News & Analysis as of

Health Care Reform in Transition While Congress Deliberates

Changes are imminent for the Affordable Care Act and a range of other laws and regulations affecting the health care industry. Ballard Spahr attorneys established a Health Care Reform Initiative in 2008 to monitor and analyze...more

Avoiding COBRA’s Bite: Measures to Counter COBRA Class Actions

With the filing of a class action complaint in late 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. became the latest large company accused of failing to provide adequate notices as...more

New Law Permits Stand-Alone Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) For Small Employers

On December 13, 2016 President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. The law had been approved with bipartisan support in the House by a vote of 392 to 26 and in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 5. The law addresses...more

COBRA Notices May Include Additional Information on Exchanges

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued an FAQ addressing the inclusion of information about the Health Insurance Exchanges (Marketplace) in COBRA notices. The guidance could be very helpful for employers in directing...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claim Arising from Incorrectly Addressed COBRA Notice

In Vangas v. Montefiore Medical Center, 2016 WL 2909354 (2d Cir. May 19, 2016), the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding that an employer is not liable for failing to provide a COBRA notice to a terminated...more

Cadillac Tax: A Levy in Limbo

The future of the Cadillac tax, a key cost-control mechanism and federal revenue source enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), is unclear. Though initially set to take effect in 2018,...more

Bad COBRA Notices Can Cost You

Sun Trust Bank was sued in a class action challenging its COBRA notice. The plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit claimed that the COBRA notice was materially deficient in that it failed to provide the name and address of the...more

IRS Issues New Guidance on ACA and Other Health Plan-Related Legal Requirements

In Notice 2015-87 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance on various health plan-related topics, including: (1) treatment of employer-provided opt-out payments for purposes of affordability under the Affordable...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2015

IRS Issues New Draft Form 1095-C and Instructions. On August 6, 2015, the IRS published its most recent updates to Form 1095-C and the instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Beginning in early 2016, applicable large...more

Employee Benefits Alert - August 2015

Retirement Plans - IRS Issues Guidance on Benefit Suspension Voting under MPRA - As we have written in prior alerts, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) permits trustees of financially troubled...more

Employee Benefits After Obergefell

In a historic decision, the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges recently held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires all jurisdictions in all fifty states to: (1) license a...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

The Impact of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision on Employee Benefit Plans — Some Certainty, Many Unanswered Questions

The regulation of marriage was historically presumed to be the exclusive domain of the states. Since 1996, however, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (“DOMA”) changed this presumption in two important respects...more

Implications Of Same-Sex Marriage Decisions By U.S. Supreme Court For Employer-Sponsored Health And Welfare Benefit Plans

Two controversial cases involving same-sex marriage were decided on June 26, 2013 by the United States Supreme Court. ...more

Pennsylvania Employers Left Wondering How They Are Affected By The Supreme Court's Decision On DOMA

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down as unconstitutional a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined “marriage” for purposes of over 1,100 federal laws as a legal union between...more

Action Items for Employers: Notice to Employees of Health Insurance Marketplace & Related Updates to COBRA Election Notices

As we have alerted you in the past, health care reform enacted in 2010 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (referred to herein as “PPACA”) has imposed new obligations on employers and group health plans. One...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions on Same-Sex Marriages Impact Employee Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) issued two decisions, finding that federal and California laws on same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. These decisions will have far-reaching and wide-ranging...more

HIPAA Healthcare Reform - Prompt Attention Needed to Address Upcoming 2013 Deadlines

2013 has already been a busy year for employers with group health plans who are trying to navigate the Affordable Care Act and its immediate implications for employee benefits. However, there are other, less talked about but...more

The Impact of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision on Your Employee Benefit Plans

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that the Defense of Marriage Act (known as DOMA) is unconstitutional. What does this mean for your company’s employee benefit plans?...more

Employee Benefits Challenges After the Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling

The ruling on Wednesday by the Supreme Court of the United States, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, will immediately extend to legally married same-sex couples a host of federal...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Rules Defense Of Marriage Act Unconstitutional: Significant Implications For Employee Benefit Plans

On June 26, 2013, in U.S. v. Windsor, the US Supreme Court held the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional as a violation of the right to liberty found in the due process clause of the 5th Amendment to the...more

Supreme Court Issues Two Historic Decisions on Same-Sex Marriage: What Does This Mean for Employee Benefit Plans?

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court (the "Court") issued two significant decisions relating to same-sex marriage, both of which will have far-reaching effects on the design and tax treatment of...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

Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling: Employee Benefit Plan, Tax, and Employment Considerations

Court's holding makes federal benefits and tax advantages available to same-sex couples but raises further questions. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in United States v. Windsor,...more

Supreme Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional – Employee Benefit Plan Implications

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court, in U.S. v. Windsor, ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional because it violates the Fifth Amendment’s equal protection guaranty for persons of the same...more

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