DOL Provides Guidance on Health Plan Fiduciary Responsibilities

Employers offer group health plans because they’re required to by law or, if they’re smaller employers, because they feel it is an important benefit for their team. Any individual involved with a group health plan who maintains discretion over plan assets or administration is a fiduciary with certain associated responsibilities. Specifically, employers sponsoring group health plans are subject to the Employee Read More

Are Individual HRAs the New Alternative to Group Health Coverage?

Many businesses use health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Recently finalized guidance from the Trump Administration, effective beginning in 2020, offers additional opportunities for businesses to utilize HRAs. Employers with more than 50 full-time employees must offer ACA-compliant health coverage and HRAs offer an option different from providing traditional group health plans. HRAs under the new rules must meet Read More

How Will the SEC’s Best Interest Rules Impact Plan Sponsors?

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted a new set of rules and related interpretations that include increased standards for broker-dealers and offers clarification around the duties of registered investment advisors (RIAs). These rules are focused on retail investors including individual retirements accounts (IRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and retirement rollover plans. This new Read More

DOL Issues Opinion Letter on Whether Health Plan Qualifies as AHP and MEWA

Ace Hardware Company is a retailer cooperative that serves over 2,700 retail store owners operating over 4,400 stores as well as 120 corporate stores. Recently, they requested an opinion from the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding whether its health plan qualified as an association health plan (AHP) and a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA). ACE: Retail and Healthcare Cooperative? The hardware cooperative Read More

October 2019 Newsletter | IRS Confirms Continued Applicability of ACA’s Employer ‘Pay or Play’ Penalty, Clarifies That Neither Transition Relief Nor Hardship Waivers Apply

Click here to read our October 2019 newsletter! Read More

Federal District Court Allows Excessive Fee Lawsuit Related to PHI Request

Recently, a federal district court heard a lawsuit where patients argued that healthcare providers and healthcare recordkeepers were charging fees for patients to access their medical records. Under HIPAA, healthcare providers are required to provide an individual a copy of their medical records upon request. They have the right to inspect, transmit copies, or get a copy of the records. The Department of Health and Read More

Supreme Court Seeks Input on Scope of ERISA Preemption of PBMs

Pharmacy benefits management programs (PBMs) are under consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court thanks to a case they are currently hearing in which the court has been asked to define the scope of ERISA preemption regarding PBMs. The state of Arkansas sought and was granted certiorari in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association. They want to know whether states have the ability, under the ERISA Read More

How to Handle Your Company’s Failure to Submit a Health and Welfare Plan SAR to Participants

Business owners, human resources professionals, and benefit plan administrators work hard to stay on top of the mountain of compliance paperwork necessary to run their programs. Occasionally, benefits legal compliance documentation may fall through the cracks. In most cases, however, a failure to submit the required paperwork just means going back and correcting the mistake, paying a fine, and perhaps some basic Read More

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Withholding for Qualified Retirement Plan Participants with Non-U.S. Address

For international companies with operations in many countries, complying with local regulations can be complicated by individuals who are from one country, but living in another and thus have a non-U.S. permanent address. In May, the IRS proposed new regulations regarding the required tax withholding that will impact these individuals specifically. Currently, withholdings are required when distributions are made to Read More

Multiple Employer Plan Proposed Regulations Provide Exception to “One-Bad-Apple” Rule

Recent proposed regulation changes from the IRS include a possible exception to the “unified plan rule” for defined-contribution multiple employer plan. This exception would occur if certain conditions are met and one participating employer fails to meet plan qualification requirements or fails to provide the information necessary to determine compliance with qualification requirements.   Current Read More