Understanding Employee Benefits

Federal Agencies Issue Guidance that Valid Same Sex Marriages Recognized for All Federal Tax Purposes

By

On August 29, 2013, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued a public announcement and released Revenue Ruling 2013-17 wherein it answered a number of open questions concerning the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision, United States v. Windsor. This is the case that overturned the federal... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan, Retirement Plans

Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Defense of Marriage Act – Open Questions for Benefit Plan Sponsors

By

On June 26, 2013, in a 5-4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1993 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as a violation of Fifth Amendment guarantees of equal protection and equal liberty. The case, United States v. Windsor No.12-307(US June 26, 2013)  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_6j37.pdf dealt with the... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Payroll, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans

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

By

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. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/02/we-re-listening-businesses-about-health-care-law. According to the White House Blog, the other provisions of the Affordable Care... Read More

Topics: Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans

Health Insurance Carriers Must Also be Careful in What They Tell Plan Participants

By

I blogged recently warning employers to be careful when enrolling employees in plan benefits because the employer could be responsible to pay life insurance or disability benefits if an employee who is improperly enrolled incurs a claim. The increased liability comes from the recent Supreme Court decision, Cigna v. Amara, ... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan

Final Regulations Issued on Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs in Group Health Plans

By

HIPAA nondiscrimination provisions prohibit group health plans and health insurance issuers from discriminating against individual participants and beneficiaries in eligibility, benefits, or premiums based on a health factor.  Wellness programs offered in conjunction with group health plans must also be nondiscriminatory. Final regulations issued on June 3, 2013, describe nondiscriminatory... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Welfare Plans

New Requirements for BAAs

By

As many employers know, HIPAA rules require them to sign on behalf of their health plans Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) with the vendors who assist in plan administration. Many employers also know that earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued final regulations which will require... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan