DOL Issues Additional Guidance on AHP Final Rule

The fate of Association Health Plans (AHPs) is still up in the air as the Department of Labor (DOL) litigates against the State of New York regarding the DOL’s Final Rule on AHPs. These regulations were designed to expand the criteria that allowed employers to come together to form AHPs and be treated as a single plan under ERISA. A Federal District Court recently issued a ruling siding with the State of New York Read More

IRS Provides Additional Detail on Definition of ‘Medical Care’ Expenses

Many individuals have chosen health plans associated with health savings accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), or Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) to help supplement their health insurance needs. Recently, the IRS shared an information letter that provided additional insight on what would qualify as a medical expense reimbursable from an HSA, FSA, or other tax-favored accounts. This letter came in Read More

HHS Reduces Certain HIPAA Penalties

In good news for benefit plan fiduciaries constantly working to keep up with compliance, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that they are reducing some penalties for HIPAA violations. This includes reducing civil penalties in three of four possible penalty tiers, each of which has an annual limit. These penalties were first introduced in 2013 final Read More

IRS Updates Operational Compliance List (OCL) for 2019 Changes

In an effort to keep businesses, accountants, lawyers, and plan fiduciaries informed on policies, the IRS regularly publishes updates that are relevant for the coming year. The 2019 changes to the Operational Compliance List (OCL) were recently published, mainly focusing on changes relating to hardship distributions. The update also extended hurricane relief for victims of the 2018 hurricane season. Hardship Read More

2020 ACA Pay or Play: Penalties Continue to Rise!

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been around long enough that most businesses have settled into meeting its requirements, including mandatory reporting. This is good, since in 2020, the penalties for not complying with the ACA are going to increase. Take the time to review your plan and reporting and ensure you’re not making some basic mistakes that will likely result in fines.   Affordable Care Act Section Read More

Plan Sponsors Beware: The Importance of Retaining Employee Benefit Plan Documents

Fiduciaries and plan sponsors have a number of important tasks that they’re responsible for each year, from making sure employees have help getting their benefit plans set up to handling the different transactions needed to maintain the plan’s records and sending in all necessary paperwork and compliance reporting. Participant notifications are another important task, as is monitoring the changing legislative and Read More

DOJ Argues in Favor of Striking Down the ACA

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) argued in court in favor of striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In front of the federal appeals court, the DOJ argued that the removal of the individual mandate provision from the ACA renders the entire law unconstitutional. The brief supports the ruling issued by a Texas federal court that declared the ACA unlawful after a challenge by Texas and other Read More

IRS Expands Determination Letter Program

When setting up a benefit plan such as an individually designed 401(k) retirement plan, many businesses prefer to get the reassurance of an IRS determination letter to ensure their plan is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. In a 2016 Revenue Procedure update, the IRS indicated that they were eliminating the program that allowed plan sponsors to request a determination letter for an individually Read More

Case Study: Retirement Plan Redesign for Rapidly Growing Company

This blog is an excerpt of Anne Tyler Hall’s book “Case Studies in ERISA: Why It Matters And How It Benefits You, A Plan Sponsor’s Guide To Employee Benefits Legal Compliance”  request your free digital copy of the book here. Client: A professional services organization with approximately 350 employees and approximately $100 million in retirement plan assets. The organization grew rapidly over the past Read More

Final Conscience Rule from HHS

President Trump has been in the news promoting his promise to take steps to protect conscience and religious liberty of individuals and health care entities. He signed an executive order to this effect in May 2017, and 2017 the Department of Justice directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement religious freedom laws. Recently, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a final Read More