Health Insurance Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

ACA Reporting Deadlines Relaxed for 2016

Following complaints, concerns and continuing questions relating to the Affordable Care Act reporting requirements, the IRS has relaxed reporting deadlines for 2016 in the form of IRS Notice 2016-4. As you may be aware,...more

IRS Reduces Voluntary Compliance Program Filing Fees for Most Plans

The IRS recently published its annual update on user fees, Revenue Procedure 2016-8, which now includes fees for Voluntary Compliance Program (“VCP”) applications filed with the IRS pursuant to the Employee Plans Compliance...more

State of the Union 2016 – What Will the President Focus on in his Final Year in Office?

While much of last night's State of the Union Address focused on big-picture issues, President Obama did make some specific employment-related comments during the annual speech to the country. One underlying purpose of this...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

Another Post-Tackett Ruling Denying Retiree Health Benefits

A district court in West Virginia recently held that retirees were not entitled to lifetime health benefits under the clear and unambiguous language of the relevant collective bargaining agreements. Shortly after Constellium...more

President Obama Approves the Consolidated Appropriations Act with Key Employee Benefits Provisions

The Consolidated Appropriations Act to fund the government through 2016 was passed and enacted on December 18. The law contains a number of benefits-related provisions, including a two-year delay of the 40-percent excise tax...more

Solicitors Argue to U.S. Supreme Court That Vermont Health Care Reporting Law Is Not Preempted By ERISA

The Supreme Court will soon consider whether, as applied to self-insured health benefit plans or their third-party administrators, ERISA preempts a Vermont law requiring health care payers to report claims and other data to a...more

Employee Benefits Developments - December 2015

ALERT: IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadlines. With only a few days remaining in 2015, the IRS provided some welcome relief for employers subject to certain Affordable Care Act reporting requirements. Under IRS Notice 2016-4,...more

Implementation of ACA’s Controversial “Cadillac Tax” Delayed Until 2020

Among the many requirements imposed by the Affordable Care Act, none are more controversial than the excise tax to be imposed on expensive health plans. This provision of the law, commonly known as the “Cadillac Tax,” would...more

Federal Court Determines that Employer Use of Employee Health Insurance Premium Payments Breach of ERISA Fiduciary Duties

On November 9, 2015, Minnesota Federal District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the president and CEO of Faribault Woolen Mills Company breached his fiduciary duties under ERISA by diverting Employee health insurance...more

Budget Legislation Repeals Affordable Care Act’s Automatic Enrollment Requirement for Large Employers

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Pub. L. No. 114-74, which was signed by President Obama on November 2, 2015, included a little-publicized provision that repealed the Affordable Care Act’s automatic enrollment requirement. ...more

EEOC Proposed GINA Regulations Permit Limited Wellness Plan Incentives In Exchange For Spousal Health Data

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on October 30, 2015 to amend the federal regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act...more

Employee Benefits Developments - October 2015

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), consistent with prior regulations from the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS), issued supplemental proposed regulations requiring employer sponsored health plans to provide...more

2016 Cost of Living Increases are Rare

On October 21, 2015, in Information Release 2015-118, the IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments to various dollar limitations under the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code") for pension plans and other related items for the...more

The PACE Act – Changes to the Definition of Small Group for Purposes of ACA Market Reforms

On October 7, 2015, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act ("PACE Act") was enacted, and on October 19, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services released FAQs providing further guidance on the Act's...more

President Obama Signs ACA Change Into Law

While Republican efforts to effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the budget reconciliation process have garnered attention, Congress's recent passage of a bipartisan bill making targeted changes to the law...more

Claims Administrators can be Liable for Violations of the Mental Health Parity Act

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPA) requires health plans to treat mental health and physical health benefits in much the same manner and precludes restrictions on mental health benefits that are not also...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

HHS Proposes Rules for Nondiscrimination in Health Care

On September 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) proposed new regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Section 1557 prohibits...more

Court of Appeals to Plan Administrators: Inform Claimants of Time Limits on Front End of Discussions

Recently, in Mirza v. Insurance Administrator of Am., Inc., __ F.3d__ (3d. Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was asked to determine whether plan administrators are required to include a...more

Final Rule Regarding Preventive Services Under ACA

The Department of the Treasury, DOL, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final rules regarding coverage of certain preventive services required to be provided under ACA without cost sharing by...more

IRS Issues Second Notice on Cadillac Tax

On July 30, the IRS issued Notice 2015-52, which provides guidance regarding the “Cadillac Tax” provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Earlier this year, the IRS issued Notice 2015- 16, which represented the first...more

IRS Provides Q&As on PCORI Fee

The IRS has provided Q&As regarding the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee. The fee applies to issuers of specified health insurance policies as well as plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health...more

IRS Provides Updated Guidance on Electronic Filing of ACA Information Returns

As 2016 approaches, the IRS is issuing more detailed guidance on how employers will need to comply with the upcoming ACA information reporting requirements. As a reminder, the ACA information reporting rules require employers...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

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