News & Analysis as of

The Waiting is the Hardest Part: Final Regulations on the PPACA’s 90-Day Waiting Period Released

On February 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly released...more

Final “Pay or Play” Regulations Provide Transition Relief for Non-Calendar Year Plans

Last week, the IRS issued final regulations that provide additional guidance on the new “pay or play” rules (also called the employer shared responsibility rules) that will generally apply to employers’ group health plans...more

New U.S. Guidance On Expatriate Health Plans

As discussed in a prior post, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) is currently in the process of finalizing its regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) “Employer Mandate.” The Employer Mandate, which...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

IRS Relaxes Certain Cafeteria Plan Election Rules

IRS Notice 2014-01, issued December 16, 2013, provides guidance for plan sponsors of Code Section 125 cafeteria plans and Code Section 223 health savings accounts (“HSA”) regarding plan elections made by same-sex spouses....more

Year-End Health and Retirement Plan Guidance Grab Bag

Following Hawaii’s enactment of legislation recognizing same-sex marriage as of and after December 2, 2013 a number of additional pieces of guidance were also issued. Internal Revenue Service’s Frequently Asked Questions...more

More About HRAs And Some About EAPs

I blogged recently about IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) guidance restricting the ability of employers to subsidize individual health insurance premiums for their employees after December 31, 2013. That IRS and DOL guidance...more

No More Pre-Tax Premiums For Individual Insurance Policies?

Over the years we have seen some employers, particularly small employers, choose to provide health coverage to their employees by paying all or part of the premium for individual insurance policies that the employees have...more

The Affordable Care Act Creates Compliance Challenges For HRAs And Other Arrangements

On September 13, 2013 the U.S. Department of the Treasury (IRS), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), collectively referred to herein as the Departments, coordinated...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

Restaurant Industry Newsletter - August 2013

Fast Food Strikes Spread Across the Nation - Executive Summary: Recently, unions and union-backed workers' centers have set their sights on employers in the restaurant industry, particularly those operating fast-food...more

Right from the Source: IRS Guidance for U.S. Plan Sponsors on Fixing Mistakes and Surviving IRS Employee Plan Audits

Those of you who participated in our July 16 webinar on plan fix-it programs heard us emphasize the importance of self-audits and internal controls to increase your chances of coming out clean in an employee plan audit....more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Section 3 of DOMA is Unconstitutional: What Should Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors and Administrators Be...

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) provides a single definition of marriage, as between one man and one woman, for purposes of all federal laws, including the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA....more

Final Wellness Regulations Clarify Rules For Discounts Linked To Health Results

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the three federal agencies with primary responsibility for implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA),...more

IRS Revises Form for Payment of Fee To Fund Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued an updated version of IRS Form 720 and the instructions. Self-funded group health plan sponsors and health insurers must use this form to report and pay the fee required to fund...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on DOMA May Impact Status of Children of Same-Sex Spouses for Employee Benefits Purposes

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage at the federal level as a legal union between one man and one woman and excuses states from any obligation to recognize same-sex marriages recognized in any other state. As...more

Health Care Reform Update: Proposed Rules Issued On 90-Day Limit Placed On Waiting Periods For Health Coverage

Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (the "Act") will prohibit group health plans and group health insurers from imposing waiting periods greater than 90 days of employment....more

IRS, Treasury Department Issue Proposed Rules Governing Minimum Value, Affordability, and Wellness Programs

A key policy goal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) is the expansion of health insurance coverage to all Americans. The concepts of “minimum value” and its correlate “actuarial value” speak to the...more

The Obamacare “Play or Pay” Rules: A Practical Approach

The IRS recently released new proposed regulations to implement the Shared Responsibility or “Play or Pay” provisions of Health Care Reform. The proposed regulations provide a wealth of detail on key issues required to...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - May 6, 2013

Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new proposed regulations on FY 2014 payment updates and regulatory policy changes for inpatient and long term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilitates,...more

Health Care Reform Blog: IRS Proposes Additional Minimum Value Rules

Last Friday the IRS released additional proposed regulations implementing the minimum value requirement for coverage sponsored by employers with 50 or more FTEs. The proposed rules provide that amounts contributed by...more

Monthly Benefits Update - March 2013

Health Care Reform: Agencies Issue Proposed Regulations on 90-Day Waiting Period Limitation - On March 21, the IRS, DOL, and Department of Health and Human Services issued proposed regulations on the 90-day waiting...more

New Employer Shared Responsibility Penalty Guidance: Timely Employer Action Needed

In This Alert: - A. What Is The Employer Shared Responsibility Penalty? - What Is The “Failure To Offer Coverage Penalty”? - How Is The “Failure To Offer Coverage Penalty” Calculated? - What Is...more

Affordable Care Act: Preparing for 2014

President Obama’s re-election confirmed that the Affordable Care Act will continue to be rolled out, and that its “pay-or-play” rules will become effective on January 1, 2014. These provisions require public and private...more

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