News & Analysis as of

Benefits Litigation Update – July 2015

Welcome to the new, rejuvenated version of the Benefits Litigation Update, which we bring you jointly with the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. Our goal is to provide a concise and, we hope, insightful glimpse into recent...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

Reminder: Non-Grandfathered Plans Must Implement Embedded Out-of-Pocket Maximums

As employers and plans prepare for 2016 open enrollment, they must be sure to address in their benefit design and with their third party vendors the new embedded out-of-pocket maximum limitations on individuals that were...more

Monthly Benefits Alert - June 2015

Supreme Court - As explained in more detail in separate alerts we issued over the past several days, the Supreme Court decided two major cases involving the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage. First, as described...more

SCOTUS Alert: Same-Sex Marriage is a Go, and ACA Stays Alive

Two big decisions in two days from the Supreme Court. Read on for details. Same-Sex Marriage is a Go! Today, the United States Supreme Court issued a monumental decision in Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, et al.; Case No....more

Class Action Suit Alleges Dave & Buster’s Cut Employee Work Hours to Skirt ACA Obligation to Offer Health Coverage

In the first lawsuit of its kind, a purported class of approximately 10,000 workers at Dave & Buster’s, the restaurant chain, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York (Marin v. Dave & Buster’s, Inc., S.D.N.Y., No....more

Departments Issue FAQs on Cost-Sharing and Restated Enforcement Approach on Provider Nondiscrimination Rules under ACA

The Departments issued FAQs clarifying prior guidance on the ACA’s cost-sharing limitations applicable to non-grandfathered plans, and restating their enforcement approach with respect to the ACA’s provider nondiscrimination...more

Appropriations Subcommittee Rejects Efforts to Strip Funding Bill of Pro-Employer Riders

The day after the House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill that would significantly limit certain federal agency rules and initiatives, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education held a...more

Retiree Medical Plans can Impose Lifetime Limits

Employers who sponsor medical plans know that those plans can no longer impose lifetime limits on essential health benefits. One exception is for medical plans that cover fewer than two active employees. Retiree medical plans...more

Bill Introduced to Repeal Cadillac Tax

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would repeal the “Cadillac Tax” provision of the Affordable Care Act (codified in Internal Revenue Code Section 4980I). The Cadillac Tax provision imposes an...more

EEOC Proposes Wellness Program Rule

In April 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a proposed rule that would amend the regulations and interpretive guidance implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they...more

The Latest on Wellness Programs: EEOC Proposes Rule to Address Legal Hurdles Under the ADA

Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that, even if I follow the guidance issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended (HIPAA), in implementing a “legally-compliant” wellness program,...more

Some Wellness Benefits are Taxable

My colleagues blogged on recent wellness guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the three agencies charged with enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Treasury, the Department...more

Five Ways the EEOC Proposed Wellness Regulations Would Change Workplace Health Initiatives

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) generally prohibits employers from requiring current employees to submit to medical examinations or medical inquiries unless the exam or inquiry is “job-related and consistent with...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

Medical Insurance Premium Reimbursement — A Brief Reprieve for Small Employers

Some employers – particularly smaller ones – have assisted their employees to obtain health insurance by reimbursing them for the cost of insurance they purchase in the individual market. Does this practice satisfy the...more

Not All Health Savings Plans Are Created Equal

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have gained in popularity since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, but many employers are unclear about how they differ from more traditional Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). An...more

Top 10 Topics for Directors in 2015: Explore New Trends in Reducing Corporate Health Care Costs

The increasing cost of healthcare is a significant concern for companies that provide health care benefits to their employees. With certain key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2015

IRS Publishes FAQs Regarding Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions. In the December 2014 issue of Employee Benefits Developments, we reported on IRS Notice 2014-54, which allows participants to direct and allocate after-tax...more

Monthly Benefits Update - December 2014

Illinois Becomes the First State to Require Automatic Retirement Savings Program for Workers Without Access to a Workplace Retirement Plan - On January 5, 2015, outgoing Governor Quinn signed landmark legislation that...more

Wellness Watch

According to reports, more than half of all businesses with over 200 employees ask employees to participate in biometric screening, and nearly 10% of them provide a financial incentive for employees to participate. As a part...more

Reimbursement Changes, Shift to Consumerism Discussed at Akerman Healthcare Briefing

Changing reimbursement models and a shift to consumerism were two of the hot topics discussed at Akerman LLP's recent Healthcare Briefing event titled "Financial and Corporate Implications of the Affordable Care Act: A Look...more

IRS Allows Cafeteria Plan Election Changes to Coordinate With ACA Exchanges

New IRS guidance adds two more events that allow participants to change their cafeteria plan elections outside of the annual open enrollment period. These events are designed to coordinate with the employer coverage rules and...more

Self-Insured Group Health Plans: Two Deadlines to Note

As 2014 winds down, plan sponsors are likely thinking ahead to some of the significant changes that will take effect in 2015, most notably, the employer "pay or play" mandate under the ACA. However, there are two deadlines...more

IRS Seeks to Curb Popularity of ‘Skinny’ Health Plans

The Internal Revenue Service, in Notice 2014-69, has concluded that certain unconventional group health plan designs that offer limited or no coverage for in-patient hospitalization services and/or physician services will not...more

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