The IRS has issued final regulations amending the hardship distribution rules for qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) and 403(b) plans, as well as for 457(b) plans. The final regulations are substantially similar to the proposed regulations that were issued in November 2018, but provide a few clarifications.  Plans that have been complying with the proposed regulations will satisfy the final regulations.
Continue Reading IRS Issues Final Regulations Relaxing 401(k) Hardship Distribution Rules

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

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 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

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights published final rules implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability by healthcare providers and group health plans that receive federal financial assistance. The rules include restrictions on discrimination relating to gender identity, as well as requirements regarding accessibility for individuals with limited English and with disabilities.
Continue Reading ACA Update: New HHS Nondiscrimination Rules Applicable to Certain Employee Health Plans

A recent decision from the California Labor Commissioner’s Office found that a former Uber driver was an employee of the company, not an independent contractor as the firm has labeled its motorists.
Continue Reading California Finds Uber Drivers are Employees, Not Independent Contractors – Ruling Could Shake Up Mobile App-Based Business Model