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The Treasury Department issued a proposed rule on Premium Tax Credits that includes clarifications on how cash in lieu of insurance arrangements in a cafeteria plan (aka opt out arrangements) are treated for purposes of the affordability calculation under the ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Rules. The final rule is expected in 2016 following a comment period, and will be effective January 1, 2017.
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Categories: Health Care Reform, Compliance, Health Care in General | Tags: Cash-in-Lieu , Opt-out , ACA , 1095-C , IRS

IRS and DOL Propose Form 5500 Revisions

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Just a few short weeks after the DOL announced the penalties will increase to $2,063 per day for failure to file Form 5500s, on July 21, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) (together called Agencies) will publish in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Forms Revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report Series.
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Categories: Benefits in General, Health Care Reform, Compliance | Tags: IRS , DOL , 5500 , Group Health Plans , FSA , HRA , HDHP

DOL Penalties Adjusted for Inflation

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The Department of Labor (DOL) published an interim final rule on June 30, 2016, to adjust the civil monetary penalties enforced by the DOL for inflation. The catch up adjustments apply to penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, for associated violations that occurred after November 2, 2015.
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Categories: Benefits in General, Health Care Reform, Compliance | Tags: DOL , 5500 , SBC , Penalty
The IRS reported in late June that they were investigating system errors with ACA Reporting submissions and followed with another announcement on June 30th indicating that the ACA Information Returns (AIR) system will remain up and running after the June 30th deadline.
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Categories: Health Care Reform, Compliance | Tags: IRS , ACA Reporting

EEOC Issues Sample Notice for Wellness Plans

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The EEOC recently provided a sample notice to help employers comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act with regard to their wellness plans. The notice describes what medical information will be collected as part of the wellness program, who will receive the information, how it will be used and how it will be kept confidential. The requirement that employers provide the notice will take effect on or after January 1, 2017, on the first day of the plan year for the health plan that the empl...
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Categories: Compliance | Tags: wellness , wellness plan , wellness program , EEOC , notice , ADA , disabilities , health questions , biometric screening , employer

When is an Activity Tracker Medical Care?

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The Issue: How do you determine when or if an Activity Tracker (i.e. Fitbit) is eligible for pre-tax reimbursement under a flexible spending account (FSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or Health Savings Account (HSA)? Activity Trackers (i.e. Fitbit, etc.) are gaining popularity to help individuals maintain overall general health, as well participate in workplace wellness programs that reward healthy behavior for activity.
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Categories: Compliance, Health Care in General | Tags: Wellness , IRS , Medical Care , FSA , HRA , HSA
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued final regulations (“Final Rule”) expanding the categories of persons who may now be considered plan “fiduciaries,” by broadening the definition of what constitutes giving “investment advice” to plans, participants and beneficiaries with respect to plans that are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”). Importantly, the Final Rule also pulls within i...
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Categories: Uncategorized, Compliance | Tags: DOL , HSA

IRS Releases Updated Form 720 for PCOR Fees

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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) fee is to fund research on patient outcomes. Employer sponsored health plan(s) are subject to PCOR fees). An employer that has a HRA that is integrated with a major medical plan will pay a PCOR fee on the HRA and the insurer will pay the PCOR fee on the insured plan. May 26, 2016, the IRS released a revision to the IRS Form 720 that can be used for the PCOR fees due by July 31, 2016.
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Categories: Health Care Reform, Compliance | Tags: PCOR , IRS , HRA

IRS Addresses Tax Treatment of Wellness Benefits

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Without the proper structure and plan design, cash rewards, including gym memberships, as well as premium reimbursements for participating in a wellness program may be considered taxable "wages" to employees.
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Categories: Compliance | Tags: IRS , wellness , wages , cash rewards , gym membership , HRA , Flexible Spending Account , Cafeteria Plan
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released final rules on May 17, 2016 amending both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) to further clarify the effect of those laws on workplace wellness programs. This guidance provides welcome assistance to the increasing number of employers that are offering wellness programs to promote health and reduce health care costs for their employees.
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Categories: Compliance, Health Care in General | Tags: HHS , Wellness , EEOC , ADA , GINA
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