Wesley Covert

Wesley Covert

Laner Muchin, Ltd.

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Applicable Large Employers Should Determine Their Full-Time Employees For ACA Purposes And Prepare For Reporting In 2016

By way of reminder, employers who employ at least 50 full-time employees (including full-time equivalents) on average during the calendar year of 2014 will be required to file Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forms 1095-C and...more

11/23/2015 - Affordable Care Act Employer Mandates Form 1094 Form 1095 Full-Time Employees Large Employer Reporting Requirements Shared Responsibility Rule

The IRS Releases The Benefit Plan Limitations For 2016, Most Limits Remain The Same

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the annual inflation adjustments for 2016 for qualified retirement plans, fringe benefits and health plans. This information may be found on the IRS' website and in...more

11/19/2015 - Compensation & Benefits Contribution Limits Employer Group Health Plans Fringe Benefits Inflation Adjustments IRS Qualified Retirement Plans

Employers Will Begin Receiving Premium Subsidy Award Notices From The Health Care Exchange in 2016

Beginning in 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin its process of verifying the eligibility of recipients who receive the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) advanced premium tax credit to help purchase...more

10/5/2015 - Affordable Care Act CMS Employer Mandates Health Insurance Exchanges Healthcare IRS Large Employer Penalties Premium Subsidies Tax Credits Written Notice

Supreme Court Emphasizes Requirements About Selecting and Monitoring Plan Investments

Plan administrators, investment committees and any other plan fiduciary responsible for selectingthe investment options of an employee benefit plan subject to ERISA should take note of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in...more

9/25/2015 - Breach of Duty Class Action Duty to Monitor ERISA Fiduciary Duty Investment Funds Mutual Funds Retirement Plan SCOTUS Statute of Limitations Tibble v Edison Int Trusts

Court Finds That Plan Administrator Should Comply With Qualified Domestic Relations Order Issued After Retirement Plan...

A recent opinion from the Second Circuit puts retirement plan administrators on notice that adjustments to benefits may be necessary to account for retroactively effective qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs). In...more

9/21/2015 - Divorce Plan Administrators QDRO Retirement Plan Surviving Spouse Trial Court Orders

The Impact Of Obergefell On Employee Benefits

Prior to the Obergefell decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which mandated that federal laws only recognize opposite-sex marriages. As a result of...more

8/26/2015 - Discrimination Equal Protection ERISA Health Insurance Income Taxes Obergefell v. Hodges Retirement Plan Same-Sex Marriage US v Windsor

IRS Overhauls Its Determination Letter Program For Individually-Designed Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it will be significantly limiting the employee plan determination letter program for individually-designed qualified retirement plans. Prior to these new changes,...more

8/8/2015 - Employee Benefits IRS Pensions Popular Retirement Plan

IRS Previews Its Administration Of The Cadillac Plan Tax And Seeks Comments On Unresolved Issues

The “Cadillac Tax” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. It imposes a 40% excise tax on any “excess benefit” provided to an employee. An excess benefit is the excess,...more

4/2/2015 - Affordable Care Act Cadillac Tax Employer Group Health Plans FSA HRA HSA IRS

Companies Should Monitor Deferred Compensation Arrangements For Section 409A Compliance Purposes

Given the complexity of the rules under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, which govern the timing and taxation of payments made under non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements (NDCAs), companies are encouraged...more

3/16/2015 - Compliance Deferred Compensation Employee Incentive Plans Employment Contract Equity Plans Internal Revenue Code (IRC) IRS Section 409A Severance Agreements Stock Options

IRS Issues Final Forms And Instructions For The New Reporting Requirements For The Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate

As previously reviewed in The Fast Laner, in order to administer and enforce the rules of the Individual and Employer Shared Responsibility Mandates of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Sections 6055 and 6056 were added to the...more


Unanimous Supreme Court Decision Eliminates Presumption That Union Retiree Health Benefits Are Vested For Life

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a judicial presumption - commonly referred to as the Yard-Man presumption - that union retiree health care benefits are vested for life in the...more

2/10/2015 - CBAs Employer Group Health Plans Employer Healthcare Costs Health Insurance M&G Polymers v Tackett Retirement SCOTUS Vested Benefits Yard Man

IRS Approves Two New Mid-Year Changes To Cafeteria Plan Elections

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that employees may change their pre-tax health plan payment elections mid-year pursuant to their employer’s cafeteria plan under two new circumstances. ...more

1/2/2015 - Cafeteria Plans Employer Group Health Plans IRS

IRS Issues New Forms And Instructions Regarding The Employer Mandate Information Reporting Requirements Under The ACA

In order to administer and enforce the rules of the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) added Sections 6055 and 6056 to the Internal Revenue Code, which require insurance providers and...more

10/8/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Employer Mandates Health Insurance IRS Reporting Requirements

Supreme Court Holds That The ACA Mandate To Include Group Health Coverage For Certain Contraceptives Violates The Religious...

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that closely held, for-profit corporations may claim a religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) mandate of providing certain types of...more

7/21/2014 - Affordable Care Act Burwell v Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Employer Mandates Healthcare Hobby Lobby SCOTUS

The Final Regulations Clarify The Application Of Orientation Periods To The Affordable Care Act's 90-Day Waiting Period Rule

Earlier this year, proposed regulations pertaining to the 90-day waiting period provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced the concept that employers may require new employees to complete a one-month “orientation...more

7/8/2014 - Affordable Care Act Healthcare Waiting Periods

Self-Insured Health Plans May Be Required To Allow Health Care Providers Access To Their Claims And Appeals Process

In a precedent-setting case, a district court in the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that in-network chiropractors were considered “beneficiaries” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)...more

7/2/2014 - Administrative Appeals Appeals Beneficiaries ERISA Healthcare Self-Insured Health Plans

HHS Creates A New And Limited Special Enrollment Opportunity In States With Federally-Facilitated Health Insurance Exchanges

On May 2, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance which creates a special enrollment opportunity in states with a federally-facilitated health insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) for...more

5/13/2014 - Affordable Care Act COBRA Health Insurance Exchanges Healthcare HHS

New IRS Guidance Establishes When Retirement Plans Must Be Amended To Provide Retirement Benefit Rights To Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor on June 26, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) stated that qualified retirement plans (e.g., profit-sharing, 401(k), pension plans, etc.) must...more

4/28/2014 - DOMA IRS Qualified Benefit Plans Same-Sex Marriage State of Celebration US v Windsor

Employment Relationship Not Required For Claim Of ERISA Violation For Benefit Rights

In a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision successfully litigated by Laner Muchin, the Court addressed novel aspects of whether an employer interfered with employees’ benefit rights in violation of ERISA. The case...more

3/13/2014 - Employee Benefits Employee Rights ERISA Human Resources Professionals Layoffs Section 510

Employers Should Determine The Reasonableness Of Their Benefit Plans' Limitations Period Based On A Recent U.S. Supreme Court...

In Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., the Supreme Court recently upheld a plan-imposed limitations period on a participant’s right to file suit for benefits so long as that period is not unreasonably short...more

1/31/2014 - Disability Employee Benefits Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. Limitation Periods SCOTUS Statute of Limitations

Improve Compliance Of Retirement And Group Health Plans In 2014

Retirement plan fiduciaries should consider the following best practices to improve their plan’s governance in 2014: (i) if fiduciary duties have been delegated, make certain that the delegations are in writing and are being...more

1/10/2014 - COBRA Compliance ERISA Fiduciary Duty HIPAA Hiring & Firing Human Resources Professionals Investment Funds Notice Requirements Personnel Records Plan Administrators Publication Requirement Resignation Retirement Plan Same-Sex Marriage Termination

Year-End Compliance Reminders For Group Health Plan Sponsors

In 2013, many different changes in the law impacted group health plans and arguably, even more changes will occur in 2014. The following is an overview of a few of the key compliance issues that occurred in 2013 which should...more

12/6/2013 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Compliance Employer Group Health Plans Health Plan Sponsors Year-End Compliance Checklist Year-End Planning

New Rules Allow Cafeteria Plans To Carryover Up To $500 Of Unused Health FSA Money To The Next Plan Year

Under new IRS guidance, an employer may amend its cafeteria plan to allow for up to $500 of unused amounts remaining in a health flexible spending account (FSA) at the end of a plan year to be carried forward to reimburse...more

11/15/2013 - Affordable Care Act Cafeteria Plans Flexible Spending Accounts IRS Use or Lose Rule

Courts Split On Whether Mandatory Contraceptive Coverage Violates Religious Freedoms Of For-Profit Corporations

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s preventive services mandate, non-grandfathered group health plans must provide 100% coverage of contraceptives for women, subject to exemptions and safe harbors for...more

10/16/2013 - Affordable Care Act Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Employer Group Health Plans Healthcare Religion

Employers Should Plan To Address Employee Questions About The Health Insurance Marketplaces

Now that the deadline for employers to provide the public health insurance marketplace notices by October 1, 2013 has arrived, it is likely that employers (especially the human resource departments) will begin receiving...more

10/3/2013 - Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Exchanges Healthcare Marketplace Notice

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