In The Know

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VCG’s VANTAGE
A view into the latest Benefits and HR topics

Employers Are Expected to Spend More on Health Care and Wellness in the Next Year

Authors: |September 17th, 2019|Benefits, In The Know, Workplace Wellness|

According to Optum’s Wellness in the Workplace study, more than 80% of employers plan to spend more on health care and wellness in the next year than in previous years. Health Care Spending The cost of providing employer-sponsored health care has been steadily increasing over the years. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average [...]

Bonuses Paid by Third Parties Excluded From Regular Rate for Overtime Calculation Purposes

Authors: |September 10th, 2019|Compliance, Decision Making, Human Resources, In The Know|

Perhaps the most frequently violated provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act is that law’s requirement that non-discretionary bonuses be included in non-exempt employees’ regular rate of pay used for purposes of calculating overtime pay. On August 20, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that incentive bonuses paid to employees by third parties were [...]

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 [...]

What Am I Doing Wrong? Common FMLA Mistakes

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

In a recent opinion letter, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Wage and Hour Division clarified its position on two points: (1) an employer may not delay the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave as FMLA leave, and (2) an employer is prohibited from designating more than 12 weeks of FMLA leave (or 26 weeks for military [...]

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 [...]

Self-Insured Health Plans: Recent Trends by Firm Size, 1996-2018

Authors: |August 6th, 2019|Human Resources, In The Know, Learning & Development, Strategy|

This paper examines trends in the availability of and enrollment in self-insured health plans among private-sector establishments offering health plans and their covered workers, with a particular focus on 2013 to 2018, so as to assess whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) might have affected these trends and more recent [...]

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 [...]

PCORI FEES DUE JULY 31, 2019

Authors: |July 16th, 2019|Compliance, In The Know|

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance issuers and self-insured plan sponsors to pay Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute fees (PCORI fees). The fees are reported and paid annually using IRS Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return). The PCORI fees do not apply for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2019. Therefore, [...]