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The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2015

Editor's Overview - This month we focus on the EEOC's proposed rules concerning wellness programs. As our colleague, Amy Covert, discusses, a recent change of position by the EEOC provides employers with opportunities...more

EEOC’s Proposed Wellness Regulations Add Burdensome Notice Requirement; Still Prohibit Mandatory HRAs

On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released proposed regulations covering wellness programs that involve disability-related inquiries or medical examinations....more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's Newsletter, Robert Rachal discusses recent "church plan" rulings where some federal judges have declined to give deference to long-standing, consistent guidance from the Internal...more

EEOC Releases Proposed Rule on Employee Wellness Plans

On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a long awaited proposed rule on employee wellness programs. The rule is designed to help companies structure such programs to meet their...more

IRS Releases Final Forms and Instructions for Affordable Care Act Reporting

In February 2015, the IRS released final forms and instructions related to information reporting under the Affordable Care Act (the "ACA"). These forms include Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health...more

New HHS Regulations “Clarify” that Health Plans Covering Families Must Have “Embedded” Individual Cost-Sharing Limits

On February 27, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its final HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016. The lengthy regulation covers a wide range of topics affecting group health...more

IRS Releases First Guidance on ACA’s So-Called "Cadillac Tax"

Last week, the IRS released Notice 2015-16, in an effort to begin developing regulatory guidance for the Affordable Care Act's excise tax on high-cost health coverage (the "Excise Tax"), which will become effective beginning...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2015

The Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. For many years, the...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Same-Sex Marriage Laws

It was announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two important questions relating to same-sex marriage–whether states are required to allow same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions, and whether states are...more

Deja-Vu All Over Again: Congress Once Again Retroactively Increases Mass Transit Benefit Limits

Prior to the enactment of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (“TIPA”) in December 2014, effective for 2014, mass transit commuters were only able to contribute a maximum of $130 per month on a pre-tax basis toward their...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2014

This month's newsletter focuses on how Plan Trustees can appropriately settle ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims in order to achieve "complete peace." The article provides a check list and discusses strategies for handling...more

SCOTUS to Review Subsidy Issue

On November 7, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it was going to review King v. Burwell. At issue in the case is whether Fourth Circuit correctly determined that the IRS did not exceed its authority when it released a rule in...more

IRS to Close “Loophole” on “Sub-Standard” Plans without Hospitalization or Physician Services Coverage

On November 4, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced that it intends to close a perceived “loophole” in health care reform. This so-called loophole allows employers to offer low cost health plans that don’t...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2014

Editor's Overview - The first article in this month's newsletter focuses on whether specific language in ERISA employer-provided disability insurance plans confer discretionary authority to plan administrators to...more

California Updates State Breach Notification Law, Expands Security Procedures to Entities that “Maintain” Personal Information

On September 30, 2014, California took further steps to protect the personal information of its residents by amending several sections of its breach notification and information security laws (Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1798.81.5,...more

IRS to Amend Cafeteria Plan Regulations to Facilitate Enrollment in Marketplace Coverage

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Notice 2014-55, which expands the cafeteria plan “change in status” rules to allow plans to offer employees an option to revoke their elections...more

California Repeals 60-Day Limit on Waiting Periods

On August 15, 2014, California passed Senate Bill 1034, which repealed an insurance law (Assembly Bill 1083) that prohibited insurance companies from including waiting periods in excess of 60 days in their group health...more

IRS Increases 9.5% Affordability Threshold—Or Did It?

On July 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released three Revenue Procedures (2014-46, 2014-37, and 2014-41), which provide guidance to individuals on their obligation to maintain minimum essential coverage (MEC)...more

Hobby Lobby: The Supreme Court’s View and Its Impact

For the second time in two years the United States Supreme Court (the “Court”) has ruled against the Obama Administration with respect to elements of the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). In a 5-4 decision announced today in...more

Final Regulations on Orientation Periods Released

On June 20, the Federal regulatory agencies in charge of health care reform guidance (the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services) released final regulations (“Final Regulations”) clarifying the...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2014

Editor's Overview - This month our authors explore two important areas of ERISA's fiduciary duties applicable to single employer and multiemployer plans. First, Neal Schelberg and Aaron Feuer comment on a growing trend...more

Reminder: ACA’s Out-of-Pocket Limits Differ from HSA-Qualified HDHPs Starting in 2015

In April, the IRS released the 2015 inflation adjustments for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and HSA-qualified high deductible health plans (HDHPs). A month earlier, HHS released details on the “premium adjustment percentage,”...more

ACA’s Deductible Limits for Small Groups Repealed

On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014. The primary purpose of the law is to provide a one-year delay of a 24% reduction in payment rates for physicians who participate...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2014

Our first article this month addresses the treatment of the attorney-client privilege in employee benefits matters. Pursuant to the so-called "fiduciary exception," communications between an attorney and a plan fiduciary are...more

Coverage of Dependents: Final “Pay-or-Play” Regulations Exclude Stepchildren and Others; Extend Prior Transitional Relief

As previously reported, the IRS recently released final regulations on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer “shared responsibility” provisions, also known as the “pay-or-play” mandate. Under the mandate, in order to avoid...more

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