News & Analysis as of

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

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

Employee Benefits: Important Wellness Plan and Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Parity Effective Dates Have Arrived!

Employers and insurers offering medical plans: take note! Two important final regulations issued jointly by the IRS, DOL and HHS (the “Departments”) apply to plan years (or, in the individual market, policy years) beginning...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

Executive Briefing

In its decision on Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., the Missouri Supreme Court imposed a minimalist “contributing factor” causation standard on workers’ compensation retaliation claims. The decision overrules two precedents,...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2014

In This Issue: - Rulings, Opinions, Etc. ..Validating Rollover Contributions: New Guidance - Case ..Stock Drop Case Development: The Supreme Court Rejects The Presumption Of Prudence ..Dividend...more

Still Reimbursing Employees For Health Insurance Premiums? You May Be Subject To Significant Penalties!

Until very recently, it was not uncommon for employers to reimburse employees for substantiated premiums paid for individual health insurance coverage. Many small employers saw this as a viable alternative to group...more

Limited Time Offer! IRS Announces "Amnesty Program" for Flawed Correction of Late Annual Reports

Both the Department of Labor ("DOL") and the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") can assess significant penalties if annual reports are not timely filed for certain retirement and health and welfare plans. However, years ago the...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

Executive Briefing - May 2014

In This Issue: - ADA Reasonable Accommodation Requests: Avoid Rigid Policies and Consider Technology - IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Plan Amendments Regarding Same Sex Spouses - OSHA to Refer Untimely...more

IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Plan Amendments Regarding Same Sex Spouses

Employers have been considering the impact on benefit programs, including the qualified retirement plans, of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing the validity of same sex marriages. In September, 2013, the IRS issued...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

Employee Benefit Plan is Governmental Plan, Even Though Employees are Not, says District Court in 11th Circuit.

It is a deceptively simple statement: Governmental employee benefit plans are exempt from ERISA. 29 U.S.C. § 1003(b)(1). But what about an employee benefit plan of an entity affiliated with a governmental entity, but whose...more

Monthly Benefits Update

Health & Welfare Plans - July 1 Deadline to Begin Measuring Employee Hours for ACA Employer Mandate/“Pay or Play” - As we have discussed in many previous alerts, the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared...more

PA Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban – Employers Face Significant Changes in Employee Benefits and Leave Administration

As a result of the same-sex marriage ban in Pennsylvania being overturned and recent IRS guidance, employers need to be aware of – and immediately implement – significant changes in employee benefit programs and Family and...more

IRS Disallows Shifting Employee Health Coverage Burden to Exchanges

Certain employers hoped that they had discovered a way to "have their cake and eat it too". In response to the looming employer mandate for employers with 50 or more employees – the requirement to offer full - time employees...more

IRS Says It Will Penalize Employers Dumping Employees into Obamacare

Before the ink on the Affordable Care Act was dry, prudent employers were analyzing the law to identify ways to save money and avoid many of the punitive aspects of the law....more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 31: ERISA Section 510 and Limiting Employee Hours

In last week’s post, we examined the appropriateness of capping the annual hours of new “variable hour employees” as a way to limit exposure under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules. (These rules...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

New Rule Allows Disability Insurance Premiums To Be Paid From Qualified Plan Accounts - Employers Will Be Able To Offer Employees...

HIGHLIGHTS - - The Treasury Department and the IRS released final regulations regarding amounts used by a qualified plan to pay for accident or health insurance premiums. Under the regulations, there is one notable...more

Survey of Current Benefits Issues

In This Presentation: - Affordable Care Act - Affordable Care Act: Fees and Taxes 2015 – Employer Shared Responsibility Fee - Forms for Reporting Fees - Retirement Plan Errors - Overview - Retirement Plan...more

New IRS Guidance on Same-Sex Marriages and Retirement Plans Requires Action by Employers

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) have issued Notice 2014-9 (the “Notice”) and related Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) providing much anticipated guidance on the application of the Supreme...more

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