A view into the latest Benefits and HR topics

A Dramatic Shift in Health Care Pricing Transparency

Authors: |September 3rd, 2019|Administration, Communications, Decision Making, In The Know, Technology|

The Issue: On June 24, 2019, President Trump signed an executive order, which instructed the Department of Health and Human Services to publish rules requiring hospitals to publicly disclose their negotiated rates for services. On August 9, 2019, proposed rules were published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS"). The Situation: The proposed rules require hospitals [...]

IRS Decreases ACA Affordability Percentage for 2020

Authors: |August 20th, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Human Resources, In The Know|

In the recently issued Revenue Procedure 2019-29, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reduced the applicable contribution percentage for the 2020 plan year. This percentage is used for purposes of determining whether an employer’s health insurance coverage is affordable under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). BACKGROUND Under the ACA, an applicable large employer will not be [...]

DOL Issues New Compliance Tools

Authors: |August 14th, 2019|Administration, Compliance, Decision Making, In The Know|

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the launch of additional plain-language, user-friendly compliance assistance materials to help employers, workers, and other stakeholders understand their responsibilities and their rights under federal labor law. The Department's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) added a number of publicly available presentations to its website, covering topics such as the Fair Labor Standards [...]

DOL Issues Guidance on Payroll Rounding, Overtime Calculations, and Certain Paralegals

Authors: |July 30th, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Decision Making, In The Know|

Employers looking for guidance on payroll rounding practices, classification of certain highly compensated paralegals, and calculating overtime where employees receive non-discretionary bonuses will be glad to know the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued three new Opinion Letters on those subjects. DOL Opinion Letters are issued by the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL [...]

New HRA Rules: What Employers Need to Know

Authors: |July 23rd, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Decision Making, In The Know|

Starting in 2020, employers will be able to offer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that work in conjunction with individual coverage or Medicare without running afoul of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) market reform rules. These individual coverage HRAs (ICHRAs) could be used to pay for out-of-pocket expenses, premiums for Medicare, or individual policies purchased through [...]

President Directs Agencies to Expand HSA and FSA Rules

Authors: |July 9th, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Decision Making, In The Know|

In an Executive Order issued on June 24, 2019, President Trump directed several agencies to address a number of health care related matters through regulation.  This post discusses Section 6 of the Executive Order, which takes aim at Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and medical expenses generally. Health Savings Accounts HSAs provide [...]

Planning For DOL’s Overtime Rules In A Tough Labor Climate

Authors: |June 18th, 2019|Administration, Compliance, Decision Making, Human Resources, In The Know|

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its proposed regulations on overtime that would render more than 1 million new workers eligible for overtime pay. Coupled with a historically tight labor market, this new rule has the potential to place even greater strain on employers already struggling to attract and retain new [...]

Seven things employers should know about EBSA investigations

Authors: |May 14th, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Human Resources, In The Know, Learning & Development|

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) oversees nearly 681,000 retirement plans, approximately 2.3 million health plans, and a similar number of other welfare benefit plans, such as those providing life or disability insurance.[1] As part of its assigned duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended [...]

What Am I Doing Wrong?? Common FMLA Mistakes

Authors: |April 23rd, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, Human Resources, In The Know|

“What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration. Not taking into account the interplay of the federal FMLA and “state FMLA” laws. This post takes on a bit of a different twist by expanding beyond the federal FMLA. A common mistake employers can make [...]

Medicare Secondary Payer Rules

Authors: |March 27th, 2019|Administration, Benefits, Compliance, In The Know|

The Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) rules impose regulations on group health plans that govern how plans interact with Medicare and Medicare-entitled plan participants. While complex, the rules are designed to spread costs between Medicare and group health plans that are considered primary payer to Medicare. Employer-sponsors of group health plans that are subject to the [...]