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QSEHRA – The 21st Century Cures Act Creates a New Health Care Plan Option for Small Employers

The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), enacted on December 13, 2016, provides a new opportunity for small employers to help employees pay for health insurance: the “qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement”...more

Student Health Insurance Subsidies Catch Another Break

On October 21, 2016, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) issued a FAQ providing indefinite relief for employers who subsidize student health...more

Employee Benefits and the New Overtime Rules

The Department of Labor’s new overtime rules take effect December 1, 2016, and employers across the country are carefully reviewing and modifying their compensation and payroll practices in anticipation. As part of this...more

As Affordable Care Act Enforcement Looms, Some Lessons Learned From Massachusetts

As the ACA audit era approaches, many employers are wondering: what will happen? What sorts of documentation will the IRS request? What industries will be targeted? And what can employers do to prepare? In this post, I...more

Have You Reviewed your Employee Handbook for Affordable Care Act Compliance?

Even though the first year of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate is in effect and fully phased-in, it has been our experience that few employers have bothered to review their employee handbooks to reflect the ACA. ...more

Subsidizing Student Health Insurance With Stipends – New Agency Guidance and Relief

On February 5, 2016, the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the Departments) issued guidance addressing the application of market reforms and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)...more

Health and Welfare Plans: Big Compliance Burdens, Big Penalty Exposures

Health and welfare have been around for a long time, and they are ubiquitous. Employees have come to expect medical, dental, life, and other insurance as part of their benefits packages. Employers offer coverage in order to...more

The Health and Welfare “Wrap” Document: What It Is and Why You Want One

When it comes to telling their employees about certain benefits, many employers have for decades (since 1974 to be exact) flouted a particular provision of the law with impunity. The law to which we refer is the Employee...more

Cadillac Tax Effective Date Postponed (and Three Other 2015 Year End Health and Welfare Benefits Legislation Highlights)

While Americans everywhere were busy eating turkey and drinking eggnog last November and December, our government was hard at work attending to budget matters. Tucked among the appropriations were several fairly significant...more

Student Employees and the Affordable Care Act – Part 4 of 4: If students are employees, how are their hours counted?

In our prior installments, we determined that students who work at least 30 hours per week for their educational institutions are “full time” employees of those institutions under the Affordable care Act’s employer shared...more

Student Employees and the Affordable Care Act – Part 2 of 4: Can an offer of student coverage count as an applicable large...

In the previous installment of this series, we addressed whether student employees may be excluded from an employer’s offer of coverage. We concluded that a blanket exclusion of this nature could put an employer at risk for...more

Student Employees and the Affordable Care Act – Part 1 of 4: Can we exclude student workers from our health plan?

Educational institutions employ students in a variety of positions including work-study positions, teaching and research assistantships, and resident assistantships. This four-part series will discuss several issues that...more

The EEOC Provides Welcome Guidance on Employment-Based Wellness Plans

On April 16, 2015, the EEOC published proposed regulations setting forth its position on the use of physical examinations under employment-based wellness programs. This comes as welcome guidance to employers who have...more

[Event] Massachusetts Employment Law Summit - May 13, Boston, MA

Employers and their HR departments are faced with a host of new issues and challenges. When you’re not navigating new state, federal, and local laws and making sure systems are in place to comply with them, you’re busy...more

March 23, 2015 Marks the 5th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

On Tuesday, March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. We want to take this opportunity to share with you some highlights of the past five years, and also to thank you for...more

2015 Health Care Reform Compliance Checklist for Employers

The United States has entered a new era of health care reform. Until now, United States employers were generally not required to provide health care coverage to employees (although many did so for employee relations and...more

Distant Cousins, not Twins: Some Key Differences between the Massachusetts and Federal Health Care Reform Laws

On January 1, 2015, the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility mandate took effect. Up until July 1, 2013, most employers doing business in Massachusetts were required to comply with an employer mandate...more

The Massachusetts Health Insurance Mandate: Some Good News for Massachusetts Taxpayers

Since 2007, most Massachusetts residents have been required to either obtain health insurance coverage meeting Massachusetts “minimum creditable coverage” standards, or pay a state tax penalty (for 2014, the penalty ranges...more

The Affordable Care Act: Focus on Adjunct Faculty

The concepts of “hours of service” and “full time” loom large in the Affordable Care Act’s “employer shared responsibility” mandate (also known as the “employer mandate” or “pay or play mandate” and which we discussed in...more

Massachusetts Connector Announces Significant Changes to the Commonwealth’s Cafeteria Plan Rules

On October 29, 2013, the Massachusetts Connector released Bulletin 03-13, which sets forth a significant course change in the Commonwealth’s cafeteria plan, HIRD, and free rider surcharge rules....more

The October 1 Deadline for Employer Health Care Reform Notices Is Coming!

On or before October 1, 2013, most employers are required to distribute a notice to their employees informing them about the new Health Care Reform Marketplace (also known as “the Exchanges”). Here are the highlights of this...more

Cafeteria Plans, the Affordable Care Act, and Continued Compliance with the Massachusetts Free-Rider Surcharge Requirement—New...

Established as a part of the comprehensive 2006 Massachusetts health care reform law, the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector (a/k/a the “Connector”) served as a model for the American Health Benefit Exchanges that are a...more

PCORI Fee Payment and Filing Deadline is July 31, 2013

The Affordable Care Act has established a new annual fee, imposed on group health plans, which will be used to fund the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The amount of the fee is $1 times the average number of...more

Massachusetts Fair Share Law and HIRD Form Requirements Repealed

Effective July 1, 2013, the Massachusetts “Fair Share” Law1 has been repealed as part of the Commonwealth’s 2014 fiscal year budget package.2 The Fair Share Law, in effect since 2006, required that employers doing business in...more

The Affordable Care Act’s Employer Mandate and the Collectively Bargained Workforce

As 2014 rapidly approaches, employers of all sizes and all industries are working hard to avoid the Affordable Care Act’s (the “Act”) Employer Mandate, now appearing in the Internal Revenue Code, Section 4980H. For employers...more

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