Lori Oliphant

Lori Oliphant

Winstead PC

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Contraceptive Mandate for Closely-Held Companies

On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held, in a 5-4 decision, that the contraceptive mandate included under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) violates federal law. The Court’s holding in...more

7/8/2014 - Affordable Care Act Burwell v Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Hobby Lobby SCOTUS

One, Two Punch for Moench – Supreme Court Eliminates Presumption for Employer Stock Investments

The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion on June 25, 2014 in the case of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. While the Supreme Court’s holding substantially affects the fiduciaries of all employee stock...more

6/30/2014 - ERISA ESOP FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer SCOTUS Stock Drop Litigation US Bancorp

Fifth Circuit Denies Deferential Review for Fiduciary Actions

Many employee benefit professionals are aware of the deferential standard of review provided to plan fiduciaries in accordance with the 1989 United States Supreme Court ruling in Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Bruch. That...more

4/23/2014 - Employee Benefits ERISA Fiduciary Duty Fiduciary Liability Standard of Review

IRS Announces Deadline to Amend Retirement Plans for Same-Sex Benefits

On April 4, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (the “Service”) published Notice 2014-19, in which it describes amendments required to be made to retirement plans qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of...more

4/8/2014 - IRS Retirement Plan Tax Benefits

Texas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Determined Unconstitutional

The State of Texas is the latest jurisdiction under scrutiny for its ban on same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that the state law banning same-sex marriage results in...more

2/28/2014 - Due Process Equal Protection Marriage Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS

The First Pieces of Health Reform's Pay or Play Penalty Puzzle

Early this week the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Treasury (the “IRS”) issued the first piece of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) penalty imposition jigsaw puzzle. It then followed up with 46 FAQs on the same...more

2/21/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare IRS Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule

Healthcare Reform Mandate Delayed (Again) for Some Employers

On Monday, February 9, 2014, the Agencies issued regulations that provide additional guidance regarding the employer mandate (i.e. the “play or pay” penalty) under Healthcare Reform. But, the most surprising aspect of the...more

2/12/2014 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Healthcare Reform Pay or Play

Another Benefits Grab Bag of Guidance and Reminders – Health and Retirement Plans

Preventive Care Expansion for Calendar Plan Year 2015 for Non-Grandfathered or Non-Exempt Plans - The preventive care coverage requirements were updated in September 2013 to include a requirement that there must be...more

1/24/2014 - Employee Benefits Expatriates Healthcare Preventive Health Care Qualified Health Plans Retirement Plan Wellness Programs

Welcomed Guidance on Wellness Programs

On June 3, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services (Agencies) issued final regulations regarding nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health coverage under the Affordable Care Act and...more

1/22/2014 - Affordable Care Act Discrimination DOL Employee Benefits ERISA Healthcare HHS U.S. Treasury Wellness Programs

Agencies Share Guidance on Cost-Sharing

Earlier this month, the Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services (Agencies) jointly issued additional guidance on the application of the cost-sharing limitations imposed under the Affordable Care Act. It...more

1/20/2014 - Affordable Care Act Cost-Sharing DOL Healthcare Healthcare Reform HHS U.S. Treasury

Proposed Rules Expand Exceptions from Healthcare Reform

On December 24, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) jointly issued proposed rules that would expand the scope of arrangements that would constitute...more

1/9/2014 - Affordable Care Act DOL Healthcare Healthcare Reform HHS HIPAA U.S. Treasury Wraparound Coverage

Year-End Health and Retirement Plan Guidance Grab Bag

Following Hawaii’s enactment of legislation recognizing same-sex marriage as of and after December 2, 2013 a number of additional pieces of guidance were also issued. Internal Revenue Service’s Frequently Asked Questions...more

12/26/2013 - Affordable Care Act Anti-Kickback Statute Cafeteria Plans Employer Group Health Plans ERISA FICA Taxes Flexible Spending Accounts FSA HSA IRS Medicare Taxes PBGC Retirement Plan Roth Conversions Same-Sex Marriage Year-End Planning Year-End Tax Planning

Beneficiary Designations and Spouse Definitions Need to be Updated - 16th State Approves Same Sex Marriage While 3rd Circuit...

Yesterday Hawaii adopted the Hawaii Marriage Equity Act of 2013 recognizing same sex marriages as of December 2, 2013 and permitting persons in civil unions in Hawaii to apply to be married without first requiring dissolution...more

12/4/2013 - Beneficiaries Civil Unions COBRA Employee Benefits Marriage Marriage Equality Same-Sex Marriage Tax Benefits

Expanded Final Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Regulations Require Plan Sponsor Consideration Early in 2014 for 2015...

The final Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act regulations (“MHPAEA Regs”) were released late last week and apply to the first plan year beginning on or after July 1, 2014 (for calendar year plans on January 1,...more

11/15/2013 - Healthcare Mental Health Parity Rule MHPAEA

It’s the State of the Union for Same-Sex Couples

Today, the Internal Revenue Service issued long-awaited guidance on the treatment of same-sex spouses for Federal tax purposes. On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013), that...more

8/30/2013 - DOMA Employee Benefits Income Taxes IRS Marriage Open Enrollment Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

Surprise! Surprise! – Delay in Enforcement of Employer Mandate under Affordable Care Act

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, July 2nd, the Obama administration stated that it will delay for one year the enforcement of the penalty that was set to be imposed against large employers who failed to provide adequate...more

7/3/2013 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employer Mandates Healthcare Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule Tax Penalties U.S. Treasury

Group Health Plan Can Enforce Reimbursement Rights Against Trustee

On the heels of the United States Supreme Court’s recent holding in U.S. Airways v. McCutchen, where the Court held that a group health plan’s reimbursement rights are not automatically subject to equitable defenses, it...more

5/24/2013 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Employer Group Health Plans McCutchen v. U.S. Airways Reimbursements Trustees US Airways

Checklist for Timely Compliance with HIPAA Omnibus Rule

The deadline for compliance with the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule is looming for group health plans. As explained in a prior blog, stiff penalties may be imposed on employers whose plans fail to comply. Accordingly, employers...more

5/7/2013 - Compliance Employer Liability Issues HIPAA Omnibus Rule Penalties

Supreme Court “Dooms” Equitable Defenses to Plan’s Reimbursement Provisions

In a prior blog, I discussed the importance of including unambiguous reimbursement rights in health plan documents in order to manage healthcare costs. The enforceability of such rights was confirmed by the United States...more

4/19/2013 - Health Plan Sponsors McCutchen v. U.S. Airways Reimbursements SCOTUS US Airways

Controlling the “Play or Pay Penalty” under Healthcare Reform

Proposed rules issued under the Affordable Care Act clarify the determination of “large employer” status and the calculation of the penalty for controlled groups of employers. This guidance confirms that the penalty is...more

4/11/2013 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Healthcare Minimum Essential Coverage Pay or Play Penalties

Healthcare Reform Compliance: Checklist of Next Steps

It is impossible to ignore. Healthcare reform under the Affordable Care Act is on the minds, agendas and budgets of all employers, and now is the time for employers to review their health programs to address compliance with...more

3/25/2013 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Employer Group Health Plans Health Insurance Exchanges Healthcare Minimum Essential Coverage Wellness Programs

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