Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans

News & Analysis as of

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

Supreme Court Rejects Analysis of Duration of Retiree Benefits As Contrary to Contract Law

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved a long-standing dispute between the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the remainder of the federal judiciary in a case concerning the extent to which...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man: Ordinary Contract Principles Apply When Interpreting Retiree Medical Promises

The Supreme Court has unanimously vacated a Sixth Circuit ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) vested retirees with lifetime medical benefits. M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 759...more

DOL and Treasury Update 2014-2015 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. The updated plans are reflected in the attached chart. ...more

Often Overlooked, but Effective, Provisions to Consider for your Benefit Plans

The Issue: When benefits under welfare plans – such as health plans and disability plans – are denied, litigation frequently results. In the context of “self-funded” plans (in contrast to “fully insured” plans, which are...more

Same-Sex Marriage Rulings May Pose Some Challenges for Employers

Over the past two years, there has been a sea change in the treatment of same-sex spouses under both federal and state law. Now that federal law, and the laws in 35 states and Washington, D.C., recognize marriage equality for...more

Should Employers Drop Domestic Partner Dependent Coverage?

Over the past decade, many employers extended dependent coverage under their group medical insurance plans to employees’ domestic partners. For many employers, this change was made in order to allow gay employees to add their...more

Year-End Action Item: Section 125 Cafeteria Plan Amendments

Employers that permit employees to pay for certain benefits, such as health coverage, on a pre-tax basis under an Internal Revenue Code Section 125 plan (also known as a “cafeteria plan”) may be required to make the following...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

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

Two Important Deadlines Approaching for Self-Insured Group Health Plans

If you sponsor a self-insured group health plan, then November includes two important deadlines: (1) you must obtain a health plan identifier for your plan, and (2) you must report the number of participants for whom a...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

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....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

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

The Federal Court for the Southern District of New York Rules that Employers with Self-Insured Health Plans Need Not Offer Medical...

The issue of same-sex spousal rights is now largely resolved for qualified retirement plans. However, substantial questions about same-sex spouse health benefits remain unanswered. In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield,...more

What's New Under the Defense of Marriage Act?

A major reason that employee benefits, such as employer- provided healthcare and retirement plans, exist is that they provide a tax-advantaged way for an employer to provide additional compensation to an employee, her spouse,...more

Pay-or-Play: Think Globally

With the effective date of the “pay-or-play” employer mandate just over the horizon, employers who sponsor group health plans are well aware of the layers of complexity presented by the mandate. One of the layers that...more

Health care reform reporting requirements: Final rules

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) contains requirements for both individuals and employers related to health care coverage. In order to assure compliance with certain of these requirements, PPACA requires...more

Further Guidance for Employers Providing Benefits Through Captives

On May 8, 2014, the IRS released Rev. Rul. 2014-15 (available here). The ruling provides guidance to the growing number of employers electing to insure or re-insure employee benefits through captive insurance arrangement. The...more

The Affordable Care Act – What You Need to Know Checklist

In This Presentation: - Review Employer Information - Fees - Mandates - Additional Points - Communications - Excerpt from Review Employer Information. Employer’s Health Plans - 1. Identify the...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 33: The Impact of Value-Based–Plan Designs and Reference...

Whether a group health plan provides minimum value is central to the application of the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules. The particulars of the role of minimum value in determining assessable...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2014

Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA Taxes - Reversing a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that severance payments to employees who were...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 43: Coordinating the 3-Month Delay under Employer Shared...

So much attention has been paid to the issuance of the final employer shared responsibility regulations that some might have missed the news that final regulations were recently issued under another of the Affordable Care...more

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