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Curing What Ails You – Relief for Small Employer HRAs

The impact of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) on health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”) has not been favorable. Many employers got rid of their HRAs or integrated them with a major medical plan in order to avoid...more

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Qualified Retirement Plans (Part 3)

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 1) Executive Compensation

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

Dealing with Long-Winded Out-of-Network Provider Nuisance Letters

Over the past couple years, more and more of my clients with self-funded plans have received letters from out-of-network providers appealing denied claims. The letters are usually 20 to 30 pages long, not very specific, and...more

What is Telemedicine? A Cool Benefit or a Hot Mess?

We’ve had numerous inquiries lately about telemedicine benefits. My clients most typically ask either “is this a group health plan?” or “is it just access to another provider?” Clearly, there is much confusion surrounding...more

When Anything Less than 95% is a Failing Grade: An Update on the Employer Shared Responsibility Penalties

As a reminder, effective January 1, 2016, employers must offer minimum essential coverage to 95% or more (up from 70% or more for 2015) of their full-time employees and their dependents each month or pay a very steep penalty....more

DOL Rules that Target Fiduciary Conflict of Interests May Impact Employee Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

“Middle class economics means that Americans should be able to retire with dignity after a lifetime of hard work. But loopholes in the retirement advice rules have allowed some brokers and other advisers to recommend products...more

Late Or Incorrect Forms 1095-C: The IRS Provides Relief, But Only For Employers Acting In Good Faith To Comply Or Who Missed The...

Many employers struggled to furnish correct Forms 1095-C to employees by the March 31, 2016 deadline. Section 6721(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code provides penalties for failure to furnish Forms 1095-C to individuals by...more

If You Blinked You Might Have Missed Important Affordable Care Act Guidance

Notice 2015-87 issued by the IRS on December 16, 2015, provides guidance on numerous Affordable Care Act provisions. Below are some of the highlights....more

2015 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 3) Executive Compensation

As 2015 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates....more

2015 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Part 2 – Qualified Retirement Plans

As 2015 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate SW Benefits Updates. Part 1 of the series...more

2015 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Health & Welfare

As 2015 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

EEOC Ruling on Sexual Orientation Impacts Same-Sex Spouse and Domestic Partner Benefits

In our July 2, 2015 blog, Obergefell v. Hodges – Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States, we indicated that employers may need to offer same-sex spouse health and welfare benefits and rethink domestic partner benefits in...more

King v. Burwell – Supreme Court Confirms Tax Subsidies are Available in All States

In an earlier blog post this year, I discussed the King v. Burwell case and the possible ramifications if the United States Supreme Court did not uphold the Internal Revenue Service position that residents in states with...more

Wellness Programs: Agencies Issue Helpful Guidance but Look Before You Leap

Recent studies indicate that wellness programs significantly improve the health of workers. If only it were so easy to implement a wellness program . . . As explained in our July 17, 2013 Benefits Update – Final...more

IRS Issues More Guidance On Employers That Pay For Individual Health Insurance Policies for Employees – Gives Limited Relief to...

I have blogged more on the topic of how the Health Care Reform Act applies to employers that reimburse employers for individual health insurance policies than any other topic in the last year....more

Health Care Reform 2015 – An Update

2015 is a significant year for health care reform because the large employer shared responsibility penalties under Internal Revenue Code Section 4980H take effect for most large employers. ...more

2014 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 3) Executive Compensation

As 2014 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate SW Benefits Updates. Part 1 of the series...more

2014 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Part 2 – Qualified Retirement Plans

As 2014 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate SW Benefits Updates. Part 1 of the series...more

Agencies Come Down Hard on Various Employer Health Plans and Arrangements

As we move into 2015, employers continue to grapple with numerous Health Care Reform concepts. Employers should be cautious regarding arrangements promoted to avoid health care penalties because the agencies are cracking...more

2014 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Health & Welfare

As 2014 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of the...more

When Did You Last Amend Your Section 125 Cafeteria or Flexible Benefit Plan? Now May Be A Good Time to Dust It Off and Update It

Section 125 Plans, which are commonly referred to as either cafeteria plans or flexible benefit plans, are much loved, and needed, if you want to allow employees to pay health insurance and other premiums on a pre-tax basis....more

Rethinking COBRA After Health Care Reform

The Health Care Reform Act made many changes to health plans, but one thing it did not do was expressly eliminate or change the COBRA rules. Although health care reform does not expressly change COBRA, it does, in many ways,...more

Health Care Reform’s Employer Shared Responsibility Penalties: A Checklist for Employers (Revised February 20, 2014)

Welcome to the SW Benefits Update, formerly the Employee Benefits Update. Historically, employers have had complete discretion in deciding whether to offer group health plan coverage to their employees. If they offered...more

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