Tag Archives: ACA

IRS to Process Tax Returns That Lack Certification of ACA-Required Coverage

In the wake of the President’s January 20, 2017 Executive Order directing a reduction in regulatory burdens imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the IRS has quietly announced that it will continue to process income tax returns lacking confirmation that the taxpayer has maintained ACA-required health coverage. The ACA requires that taxpayers who do … Continue Reading

Health Savings Accounts Considerations for Employers

The health savings account (“HSA”) has become, since its creation in 2003, an increasingly popular option for employers to subsidize employee group health costs. Employees with HSAs can save money, on a tax-free basis, for medical expenses that aren’t otherwise covered. The account’s interest earnings and distributions (for qualified medical expenses) are also tax-free. The … Continue Reading

Healthcare Subsidies for Grad Students: Problem Solved?

This summer we wrote about an impending issue under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) for colleges and universities wishing to provide graduate student employees with a stipend or reimbursement to defray the cost of medical coverage under a student health plan. Though a common arrangement, guidance issued in connection with the implementation of the ACA … Continue Reading

Affordable Care Act Mid-Year Checkup: Count Your Contingent Workers

The ACA requires “applicable large employers” (those with 50 or more employees) to offer health coverage meeting affordability and other standards to their full-time employees. Failing to offer minimum essential coverage to at least 95% of full-time employees, or offering coverage that is not “affordable,” may result in significant penalties if a full-time employee receives … Continue Reading

Healthcare Subsidies for Grad Students: An ACA Conundrum

Colleges and universities historically have provided graduate student employees (e.g., teaching assistants) with a stipend or reimbursement to help defray (or even fully cover) the cost of their medical coverage under the student health plan. Competing guidance under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) from the Departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Labor (“DOL”), and … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decides Not to Decide on Latest Challenge to ACA Contraceptive Coverage

The Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion remanded Zubik v. Burwell — and the six cases consolidated with Zubik — back to the Courts of Appeals to rule on the contraceptive opt-out notice provisions.  The Court directed the lower courts to consider the new information presented in the parties’ post-oral argument briefs ordered by the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Looks for ACA Contraceptive Coverage Compromise for Religious Nonprofits

Less than one week after hearing oral arguments on seven consolidated cases in which non-profit organizations challenged the opt-out process for religious organizations opposing the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage mandate, the United States Supreme Court took the unusual action of ordering the lawyers on both sides to brief additional issues. The Court’s Order asked … Continue Reading

Government Contractors: Some DOL/Wage and Hour Guidance on How to Coordinate the Fringe Benefit Requirements with the Affordable Care Act

We each had to hold our collective breath, but the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DOL) finally issued an All Agency Memorandum 220  (AAM) last week on March 30, 2016 to provide guidance to governmental agencies on how the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions regarding the employer shared responsibility provisions … Continue Reading

The Very Hard Facts: 2015 Reporting Requirements Under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)

Internal Revenue Code section 6056 requires applicable large employers (“ALEs”) to report certain details about the group health plan coverage they offer to full-time employees annually in a similar manner as wages are reported on Forms W-2. Very recently, the IRS issued the final versions of Forms 1094-C (the ALE’s summary report of health plan … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Proposed Wellness Program Regulations

Today the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published long-awaited proposed regulations on wellness programs (Proposed Regs) that are intended to harmonize certain provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with long-standing rules concerning wellness programs applicable to group health plans under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and more recently, the Affordable … Continue Reading

As Employers Await Wellness Program Regulations From The EEOC, Congress Has Acted

We reported in December 2014, that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said it was planning to issue proposed regulations (scheduled for February 2015) that would “promot[e] consistency between the ADA and HIPAA, as amended by the ACA,” and “clarify[] that employers who offer wellness programs are free to adopt a certain type of inducement … Continue Reading

2014 Transitional Reinsurance Fee Reporting Deadline Extended to December 5, 2014

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that the 2014 deadline for reporting the number of participants covered under a health plan for purposes of paying the 2014 Transitional Reinsurance Fee has been extended from November 15, 2014 to December 5, 2014. Insurers and sponsors of self-insured plans who have not already … Continue Reading

Premium Reimbursement Arrangements – Employers Beware

The Department of Labor (DOL) has just published a series of FAQs regarding premium reimbursement arrangements.  Specifically, the FAQs address the following arrangements: An arrangement in which an employer offers an employee cash to reimburse the purchase of an individual market policy. Where an employer provides cash reimbursement for the purchase of an individual market … Continue Reading

EEOC Challenges the Design of Another Employer’s Wellness Program under the ADA

Little more than a month ago, we reported to you about the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) first lawsuit against a Wisconsin employer concerning its wellness program. On October 1, the EEOC announced a second lawsuit against another Wisconsin employer. EEOC v. Flambeau, Inc. (W.D.WI, filed October 1, 2014). Based on the report, the agency’s … Continue Reading

Employers – Review Your Controlled Group to Assure ACA and Retirement Plan Compliance

Beginning in 2015, certain employers that fail to offer affordable health insurance that provides minimum value to their full-time employees and their dependents may incur substantial Employer Shared Responsibility penalties under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  We previously wrote about the importance of properly classifying workers as employees or independent contractors to assure ACA compliance.  … Continue Reading

Look Beyond the ACA Wellness Regulations When Designing Your Program, EEOC Sues Employer Over Its Program

The EEOC could sue my company over the wellness program that is part of our medical plan? Yes, that agency recently sued an employer in Wisconsin claiming the penalty the employer imposed for nonparticpation in its program was too significant, causing the medical inquiries under the program to be involuntary for purposes of the Americans … Continue Reading

Affordable Care Act Employer Penalties – Another Reason to Make Sure Workers are Properly Classified as Employees or Independent Contractors

Beginning next year, an applicable large employer that does not offer affordable minimum value group health coverage to its fulltime employees (and their children up to age 26) will be vulnerable to employer shared responsibility penalties under Internal Revenue Code §4980H.  Whether an employer is an “applicable large employer” depends on its number of fulltime … Continue Reading

Dueling Decisions in the 4th and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals Spell More ACA Uncertainty for Employers

Just as employers are gearing up to prepare for compliance with the Shared Responsibility rules under the ACA, a pair of decisions from two federal appeals courts has thrown a curve ball into what was already a complicated assessment of risk for employers and raised new questions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District … Continue Reading

Getting Ready for 2015: How Government Contractors, Health Care Reform, and the Family Medical Leave Act Intersect

It’s summer now, mid-year 2014. Open enrollment for the 2015 health plan year is just around the corner. . . We want to make sure that all employers are ready. We want to ensure, as well, that government contractors specifically understand the intersection of the Service Contract Act (SCA) with other federal laws. To be … Continue Reading

Remember ERISA Basics: SPD and Eligibility

During the past 14+ years practicing employee benefits law, I’ve seen many changes, not the least of which has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, with all of the recent changes flowing from the ACA, it is important not to forget some very basic and long-standing aspects of plan compliance, design, drafting and administration, … Continue Reading

IRS Releases Proposed Regulations on Employer Penalty under Health Care Reform Law

The IRS released proposed regulations last week that amplify and modify earlier guidance issued on the 2010 health care reform law’s employer penalty provision.  Highlights of the proposed regulations include: For purposes of determining whether an employer has the threshold 50 full-time employees, an employer can use any consecutive 6-month period in 2013, instead of … Continue Reading
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