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Ghosts and Goblins are Scary, Employer Medicare Part D Requirements Don’t Have to be…

 September 21 2020     Rachel Pappenfus
It’s that time of year! The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, and (for better or for worse) pumpkin spice everything is hitting the shelves! Halloween is right around the corner which means the deadline to provide Medicare Part D notices is quickly approaching, but you don’t have to be scared or spooked. This blog post will help you understand what employer plan sponso...

ACA Affordability Percentage Increases for 2021

 August 13 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
As the summer starts to wind down, it’s easy slip into a “set it and forget it” mindset especially when it comes to compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Let’s face it, the ACA isn’t new. But, as many employers finalize renewal strategies and plan for 2020, it makes sense to check in on ACA compliance - especially the employer shared responsibility provisions...

Sex Discrimination and Group Health Plans: ACA Nondiscrimination and Supreme Court Bostock Decision

 July 9 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Much like having a lukewarm dinner date, employers find themselves in the position to try to interpret mixed signals on where to go from here when it comes to discrimination on the basis of gender in group health plans. HHS and the Supreme Court have taken different positions on the meaning of “sex” over the last few weeks. Employers would be wise to re-examine their benefit plans for ...

Agencies Issue Extension of Time under COBRA, but Should Employers Provide New Notices?

 June 23 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
You may recall that the Department of Labor and the IRS issued a Joint Rule at the end of April providing an extension of time for several participant deadlines under COBRA, HIPAA special enrollment rights, and the timeframes for certain other actions under ERISA covered health and welfare plans.  This guidance requires employers and plan sponsors to disregard the “Outbreak Period&rdquo...

Finally! Indexed PCORI Fee Announced

 June 9 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
The final piece of the ACA’s Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee puzzle has fallen into place for employers, plan sponsors, and insurers who have been patiently waiting.  The IRS announced the new fee for plan years ending between October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020.  The new fee required to be reported and paid on IRS Form 720 is $2.54 per covered life....

Insurers Give Premium Credits Due to COVID-19 – Can Employers Keep It?

 June 2 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Insurers are beginning to announce premium credits due to reduced claims expenses in the wake of stay at home orders due to COVID-19, but the major question this generates is, “Can an employer reap the benefits of the credit or is the employer required to share it with employees?”  Certain insurers are telling employers that they can keep the funds and others are saying that emplo...

More Flexibility for Employers Offering Section 125 Plans

 May 13 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
There is a saying about change by William Arthur Ward that I once read, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”   If there is one thing that we can count on from a regulatory perspective, it is that we need to learn to adjust the sails and do so quickly.  We have received numerous questions from clients ...

Section 139 Disaster Relief Payments

 May 6 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code allows employers to make and employees to receive tax-exempt payments in times of national emergency for “qualified disaster relief.”  The President declaring a state of national emergency on March 13th resulted in the coronavirus pandemic being a federally declared disaster, which paved the way for organizations to provide relief to indivi...

DOL and IRS Give the Gift of Time

 May 1 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Whether you are an employer plan sponsor or a plan participant, you can breathe a little easier knowing that DOL and the IRS has given you the gift of time.  The final rule issued this week extends certain notification deadlines for plans covered under ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code during the period of national emergency due to COVID-19.  The rule provides that the period from March...

Employer Provided Student Loan Repayment Gaining Traction?

 April 27 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Over the past several years, we have seen more and more employers wishing to provide a student loan benefit to their employees as an employee attraction and retention tool.  These programs take many forms and student loan repayment vendors can ease the process for employees (and employers making contributions on their behalf), by facilitating the payroll deduction process and making those pay...
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