Category Archives: Employee Benefits

Jul 8, 2016 – Compliance Observer Alert – DOL Increases Penalties for Health Plan Violations

July 8, 2016 DOL Increases Penalties for Health Plan Violations Applies to: All Employers Background The 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act (the “Act”) includes provisions to strengthen the civil monetary penalties under various federal laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). Pursuant to the Act, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) must adjust ERISA’s civil […]

Jul 5, 2016 – Compliance Observer Alert – Appeal of Exchange Subsidy Notices

July 5, 2016 Appeal of Exchange Subsidy Notices Applies to:  All EMPLOYERS As previously addressed in our 2nd Quarter Compliance Observer, beginning this spring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would begin sending Exchange subsidy notices to employers who had an employee(s) enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace and […]

Jun 10, 2016 – Compliance Observer Alert – How to Handle Tax Treatment of Wellness Rewards

June 10, 2016 How to Handle Tax Treatment of Wellness Rewards Applies to: All employers In response to vendors in the insurance and wellness market introducing certain “wellness programs” designed as a “tax savings” to employers, the IRS recently released a memorandum providing its views on the tax treatment of rewards under employer wellness plans. […]

Jun 10, 2016 – Compliance Observer Alert – The Next Round of PCORI Fees

June 10, 2016 The Next Round of PCORI Fees Applies to: Issuers and Self-insured Health Plans The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance issuers and sponsors of self-insured health plans to pay Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute fees (PCORI fees). The fees are reported and paid annually using IRS Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax […]

May 20, 2016 – Compliance Observer Alert – DOL Issues New Overtime Payment Rules

May 20, 2016 DOL Issues New Overtime Payment Rules On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule regarding overtime wage payment qualifications for the “white collar exemptions” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule increases the salary an employee must be paid in order to qualify […]

May 20, 2016 – Compliance Observer Alert – HHS Issues Final Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs

May 20, 2016 HHS Issues Final Rule on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs On May 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued the Final Rule titled “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities,” which prohibits discrimination under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). HHS states that […]

May 18, 2016 – Compliance Observer Alert – EEOC Issues Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs

May 18, 2016 EEOC Issues Final Rules on Employer Wellness Programs The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final rules clarifying how Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness programs. The final rules remain fairly consistent with the […]

Apr. 25, 2016 – Compliance Observer Alert – HIPAA Compliance Reviews – Audit Protocol

April 25, 2016 HIPAA Compliance Reviews – Audit Protocol The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the second phase of its HIPAA audit program, which focuses on compliance with HIPAA’s Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules. HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for conducting these audits. This second phase of […]

Compliance Observer Newsletter

Compliance Observer Newsletter – January 2016 Employee Benefits Year-End Recap As it seems to be its usual modus operandi around any holiday, the government was busy during this past holiday season issuing employee benefits related guidance, regulations, and updates. Many employers who were taking a well-deserved break during this time may have missed some of […]

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