Health Insurance Employer Group Health Plans Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Reminder: Employers Must Use Extreme Caution When Considering Reimbursing an Employee’s Individual Health Insurance Premium

In follow up to IRS Notices 2013-54 and 2015-17, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel has issued 4 information letters thus far in 2016 regarding employer reimbursement of employee individual health insurance premiums and related...more

The Road to Higher Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs is Paved with Good Intentions: The Unintended Consequences of High Deductible...

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are among the fastest growing health plans in both the individual and group markets. For calendar year 2017, the IRS defines an HDHP as any health plan with a minimum deductible of $1300...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - August 2016

Editor's Overview - This month’s newsletter features an article on the DOL’s recently published interim final rule that increases penalties for notice and disclosure violations, which generally became effective on...more

ERISA Preempts State Law Requiring Insurer “Prompt Payment”

Alaska’s prompt pay statute—which requires insurers to pay benefit claims within 30 days of submission—is preempted by federal laws governing employer-provided benefits and benefits for government workers, a federal judge...more

IRS Proposes Adjustments in Individual Mandate Reporting

The IRS has issued proposed regulations on the individual mandate reporting requirements under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code. To a significant degree, the new regulations reflect guidance previously published by...more

ERISA: 2nd Circuit — Mental Health Provider Lacks Standing to Challenge ERISA Benefit Denial

Who can challenge an ERISA benefit denial? Does a physician have standing to challenge the denial of a patient’s coverage? It depends....more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2016

Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 409A”) generally provides that, if a plan providing for deferred compensation fails to comply with Section 409A, either in form or in operation, then all amounts deferred...more

The EEOC's View of Wellness Programs

The EEOC’s regulations allayed many concerns over the permissible level of incentives/penalties, as well as the challenge of dealing with inconsistent requirements under the various laws. Originally published in The HR...more

Best in Law: Beware of In-Lieu-Of Payments to Employees

Employers who allow their employees to opt for taxable cash payments in lieu of health benefits must consider the value of the payments when calculating overtime rates, a federal appellate court has ruled. Originally...more

Time for a Wellness Check on your Wellness Program? New EEOC Regulations Could Diagnose Need for Change

In light of new rules from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers should examine their wellness programs now (and during open enrollment for next year) to determine the potential impact of the final...more

More Clarity on Expatriate Health Plans and the ACA

Expatriate health plans have been surprisingly difficult to reconcile with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Proposed regulations set to take effect in 2017 provide some useful guidance to U.S. employers that sponsor expatriate...more

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Health Plan Opt-Out Payments

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has issued proposed regulations that include additional guidance on the treatment of employer-provided opt-out payments for purposes of affordability under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)....more

New Notice Requirements For Employer Wellness Programs

Employers who sponsor employee wellness programs must plan now to comply with a new notice requirement that takes effect soon. Beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2017, employers sponsoring wellness...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

Transitioning to Coverage: Three Things to Know About the New Transgender Healthcare Regulations

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued final regulations implementing the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act. As we discussed in our March 30, 2016 blog, the rule...more

HHS Issues Final Rule on ACA Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities

On May 18, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued final regulations interpreting the nondiscrimination provisions of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The rule mainly impacts insurers...more

Employee Benefits Developments - May 2016

Agencies Issue New FAQs on the Affordable Care Act.The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (the agencies) issued another set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the implementation of...more

ERISA Preemption: Don't Tread on my Uniform System of Plan Administration

On March 1 the U.S. Supreme Court again reinforced the broad preemptive scope of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C.A. §1001. In Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, the court...more

Employee Assistance Programs and State Insurance Regulation Structuring EAPs to Ensure Compliance

Employee Assistance Programs (or EAPs) have served employers and their employees for decades, providing a variety of benefits to address issues that might otherwise adversely affect the overall health and work of employees. A...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

SCOTUS ERISA Cases, Part Two: Preemption of State Healthcare Claims Database

This is the second article of a three part series summarizing employee benefit issues that are being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during the current October 2015 term. Part One provided an outline of Montanile v....more

Supreme Court: ERISA Pre-empts Law Requiring Reporting to State Healthcare Database

In Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) pre-empts a Vermont law that requires healthcare providers, including health insurers and...more

U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms ERISA’s Preemption Provisions as Applied to State Health Law Reporting Requirements

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 2016 U.S. LEXIS 1612, underscored the broad extent to which the preemption language of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974...more

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy: Big Win for Self-Insured ERISA Plans at Supreme Court (3/16)

On March 1, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company that delivered a big win for self-insured group health plans. The case involved a challenge to a Vermont law that required...more

Supreme Court Restricts State Medical Claims Data Reporting Law

ERISA does not allow a state to compel a self-insured group health plan to compile and report medical claims data for inclusion in a state-wide all-payer health care database, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a landmark...more

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