Understanding Employee Benefits

Texting Can Cause HIPAA Violations

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The Office for Civil Rights, which is the arm of the Department of Health and Human Services that enforces HIPAA privacy and security rules, recently announced the settlement of an enforcement action against a small cardiothoracic surgery practice. The practice reportedly posted protected health information (PHI) on an internet-based publically... Read More

Topics: Health Plan

Bad Things Can Happen to Employers Who Do Not Follow the Terms of Their Group Health Insurance Policies

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Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (“Blue Cross”) insured New Life Homecare, Inc. (“New Life”) under a group health insurance contract. The insurance contract required New Life to enroll at least 75% of its eligible participants in the plan and provided that no more than 15% of the eligible employees could... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Welfare Plans

Agreement With Single Employee is Not an ERISA Plan

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If an arrangement is subject to ERISA, state law claims relating to that arrangement are preempted. In some situations, therefore, employers try to argue that a particular arrangement is subject to ERISA. In a recent decision involving a state law breach of contract claim, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals... Read More

Topics: Deferred Compensation and 409A, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Executive Compensation

Labor Issues Q&As on Required Fee Disclosures to Participants

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            Once the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) fee disclosures are made from covered service providers to plan fiduciaries, plan fiduciaries are required to relay fee information relating to designated investment alternatives to plan participants.  The Department of Labor issued final regulations in 2010 outlining the requirements for these new disclosures,  29... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans

HSA/HDHP Limits for 2013

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The IRS has released the 2013 limits for Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions. The annual contribution limit for 2013 increases to $3,250 for an individual with self only coverage and $6,450 for an individual with family coverage from $3,100 and $6,250, respectively for 2012. The minimum annual deductible for a qualifying... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan