For at least one more year, health plans, including employer-sponsored plans, will be able to exclude the value of drug manufacturer discounts from participant deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, even where no medically appropriate generic drug is available. 
Continue Reading Government Hits Pause on HHS Prescription Drug Rule Set to Take Effect January 1, 2020

The current trend at both the state and federal levels is moving in the direction of mandatory paid family leave.  For example, in recent years, 6 states (California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington) and the District of Columbia have enacted mandatory paid family leave benefits for employees.  Moreover, at least 18 other states are currently considering some form of paid family leave legislation.
Continue Reading As State Paid Family Leave Laws Increase, U.S. Congress Considers Nationwide Paid Family Leave

If you are looking for options to lower your annual PBGC premiums and reduce overall pension liability including plan termination liability), a retiree lump-sum window may again be a viable option. De-risking strategies are methods a company can implement to reduce its pension plan’s administrative expenses, PBGC premiums and overall pension liability.
Continue Reading The IRS does an “About-Face” on Restricting a Key Pension Plan De-Risking Strategy

As we move closer to implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, companies should consider how the new law could affect their operations in multiple ways – including, for example, data collected through their employee benefit plans.
Continue Reading CCPA: Employers Should Consider Implications for Employee Benefit Plans

On October 29, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services jointly released proposed regulations in response to President Trump’s executive order calling for an expansion of the ability of employers to offer health reimbursement arrangements to their employees and to allow HRAs to be used in conjunction with nongroup coverage.
Continue Reading Proposed Regulations Expand Availability of Heath Reimbursement Arrangements

The 2017 Tax Act (the “Act”) imposes a 21 percent excise tax on compensation in excess of $1 million and “excess” severance paid by covered tax exempt organizations to certain employees starting in 2018.  As reflected in the Act’s legislative history, the general intent behind this excise tax is to put tax exempt organizations (which are generally exempt from income taxation) in roughly the same position tax-wise as publicly held and other for-profit companies which cannot deduct excess compensation and “golden parachute” payments paid to their covered employees.  
Continue Reading New “Excess” Compensation Excise Tax for Tax Exempt Organizations

The IRS recently updated the FAQs on its website regarding the employer mandate to provide some details on the process it will use to impose penalties for failure to provide coverage to “ACA full-time” employees (those working 30 or more hours per week) in accordance with Section 4980H of the Code (often referred to as the “employer mandate”).
Continue Reading IRS Indicates That Employer Mandate Penalty Letters Are Coming Soon

On May 4, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, which is aimed at repealing and replacing portions of the Affordable Care Act. While many of the changes do not affect employer-sponsored coverage, there are several changes in the bill that are likely to be of interest to employers.
Continue Reading The American Health Care Act: What It May Mean for Employers

The IRS has issued final versions of Forms 1095-C and 1094-C as well as updated final instructions on completing these forms. While the instructions and forms remain similar to those used last year, there are a few key changes worth noting.
Continue Reading ACA Update: IRS Issues Final Versions of 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and Instructions