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New PCORI Fee Amounts Announced for the 2022 Reporting Period

The IRS just released IRS Notice 2022-04 that provides the updated fee for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) paid by fully insured and self-funded health plans for the upcoming tax reporting period. As we stated before, even though the original PCORI fee assessments under the Affordable Care Act were scheduled to end after September 30,...
December 22, 2021

It’s Almost the End of 2021. Do You Know Where Your Healthcare Dollars Go?

The CAA Transparency Rules Will Let Plans and Participants Know.  The Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the IRS (collectively the Departments) recently released the Interim Final Rules with a request for Comment (IFC), Prescription Drug and Health Care Spending.  These rules implement Section 204, Title II, another phase of the transparency provisions...
December 10, 2021

Pre-Thanksgiving ACA Reporting Relief That’s No Turkey

Just three weeks ago, we wrote that employers likely would not receive certain Affordable Care Act reporting relief to which they’ve become accustomed. But in a welcome turn of events, the IRS just released proposed regulations that make permanent a 30-day automatic extension for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals.  Such forms will now...
November 24, 2021

Mental Health Parity – Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold!

News Flash:  There’s no actual statutory mandate that employers offer group health coverage at all, much less coverage for specific conditions.  However, federal law requires health plans that provide mental health and substance use disorder coverage to ensure that the financial requirements (like coinsurance) and treatment limitations (like visit limits and provider access) applicable to...
November 22, 2021

Fifth Circuit ERISA Decision Denies Widow Paid-For Life Insurance Benefits

On October 19, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a widow supplemental group life insurance benefits of $300,000 upon her husband’s death even though he had paid the premiums for the coverage for four years through payroll deductions by his employer, National Oilwell Varco.  The case, Talasek v. National Oilwell Varco, L.P., appealed...
November 11, 2021

2022 Cost of Living Adjustments for Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced its cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations on benefits and contributions for retirement plans generally effective for Tax Year 2022 (see IRS Notice 2021-61). Most notably, the limitation on annual salary deferrals into a 401(k) or 403(b) plan will increase from $19,500 to $20,500. The more significant dollar limits...
November 5, 2021

The Pandemic Continues, but ACA Reporting Relief Does Not

As employers with 50 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees are well aware, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (”ACA”) requires annual submission of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the Internal Revenue Service, and distribution of Forms 1095-C.  These submissions and distributions are generally due:  Furnishing of Forms 1095-C to employees: January 31...
November 4, 2021

‘Segal Blend’ Withdrawal Liability Calculation Violates ERISA, Court Holds in Milestone Decision

The use of the “Segal Blend” to calculate a company’s withdrawal liability when it withdrew from a multiemployer pension plan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as amended by the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (MPPAA), because it was not the actuary’s best estimate, the federal appeals court in Cincinnati has held in...
October 8, 2021

Employer Vaccine Surcharges—Yes, You Can!

As employers consider implementing a vaccine mandate to encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, we have recently discussed the merits of imposing a “vaccine surcharge” on monthly health insurance premiums for those employees who remain unvaccinated.  There were unanswered questions about specific legal issues, but now the Department of Labor (DOL), Health and Human...
October 5, 2021

2021 Plan Amendment Deadlines and Other Looming Fourth Quarter Considerations

As the year draws to a close, it is helpful for employers to pause to evaluate employee benefit plan amendment deadlines and other crucial fourth-quarter considerations, including:  More…
October 1, 2021

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