News & Analysis as of

How to Structure an Employee Severance Package Regarding COBRA and the ACA

Often, when parting ways with an employee, an employer may offer to pay for some months of COBRA continuation coverage so that the employee can remain covered without having to pay the substantial premiums associated with...more

Employee Benefits Developments - August 2014

The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services issued final regulations addressing the rule in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that prohibits a group health plan from having a waiting period that exceeds...more

Healthcare Reform in the U.S. Territories; Prepayment of Taxes for Puerto Rico Retirement Plans

The summer of 2014 has brought further guidance for health plan coverage in the U.S. territories and for retirement plan coverage in Puerto Rico. Issuers and employer sponsors of Puerto Rico group health plans and employer...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 19: Changes in Employment Status under the Look-Back...

An earlier post explained the two principle methods—the “monthly measurement method” and the “look-back measurement method”—available to applicable large employers to identify full-time employees for purposes of determining...more

Health Care Reform 2.0 Part 1

In this issue: - Health Care Reform – Overview - 2014 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines – 48 Contiguous States* - Health Care Reform – Affected Benefits - Health Care Reform – Excepted...more

Hobby Lobby ripples still being measured

How can the controversial decision in the Hobby Lobby contraception coverage case impact employers? The U.S. Supreme Court in June decided the controversial case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The court ruled...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 20: 9.5% ? 9.56% (And Why It Matters to Applicable Large...

While employers sometimes view the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (or “pay-or-play”) rules in isolation, they don’t operate that way. Instead, they exist side-by-side with other provisions of the Act. In...more

Bundled Payments under the Affordable Care Act Continue to Gain Influence

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it will add roughly 4,100 providers to the 2,400 existing providers testing the possible use of Medicare bundled payment contracts. Providers must...more

Summer 2014 SCOTUS Roundup: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

To close out our review of the Supreme Court’s summer decisions impacting labor and employment issues, we’ll examine the ramifications of the much-publicized and hotly discussed Burwell v. Hobby Lobby....more

Filed Your 2013 Health and Welfare Plan 5500s? Did you Include Your M-1 Attachments?

A provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) included additional reporting requirements and greater U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) oversight of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs). The DOL’s Employee...more

Upcoming Health and Welfare Plan Requirements Checklist for Employers

As the mid-way point of 2014 approaches, employers should actively turn their attention to several upcoming compliance obligations for the health and welfare benefit plans they sponsor. Below is a checklist of upcoming...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2014

In May 2014, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Treasury issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Part XIX, addressing, among other subjects, the following: The newly revised DOL model...more

Appellate Courts Split on Validity of Key ACA Regulation

In two important decisions issued July 22, 2014, both addressing the validity of a key regulation promulgated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), two federal appeals courts reached opposite...more

Contrasting Opinions in Health Care Law Rulings

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the Fourth Circuits released opinions regarding the federally run health care exchanges under the ACA. Specifically, the cases explore subsidies provided to...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 24: Can Offers of Group Health Plan Coverage Under Code...

The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) generally require “applicable large employers” (i.e., employers who employed at least 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees on...more

Supreme Court Issues Decisions that Change Employment Law Landscape

The U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its 2013 session by handing down three decisions that may significantly affect recent controversial rulings by the National Labor Relations Board, Affordable Care Act mandates on employer...more

Healthcare Ethics and Compliance Program Requirements

The Affordable Care Act included a mandate that medical service providers and suppliers enact compliance programs as a condition of participating in federal health care programs. (The ACA also set a deadline of March 23,...more

Monthly Benefits Update

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court held that regulations under the Affordable Care Act that require employer group health plans to provide contraceptive coverage violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)....more

EEOC Sues Employer for Imposing "Onionhead" Religious Beliefs

Within the next several days, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its decision regarding the government’s authority under the Affordable Care Act to require private employers to provide contraceptive care to...more

Your Company Is a ‘Large Employer’ Under the Affordable Care Act—Now What? Requirements for Coverage and Potential Penalties

The Affordable Care Act (the ACA or the Act) requires ‘‘large employers’’ (90 DLR I-1, 5/9/14) with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance coverage to their eligible employees and their dependents or face...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 27: COBRA, Marketplace Coverage, Stability Periods, and...

Recent developments under the Affordable Care Act and COBRA, and existing rules governing mid-year election changes under cafeteria plans, have combined to make it challenging for certain terminating employees and those...more

For ACA, Check Your Handbooks and Intranet

If you are like most employers, you have been diligently revising your benefits plans and working with your insurance providers to make sure your Summary Plan Descriptions comply with the Affordable Care Act. After those...more

In an Opinion with Far-Reaching Implications, the Second Circuit Finds Insurance Coverage for an ERISA Claim

When a general liability policy expressly provides coverage for employee benefits liability and the plaintiff in the underlying suit alleges a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), does...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 28: The Logic, Calculus, and Limits of “Skinny” Plans

It was just over a year ago that the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Employers Eye Bare-Bones Health Plans Under New Law,” which highlighted a compliance strategy to minimize employer exposure for...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - June 12, 2014

In This Issue: - Unions Battle with Employers Over Covering ACA Costs - More Types of Companies Requiring Workers to Sign Non-Competes - Employers Cut Back on Benefits, Push Health Costs onto Workers - High...more

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