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The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 36: Hacking the Affordable Care Act’s $100/Day Penalties for...

Particularly with the issuance of final regulations under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules, employers have been concerned—justifiably—with the pay-or-play penalties. ...more

Ninth Circuit Says Disability Plan Participant’s Claim Is Time-Barred

The Ninth Circuit in Gordon v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP Group Long Term Disability Plan, 2014 WL 1394962 (9th Cir. Apr. 11, 2014) affirmed summary judgment in favor of a long term disability plan on the ground that the...more

The Assault on the ACA Continues in the Federal Appeals Courts

Combative oral arguments were seen in two high profile federal court challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The Supreme Court of the United States heard a vigorous oral argument...more

Did you know? Recent changes in the law that may impact your construction projects in the Southeast.

Forum Selection Clause - The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that forum selection clauses should be upheld in most circumstances. Have you used a forum selection clause in your contracts which would maximize the...more

Ausschluss der Syndikusanwälte aus dem Versorgungswerk für Rechtsanwälte

Es kann durchaus als Paukenschlag bezeichnet werden, was das Bundessozialgericht (BSG) am 3. April 2014 (Az: B 5 RE 3/14 R; B 5 RE 9/14 R; B 5 RE 13/14 R) entschieden hat: Abhängig beschäftigte Rechtsanwälte (sog...more

Towers Watson risk transfer program aims to offload retiree health care risks

Last week, Towers Watson & Co. unveiled a program that would enable employers to eliminate unfunded retiree health care plan liabilities for Medicare-eligible retirees by shifting those liabilities to insurers through the...more

Trustee Alert – Transitional Reinsurance Fee Update

Health care reform imposed on all health plans a Transitional Reinsurance Fee (TRF) for three years— 2014 through 2016. For 2015 and 2016, there is an exemption from the TRF program for self-insured plans that self-administer...more

Defined Benefits Plans are to save $$$, not to make insurance salesman crazy $$$$

While the talk about retirement plans is usually centered on 401(k) plans, the value of a defined benefit plan for those companies that could afford it should not be discounted. Thanks to the generous deductible contribution...more

4th Circuit Holds Insurer Not Equitably Estopped From Denying Coverage

In an unpublished opinion, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a South Carolina District Court judge’s finding that an insurer was equitably estopped from denying coverage to a new owner of the insured business for a...more

HHS Guidance Clarifies that Insurance Companies Must Make Available Health Insurance Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

On March 14, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance clarifying the final regulations implementing Section 2702 of the Public Health Service Act...more

California Supreme Court to Tackle Labor and Insurance Issues

The California Supreme Court has five civil cases scheduled for its April calendar, each addressing important questions of labor and insurance law. ...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2014

On January 9, 2014, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued additional health care reform guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions...more

2015 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS or the agency) kicked off a flurry of springtime regulatory activity for health insurance issuers with publication of the final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for...more

Court of Appeals Issues Decision Regarding Vesting of School District Retiree Health Insurance Benefits

On December 12, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision in Kolbe v. Tibbetts, in which the Court addressed whether the Newfane Central School District could unilaterally alter the health insurance benefits of...more

March 31: ACA Deadline or Just Another Monday?

March 31, 2014 is the open enrollment deadline for individuals who want to buy health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the “Exchange”). Or is it?...more

The Waiting is the Hardest Part: Final Regulations on the PPACA’s 90-Day Waiting Period Released

On February 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly released...more

DOL Proposes Amendment to Service Provider Fee Disclosure Regulation

Proposal would require certain service providers to furnish a separate disclosure guide. On March 11, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed amendment to its 2012 final regulations under section 408(b)(2)...more

ERISA – 2nd Circuit: Reversible Error To Deny Successful Claimant’s Attorney Fees Solely Because There Was No Evidence of Bad...

Can a court deny a successful ERISA claimant’s attorney fees solely because there is no evidence of bad faith? NO....more

Quebec Releases Draft Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan Regulations

On March 12, 2014, the Quebec government released draft regulations (pdf) that are required to complete the new legal framework for the establishment of voluntary retirement savings plans (VRSPs) in Quebec effective July 1,...more

Massachusetts Legislature Considers Unemployment Insurance Reform and Minimum Wage Increase

Increasing the minimum wage and reforming the unemployment insurance (“UI”) system in Massachusetts are the two major employment issues facing the 2013–2014 Legislature, which comes to a close on July 31, 2014. The Senate and...more

Final Regulations Issued Regarding Employer Reporting Requirements Under ACA

Recently issued final regulations on the employer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) clarify and streamline the process for reporting information relating to the provision of minimum essential coverage...more

Legal Alert: DOL Proposes 408(b)(2) Disclosure Guide

On March 12, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a proposed amendment to its disclosure requirements for “covered service providers” to retirement plans under ERISA § 408(b)(2) that would...more

Defendants See Success With Limitations Defenses Post Heimeshoff

Defendants have recently received three favorable decisions involving contractual and statutory limitations defenses. In each case, a federal court held that claims for benefits under ERISA plans were time-barred. Costa v....more

Must be a duck if it’s walking and quacking like one

The New South Wales (NSW) Court of Appeal recently considered the insurance and indemnity provisions of a labour hire contract. What caused the dispute was the fact that one set of insurance provisions was contained in the...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

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