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

The White House Blog: Employer Mandate Under the Affordable Care Act Delayed for One Year

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 3, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans On July 2 the White House announced that it is delaying the enforcement of the employer mandate that it provide health care coverage to employees or pay a penalty (the “play or pay” provisions) until 2015. According to...


IRS Issues Q&As on Affordable Care Act Research Trust Fund Fees – First Filings Due July 31, 2013

By Jeffrey Cairns | June 14, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a number of new taxes and fees to be assessed to pay for many of the new federal health care mandates. One of such fees is called the Patient- Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund Fee (“PCORI fee”), which is to be remitted to a new Patient-Centered Outcome Research...


DOL (Finally) Issues Model Exchange Notice

By Lori | May 15, 2013

Health Care Reform On May 8, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued long-awaited temporary guidance and a model notice to be provided to employees about upcoming coverage options through the health care exchange, known as the Marketplace, established as a part of the health care reform legislation. This notice was originally...


I’m an Applicable Large Employer – To Whom Must I Offer Health Coverage in Order to Avoid Pay or Play Penalties?

By Lori | March 12, 2013

Health Care Reform Beginning in 2014, the employer shared responsibility mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires applicable large employers (those employing on average at least 50 full-time equivalent employees on business days during the preceding calendar year (also see previous blog on determining if you...


DOL Publishes Helpful Self Compliance Tools

By Angela Bohmann | March 6, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Department of Labor has published two checklists that plan sponsors can use to test their compliance with group health plan requirements. One checklist addresses the Affordable Care Act (ACA or health care reform) provisions, including a plan’s status as a “grandfathered” plan exempt from some ACA...


I’m Not an Applicable Large Employer under the Affordable Care Act…or am I?

By Lori | February 8, 2013

Health Care Reform Only applicable large employers may be assessed a penalty under the employer shared responsibility mandate of the Affordable Care Act.  An applicable large employer is defined by the regulations as one that has employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees (taking into account full-time equivalent employees...


Proposed Rules Issued on Contraceptive Coverage

By Lori |

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Affordable Care Act requires most health plans to cover certain women’s preventive services, including contraception, without charging a co-pay or deductible. On January 30, 2013, the Obama Administration released proposed rules that continue to implement provisions in the health care law providing women...


Health Care Reform “Pay or Play” Guidance Issued

By Lori | February 1, 2013

Health Care Reform In early January, the Internal Revenue Service published proposed regulations on “Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage.”  These regulations incorporate the provisions of many previous Notices with some modifications, and also propose guidance on additional issues under the Patient...


Remember to report the value of health coverage on employees’ 2012 Form W-2s

By Lori | January 2, 2013

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers who issue 250 or more W-2s in a year to report the aggregate cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan in Box 12 of each employee’s Form W-2, using code DD. In general, the amount reported should include both the employer and...


Certain Plan Designs Will Cost More Under the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fees

By Angela Bohmann | December 24, 2012

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Affordable Care Act establishes a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute as a private nonprofit corporation to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers and policy makers in making informed health decisions using evidence based medicine. The Institute is to be funded through a trust fund called the...