News & Analysis as of

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

“We have to offer COBRA, When?” The “In Anticipation of Divorce” Rule

Most plan administrators know that the recipe for a group health plan’s COBRA obligation includes three ingredients – a qualifying event that occurs while the individual is covered by the plan that triggers a loss of such...more

CMS Seeks Comments on Establishment of CMPs Related to MSP Reporting

CMS recently solicited comments for the development of methodologies and criteria to be used in evaluating whether or not to impose civil money penalties (CMPs) on arrangements of certain group health plans (GHPs) and...more

Same-Gender Marriage Implications for Employee Benefit Plans

In the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and eliminating the requirement that federal law recognize only marriages...more

Take 5 Newsletter: An Employer's "Top 5" Action Items for 2014

It's December, and human resources professionals and law departments are reflecting on the issues addressed in 2013 and giving thanks for incident-free holiday parties. But the big question is this: What issues should get...more

Final Regulations for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

On November 8, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the "Departments") jointly issued final regulations under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (the...more

Windsor & DOMA: Issues for Cross-Border Employers

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which defined “marriage” as strictly between opposite-sex couples and “spouse” as referring only to a...more

Agencies Issue Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Impacting Employee Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is...more

Special Alert for Employers and Other Benefit Plan Sponsors: How Will the Supreme Court's DOMA Decision Impact Your Employee...

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that will affect virtually all employers across the country. In United States v. Windsor, the Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that Section 3 of the federal Defense of...more

Supreme Court Finds DOMA to Be Unconstitutional -- Impact on Employers Explained

On June 26, 2013, a majority of the Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the union of a man and a woman, is...more

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