Employer Group Health Plans

News & Analysis as of

Labor & Employment E- Note - December 2014

In This Issue: - SCOTUS Says Firms Don't Have to Pay for Security Screening Time - EEOC Saw Decline in Discrimination Settlements, Number of Cases - HHS Closes Loophole Allowing Employers to Cut Hospital...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

HIPAA Certificates Are No Longer Required As of January 1, 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, group health plans and insurers are no longer required to issue a certificate of creditable coverage (“HIPAA Certificate”) to individuals who lost group health plan coverage. As a reminder, HIPAA...more

Employer Cash Payments To Reimburse Employees For Health Insurance Costs – No!

Many employers offer or provide cash to employees to reimburse them for the cost of purchasing an individual health insurance policy. Others offer employees with high claims risk a choice between enrolling in the company’s...more

December 2014 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties and excise taxes. To...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

EEOC to Issue Proposed Regulations for Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced recently that it intends to issue proposed regulations in the next 60 days to clarify its enforcement authority under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with...more

Cafeteria Plan Amendments: A Year-End Action Item

If your company permits 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”), you might be may be required to...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 3: Group Health Plan, Cafeteria Plan and Health FSA...

As applicable large employers grapple with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility (pay-or-play) rules, two questions arise with notable frequency...more

Monthly Benefits Update - November 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review of ACA Case Involving Premium Subsidies Offered Through Federally Facilitated Exchanges - The Supreme Court granted review in King v. Burwell, a Fourth Circuit case that upheld an IRS...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

No Smoking = No Vaping?

The days of lighting up at the office are making a comeback in some workplaces, thanks to the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013, one in five adult smokers...more

Ninth and Tenth Circuits Address Removal Under CAFA's "Mass Action" and "State Action" Provisions

In Corber v. Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, the Ninth Circuit – on rehearing en banc –examined the applicability of the “mass action” provision of CAFA, which provides federal jurisdiction for any civil action in which monetary...more

"New Preventive Services Under the Affordable Care Act"

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires non-grandfathered group health plans to provide benefits for items or services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). These benefits must be provided without...more

Don't Forget! Preparing for the Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate

With 2015 just a few weeks away, employers with 100 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees should be gearing up for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) employer mandate, which subjects...more

Updating Our Understanding of the FMLA

In employment law, a very hot topic continues to be the issues surrounding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 5: Health and Human Services (HHS) Wastes No Time Issuing...

Over the last couple of months, we have followed and reported on a particular ACA compliance strategy under which an employer subject to the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (or “pay-or-play”) rules...more

DOL Gives States More Control Over Self-Insured Health Plans

On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (DOL) published Technical Release 2014-01, which provides technical guidance to States concerning stop-loss insurance. Stop-loss...more

ACA Fees, and Forms, and Delays, Oh My!

In the latest round of delays under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Employee Benefits Security Administration recently announced that the deadline for health plans to provide enrollment information to the transitional...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

Mainstream Wellness Program Challenged in EEOC v. Honeywell

Despite promulgating a paucity of guidance on what constitutes a “voluntary medical exam” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), on October 27, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - As it is well known, in Cigna Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), the U.S. Supreme Court identified several forms of appropriate equitable relief that may be available under Section 502(a)(3) of...more

Do You Have A Health Plan Identifier?

Do You Even Know What It Is? With great focus on healthcare reform, you may have missed a current requirement for health plans to apply for and obtain a Health Plan Identifier (HPID). This requirement does not come...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 6: Labor and Treasury Departments Play Whack-a-Mole with...

Last year, the Department of Labor and the Treasury Department/IRS (Departments) issued guidance on the application of certain of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance market reforms to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs),...more

Final Rules for Offering Limited-Scope Dental and Vision Benefits

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), group health plans are prohibited from establishing any annual dollar limit on the amount of benefits for any individual. Group health plans must also provide certain preventive care...more

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