Benefits Notes |

Employee benefits are an important part of every employees' total compensation package. The continuously evolving landscape in the areas of health care reform, retirement plan design, and executive compensation makes it difficult for employee benefits professionals to keep up with relevant developments. The employee benefits attorneys at Stinson Leonard Street provide human resources professionals, plan fiduciaries, actuaries, accountants, and others in the industry with practical and cost-effective assistance as they navigate through the complex laws, regulations and guidance that govern employee benefits plans. This blog highlights key developments in the employee benefits field and items of interest to our clients. Our Bloggers →

Latest Health Care Reform Posts

IRS Begins Issuing ACA Employer Mandate Penalty Notices

By Tom Dowling | November 27, 2017

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicated that it would begin enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Employer Shared Responsibility provisions (commonly known as the "Employer Mandate"). Last week, the IRS followed through on its promise and began mailing notices informing employers of potential...

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New Law Permits Stand-Alone Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) For Small Employers

By Todd Martin | December 14, 2016

Cafeteria Plans, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans On December 13, 2016 President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. The law had been approved with bipartisan support in the House by a vote of 392 to 26 and in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 5.  The law addresses a number of health care issues such as streamlining the process for FDA approval of drugs...

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EEOC Loses Another Wellness Case, Part 2 – Beware the ACA Penalties

By Angela Bohmann | March 4, 2016

Health Care Reform, Health Plan In my last blog post, I discussed a recent loss by the EEOC in its efforts to limit the ability of employers to require employees to complete health risk assessments (HRAs) or biometric screenings in order to enroll in the employer's health plan. I said that I would discuss an Affordable Care Act (ACA) reason why...

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EEOC Loses Another Wellness Case, Part 1

By Angela Bohmann | March 2, 2016

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The EEOC has been bringing lawsuits against employers challenging wellness programs. A recent case involved a company that had previously provided a credit to employees enrolled in the health plan who participated in a health risk assessment (HRA) and biometric screenings. The company had eliminated the credit and...

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Business As Usual: Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies

By Tom Dowling | July 6, 2015

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans The United States Supreme Court recently held in King v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permits individuals to receive health insurance premium subsidies through federally-facilitated exchanges (in addition to state-based exchanges). Because this decision is consistent with existing agency interpretation,...

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Retiree Medical Plans can Impose Lifetime Limits

By Angela Bohmann | June 9, 2015

Health Care Reform, Health Plan Employers who sponsor medical plans know that those plans can no longer impose lifetime limits on essential health benefits. One exception is for medical plans that cover fewer than two active employees. Retiree medical plans that are separate from the plan for active employees can meet that exception. A recent...

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Some Wellness Benefits are Taxable

By Angela Bohmann | May 15, 2015

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll My colleagues blogged on recent wellness guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the three agencies charged with enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The guidance from the EEOC...

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EEOC Challenges Honeywell’s Wellness Program

By Angela Bohmann | December 3, 2014

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The EEOC recently sued Honeywell International, Inc., claiming that Honeywell’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Although the EEOC sued two other employers for wellness program violations before it sued Honeywell, this is...

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Attention All You Procrastinators!

By Angela Bohmann | November 17, 2014

Health Care Reform The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has postponed to 11:59 pm on December 5, 2014, the deadline for health insurance issuers and self funded plans to submit their annual enrollment count for the transitional reinsurance program. The deadline was otherwise November 15, 2014. The payment deadlines of...

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Pruitt v. Burwell Ruling Unlikely to have Major Impact on Employers in Near Term

By Sam Butler and Tom Dowling | October 1, 2014

Health Care Reform On Tuesday, September 30, federal Judge Ronald White of the Eastern District of Oklahoma ruled in Pruitt v. Burwell that the plain text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") does not allow for the provision of subsidies to individuals purchasing health coverage through a federally-facilitated...

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