August 15, 2019

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And in this Corner…the Fight to Expand Association Health Plans Continues

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Advisory Opinion 2019-01a to little fanfare on July 8, 2019, but the DOL’s move was a little bigger than the attention it received. It marked Round #3 in the ongoing battle between certain states and the DOL over the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs). The Bottom Line […]

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August 5, 2019

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Fall Protection Device Stop Use & Recall Notice

3M Fall Protection announces an immediate stop use and product recall of the 3M DBI-SALA Twin-Leg Nano-Lok edge and the Twin-Leg Nano-Lok Wrap Back Self-Retracting Lifeline. 3M has determined that in a fall and under certain conditions, the energy absorber of these devices may not properly deploy which could expose the worker to serious injury […]

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July 26, 2019

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IRS Expands Definition of Preventive Care for Qualified High Deductible Health Plans

Authors: Allie Waits & Jennifer Stanley In June, the Trump Administration issued Executive Order 13877 requiring various federal agencies to develop rules designed to assist patients in making informed decisions about their healthcare. A summary of this Executive Order can be found in our earlier Alert. In the Order, the IRS was directed to issue […]

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July 10, 2019

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Tax Consequences of Gym Membership Reimbursement

All Good Deeds Get Taxed… In order to encourage employees to exercise, some employers and insurance carriers reimburse or subsidize employees for the cost of a gym membership. Cash or cash equivalent rewards (i.e., gift cards) are always taxable income to the employee. Employers frequently offer non-cash rewards to employees in the belief that such […]

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July 9, 2019

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Agencies Release 2020 Adjusted Limits

Now that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has released its final rules, and the IRS has released Rev. Proc. 2019-25, we know the 2020 cost-of-living adjustments for non-grandfathered plans subject to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), and health savings accounts (HSAs). For comparison purposes, the limits for […]

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July 9, 2019

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The Affordable Care Act’s Employer Mandate: Part 1

Determining Applicable Large Employer Status This article is Part 1 in a series intended to provide an overview of the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions (also known as the “employer mandate”) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The employer mandate generally requires certain employers – known as applicable large employers – to offer medical coverage to […]

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July 2, 2019

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President Signs Executive Order to Improve Healthcare Price and Quality Transparency

The President signed an Executive Order (or “Order”) on June 24, 2019, directing the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Treasury, and Labor (collectively, the “Tri-Agencies”) and other federal departments (together, the “Various Agencies”) to develop rules designed to assist patients in making informed decisions about their healthcare. What and When… This Order […]

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June 19, 2019

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New Health Reimbursement Arrangements Allowed Under Final Rules

The President signed an Executive Order on October 12, 2017, directing the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Agencies”) to consider rules expanding the availability and permitted uses for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The clear intent was to ultimately enable employers to offer HRAs to employees that can be […]

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April 17, 2019

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National Health Observance for April – World Immunization Week (April 22-28)

Each year, the last week of April is marked by the World Health Organization (WHO) as World Immunization Week.  The purpose of this week is to promote the use of immunizations to protect people of all ages against disease. The standard definition of “immunization” is the action of making a person or animal immune to […]

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April 10, 2019

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Paying medical claims with a Health Savings Account. When can it be done tax free?

I have run into this situation several times recently: An employee attempts to pay for their qualified medical expense claim with their health savings account (HSA) tax-free dollars, but are still taxed or face penalties. Why would this happen? Well, the ability to pay with tax-free HSA dollars is not based on when an employee […]

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April 2, 2019

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Association Health Plans (AHPs) – Update

Round One in the Fight over the new AHP Rules [Mostly] goes to the States Last summer, eleven states and the District of Columbia (the “States”) sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) over its final regulations intended to promote the expansion of AHPs (the “new rules”) on several grounds, including claims that the new […]

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March 27, 2019

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U.S. Department of Labor Releases Proposed Overtime Rule

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to revise the overtime salary thresholds under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule would increase the weekly salary threshold for exempt employees from $455 ($23,660 annually) to $679 ($35,308 annually). The DOL made earlier […]

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