - Effective on and after October 13, 2016, employers need to watch their mail from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) for notices related to ACA retaliation...more

10/27/2016 - Adverse Employment Action Affordable Care Act Anti-Retaliation Provisions Employer Mandates Enforcement Authority ERISA FTC HIPAA OSHA Whistleblower Protection Policies

Employee Classifications, Employer Shared Responsibility Tax and Medicare Collide

Some employers have attempted to manage their risks related to the employer shared responsibility tax (a/k/a the pay or play penalty) by placing employees into classifications and indicating that particular classifications of...more

9/15/2016 - Benefit Plan Sponsors ERISA IRS Medicare Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule

Liabilities and Risk from Failing to Address the Cybersecurity of Your Retirement Plan Data

In the current 114th session of Congress, there have been 204 bills, resolutions and amendments introduced addressing cybersecurity in their text, if you had any doubt about whether you should be concerned about cybersecurity...more

9/13/2016 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Cybersecurity Disclosure Requirements ERISA HIPAA Popular Retirement Plan

HHS Releases HIPAA Privacy and Security Audit Guidelines as it Starts its Second Round of Audits and Continues Enforcement Efforts

During April 2016 the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) posted lengthy audit guidelines for HIPAA Privacy and Security on its website (over 400 pages). As HHS starts its audits of health care providers, health...more

6/3/2016 - Business Associates Cybersecurity DOL Employer Group Health Plans Health Plan Sponsors HHS HIPAA HIPAA Audits Mental Health Parity Rule PHI Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Training Requirements

New ADA and GINA Wellness Regulation Changes Complicate Wellness Program Compliance Analysis and Risks

Wellness programs should all be reviewed considering the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) regulatory changes because noncompliance with the new requirements do...more

5/25/2016 - ADA Affordable Care Act Covered Entities Employer Group Health Plans Federal Funding GINA Health Care Providers Health Insurance HHS HIPAA Incentives Non-Discrimination Rules Penalties Tobacco-Cessation Wellness Programs

Simplified 401(k) Roth Rollover Rules Finalized

Final Roth Rollover Rules Retain Simplification of Prior Notice and Ease Rollovers for Participants with Both Roth and Pre-Tax Amounts in their 401(k) Plan Account - Prior to the proposed rules on Roth 401(k)...more

5/19/2016 - 401k Final Rules IRA Rollovers IRS Retirement Plan Providers Roth IRA

District Court Rules One Aspect of ACA is Unconstitutional—No Change for Employers

You may have heard that a federal District Court ruled that the ACA was unconstitutional today. Do not start making any changes. This decision will not directly impact most employers and their health plans. We are sending...more

5/16/2016 - Affordable Care Act Appropriation Cost-Sharing Injunctions Reimbursements US House of Representatives v Burwell

Important Information for 2015 Form 5500 Reporting: Pension Benefit Plans and Funded Welfare Benefit Plans

As you may know, there have been several new items added to the 2015 Form 5500 series. Specifically, these are: - ..Preparer Information at the bottom of page 1 of Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF ..Schedule H, Lines...more

5/6/2016 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Employee Benefits Form 5500 Health and Welfare Plans IRS Pensions

What Plan Sponsors Need to Know About the New Fiduciary Regulation and Related PT Exemptions

What Plan Sponsors Need to Know Now - On April 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor released a new definition of what constitutes a fiduciary to a retirement plan. While the new guidance clarified that certain...more

4/8/2016 - Benefit Plan Sponsors DOL ERISA Fiduciary Duty Investment Adviser PTEs Retirement Plan Service Agreements Third-Party Service Provider Training

Fiduciary Regulation and How Recent Cybersecurity Government Publications Impact HIPAA Security Compliance and the New Audit...

Fiduciary Regulation - The Office of Management and Budget released the final Fiduciary or Conflict of Interest regulation and related prohibited transaction exemption modifications from its review today. The next...more

4/5/2016 - Business Associates Conflicts of Interest Covered Entities Cybersecurity FBI Fiduciary Duty Final Rules FOIA HIPAA Audits NIST OCR OMB Popular

IRS Provides Some Deadline Relief on ACA Reporting and Furnishing Deadlines

Relief Only Applies for the 2015 ACA Coverage Offered and Provided Reporting to the IRS and Furnishing of Statements to Employees - While others may have thoughts of holiday cheer in their heads, benefits and human...more

12/30/2015 - Affordable Care Act Applicable Large Employers (ALE) Employer Mandates Filing Deadlines Individual Mandate IRS Reporting Requirements Time Extensions

Recent Health Plan and Other Updates

Much Ado About the Cadillac Tax - Recently there have been many parties, including certain presidential candidates, weighing in on the Affordable Care Act’s Excise Tax on High Cost Health Benefits under Code section...more

10/14/2015 - Cadillac Tax ERISA HIPAA Breach PCORI Wage and Hour

The Big Picture of the Employer Shared Responsibility Tax

Ever since the Treasury Department in early 2014 issued final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax (ESR tax)1 and the related final reporting regulations (ESR regulations)2 under the Patient Protection and...more

4/24/2015 - Affordable Care Act Benefit Plan Sponsors COBRA Corporate Taxes Employer Group Health Plans Final Rules Health Insurance Shared Responsibility Rule U.S. Treasury

Finding Liberation in the Big Picture of the Employer Shared Responsibility Tax

Introduction - So much energy has been spent on what the final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax and the related final reporting regulations (the ‘‘ESRR’’) say, that some of the most significant...more

2/6/2015 - Affordable Care Act Final Rules Full-Time Employees IRS Look-Back Measurement Period Tax Assessment

What Employer Shared Responsibility Does Not Say

So much energy has been spent on what the final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax and the related final reporting regulations (the “ESRR”), that some of the most significant considerations have been missed...more

9/18/2014 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Employer Liability Issues Full-Time Employees Health Insurance Internal Revenue Code (IRC) IRS Medicare Popular Same-Sex Marriage Shared Responsibility Rule

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