September 2021 Compliance Recap

Category: Compliance

September 2021 Compliance Recap

Posted On: October 15, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

September saw a lot of activity in the compliance space, especially coming from the federal government.Vaccine Mandate Guidance Still PendingVaccine mandates were on everyone’s mind, especially after Delta Airlines announced its $200 monthly surcharge and weekly testing program for unvaccinated employees. The government joined the fray when President Biden released his Path Out of the Pandemic, a national strategy to combat the spread of COVID-19 variants. It included a series of executive orders requiring federal employees and contractors to get vaccinated, as well as directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to draft an emergency rule requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Until OSHA releases its emergency temporary standard, employers are left questioning what can and cannot be done to prepare. UBA and Fisher Phillips released a Compliance Advisor on this special topic.IRS Releases Guidance on Sick…


Employers COVID-19 Vaccine Resources & Kit

Posted On: October 11, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Sometimes its hard to keep up with all the latest recommendations and regulations. In an effort to ease the burden, we have compiled eight important resources that you can access when planning your COVID-19 vaccine practices. Access Here


Biden Announces New Vaccination Executive Order

Posted On: September 20, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

President Joe Biden took aim at vaccine resistance in America, announcing policies requiring most federal employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations and pushing large employers (100+) to have their workers inoculated or tested weekly. The below article outlines more details on these items included in the orders: 1. OSHA is directed to issue Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that all employees are fully vaccinated or able to produce a negative COVID-19 test result on at least a weekly basis; 2. A new Executive Order requires certain government contractors to comply with guidance, to be published later this month by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force Guidance or Guidance), which presumably will require that employees who work on or in connection with certain government contracts be vaccinated, regardless of whether they work on a federal site; 3. The Centers for Medicare…


ARPA Subsidy Period Expiration Reminder and Updated Guidance

Posted On: August 31, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

ARPA Subsidy Period Expiration Reminder and Updated Guidance Subsidy Period Expiration Notice ARPA requires subsidy expiration notices to be sent to Assistance Eligible Individuals (“AEIs”) prior to the expiration of the Subsidy Period. This Expiration Notice should be sent no more than 45 days and no less than 15 days prior to the expiration of the Subsidy Period. The Expiration Notice should advise of the date the Subsidy is to expire, and a statement that the individual may be eligible for coverage without premium assistance through COBRA continuation coverage or under a group health plan. This notice is not required for instances in which the loss of the Subsidy is due to the AEI becoming eligible for other group coverage or the maximum COBRA eligibility period ends prior to September 30, 2021. We are now within the 45 day period of the subsidy’s expiration date, so the notice may be…


Departments Defer Transparency and Disclosure Rule Enforcement, Provide FAQ Guidance

Posted On: August 26, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

Departments Defer Transparency and Disclosure Rule Enforcement, Provide FAQ Guidance On August 20, 2021, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (collectively, the Departments), issued FAQ guidance regarding provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the No Surprises Act (the Act) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). Specifically, the FAQ provide guidance to group health plans and health insurance carriers to help them comply with the final Transparency in Coverage Rules (TiC Final Rules) issued under the ACA and similar provisions in the CAA. This Advisor provides a high-level summary of the FAQ and its impact on employer plan sponsors. Background The TiC Final Rules require non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers that offer non-grandfathered group or individual coverage to disclose on a public website information about in-network provider rates for covered items and services, out-of-network allowed amounts and billed charges for covered…


No Surprise Billing: Interim Final Regulations Part 2

Posted On: August 16, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

No Surprise Billing: Interim Final Regulations Part 2 On July 1, 2021, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, along with the Office of Personnel Management (collectively, the Departments), issued an interim final rule (IFR) to explain provisions of the No Surprises Act (the Act) that passed as part of sweeping COVID-19 relief legislation signed in December 2020. The Act and IFR aim to protect consumers from excessive out-of-pocket costs resulting from surprise and balance medical billing. This Advisor is the second in a series that provides a high-level summary of the IFR and its impact on employer plan sponsors. Background Generally, under the Act and the IFR, group health plans, or health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage, that provide or cover any benefits for services in an emergency department of a hospital (including a hospital outpatient department that provides emergency services)…


June 2021 Compliance Recap

Posted On: July 23, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

June 2021 Compliance Recap June 2021 was not a busy month in the benefits industry, largely due to the summer vacation season and the Independence Day holiday. Importantly, however, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, the IRS unveiled a tool to assist families in taking advantage of the monthly Advance Child Tax Credit payments and issued a revised 2021 version of Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, to in part reflect the tax credit in connection with 100% COBRA subsidy under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). The Department of Labor (DOL) also issued guidance on the information to be disclosed pursuant to a participant’s request during a claims dispute. We continue to monitor and advise on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) Antitrust Settlement as the claim deadline nears. The ACA Upheld On June 17, 2021,…


IRS Issues Draft Form 1095-C

Posted On: July 22, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

IRS Issues Draft Form 1095-C The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued the 2021 Draft Form 1095-C, which is required to be filed with the IRS by applicable large employers (ALEs), to report the offer of health coverage to employees. New Codes An ALE that offers an individual coverage health reimbursement arrangement (ICHRA) can now use two previously-reserved codes in order to report offers of coverage: 1T. Individual coverage HRA offered to employee and spouse (no dependents) with affordability determined using employee's primary residence location ZIP code. 1U. Individual coverage HRA offered to employee and spouse (no dependents) using employee's primary employment site ZIP code affordability safe harbor. Additional Copies of Page 3 Permissible The 2021 instructions also clarify that self-funded plans that are required to complete Part III of Form 1095-C, and that have more than 13 covered individuals on a single Form 1095-C, may use additional copies of…


The IRS Issues the Most Recent Update to Form 941

Posted On: July 22, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

The IRS Issues the Most Recent Update to Form 941 On June 24, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service issued the most recent update to Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. The form has several new lines added to obtain credits for the COBRA subsidies offered under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Employers should be using this new revision for filings in the second quarter, due by August 2, 2021. Additionally, some revisions have been made to align Form 941 with the extension and amendments made to the Emergency Paid Family Sick Leave and Extended FMLA provisions included in ARPA. Employers should discard any unused Form 941 with revision dates earlier than June 2021. The new Form 941 may be downloaded here. If you have any questions, please contact us at icomply@ibpllc.com.   This Compliance communication is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions…


EEOC Extends EEO-1 Deadline for 2019 and 2020 Data Submissions

Posted On: July 22, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

EEOC Extends EEO-1 Deadline for 2019 and 2020 Data Submissions The New Deadline Gives Employers Another Month–Until August 23– To Complete Their Reports   Employers now have some extra time to submit equal employment opportunity (EEO-1) workforce data from 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on June 28, 2021. These reports were previously due by July 19, 2021. Employers now have until Aug. 23, 2021, to complete their submissions. The EEOC’s collection of this data, the portal for which opened on April 26, 2021, had been delayed numerous other times due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the EEO-1 Report is usually due by March 31 every year. If you have any questions, please contact us at icomply@ibpllc.com.   This Compliance communication is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should…


No Surprise Billing: Interim Final Regulations Part 1

Posted On: July 13, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

No Surprise Billing: Interim Final Regulations Part 1 On July 1, 2021, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, along with the Office of Personnel Management (collectively, the Departments), issued an interim final rule (IFR) to explain provisions of the No Surprises Act (the Act) that passed as part of sweeping COVID-19 relief legislation signed in December 2020. The Act and IFR aim to protect consumers from excessive out-of-pocket costs resulting from surprise and balance medical billing. This Advisor provides a high-level summary of the IFR. Background Under the Act, group health plans, or health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage, that provide or cover any benefits for services in an emergency department of a hospital (including a hospital outpatient department that provides emergency services) or an independent freestanding emergency department (in-network or out-of-network, also referred to as participating and nonparticipating), must cover…


EEOC Issues Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance

Posted On: June 22, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

EEOC Issues Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have issued this information related to vaccinations: Employers must be aware that certain individuals may opt to not be vaccinated, either for religious reasons or for medical reasons Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII, reasonable accommodations must be offered to these persons instead of requiring them to be vaccinated. Reasonable accommodations approved by the EEOC include: Face masks Social distancing from co-workers Working different shift hour Telecommuting and working from home Reassignment to a different role Employers may not require vaccinations for such employees unless they can show that the unvaccinated employee poses a direct threat to the employee's health and safety in the workplace. If you have any questions, please contact us at icomply@ibpllc.com.


Supreme Court Effectively Upholds ACA in Texas v. United States Ruling

Posted On: June 18, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Supreme Court Effectively Upholds ACA in Texas v. United States Ruling On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by a 7-to-2 vote. The Court heard oral arguments in the case, California v. Texas, on November 10, 2020, which was a consolidation of 20 cases filed by state attorneys general and governors. The three main issues in California v. Texas were: Whether Texas, the accompanying states, the federal government, and two individual plaintiffs have “standing” to sue, which means having a sufficient connection to and harm by the ACA as a precondition to challenging the law. Whether the elimination of the ACA’s penalty for individuals who do not maintain minimum essential coverage (MEC), also known as the individual mandate, renders the individual mandate unconstitutional. If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, whether the remainder of the ACA’s provisions are…


May 2021 Compliance Recap

Posted On: June 10, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

May 2021 Compliance Recap May 2021 was a somewhat busy month in the benefits industry. The absence of a significant of amount of agency guidance during the summer months is to be expected. However, the IRS finally issued guidance on the temporary 100% COBRA subsidy mandated by the American Plan Rescue Act of 2021 (the ARP), following guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The IRS also issued guidance on the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) carryover of unused benefits and on the child tax credit under the ARP. In addition, the IRS issued the 2022 limits for health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). The Biden Administration lowered the cost of marketplace plans and the DOL issued guidance on fiduciary cybersecurity obligations under ERISA covered plans. IRS COBRA Subsidy Guidance On May 18, 2021, the IRS issued IRS Notice 2021-31 in the form of FAQs,…


BCBSA Antitrust Settlement Classes Eligible for Proceeds

Posted On: June 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

BCBSA Antitrust Settlement Classes Eligible for Proceeds November 5, 2021 is the deadline for filing a claim in connection with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) $2.67 billion settlement reached in October 2020. The class action lawsuit was filed more than eight years ago by subscribers seeking injunctive and compensatory relief arising out of BCBSA’s alleged violation of federal antitrust laws. Although final court approval for the settlement has not been granted, the official administrator of the BCBSA has established a website to provide information and instructions for filing claims online and by mail. Payment of the settlement proceeds will be distributed to the settlement classes from the settlement fund after final court approval of the settlement. Settlement Classes Eligibility for settlement proceeds extends to individuals, insured groups (and their employees) and self-funded arrangements (and their employees) that purchased or were enrolled in a Blue Cross or Blue Shield…


IRS Draft Form 941 Reflects COBRA Subsidy Tax Credit

Posted On: June 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

IRS Draft Form 941 Reflects COBRA Subsidy Tax Credit The IRS recently released a draft of the revised 2021 version of Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, in order to, in part, reflect the tax credit in connection with the 100% COBRA subsidy under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). The COBRA subsidy is required to be provided to eligible individuals who experience an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours and that have not exhausted the maximum COBRA coverage period as of April 1, 2021. The ARP extended to those individuals an opportunity to make a COBRA election during a special election period that began on April 1, 2021, and ends on May 31, 2021. The duration of the COBRA subsidy period is six months, ending on September 30, 2021. Under the ARP, employer are entitled to a 100% tax credit for subsidizing COBRA on behalf of…


Upcoming Challenges with ACA in 2021

Posted On: June 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

Upcoming Challenges with ACA in 2021 IRS Eliminates Transition Relief and Removes Threshold Expanding Eligibility In previous year, the IRS has provided relief of penalties to reporting entities that report incomplete or incorrect information as long as these entities can show they made a good-faith effort to comply with the information reporting requirements. In late 2020, the IRS released Notice 2020-76, which among other things, provided for a good-faith waiver for 2020 ACA Reporting to apply to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and birthdates, as well as other information. Unfortunately, in this same Notice the IRS states: “As this good-faith relief was intended to be transitional relief, this is the last year the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to provide this relief.” However, the IRS did renew their request for comments related to furnishing requirements under 6055 and 6056 of the ACA regulations. They further state: “Unless we receive comments that explain why this…


Frequently Asked Questions About the Patient-Centered Outcomes/Comparative Effectiveness (PCORI Fee)

Posted On: June 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

Frequently Asked Questions About the Patient-Centered Outcomes/Comparative Effectiveness (PCORI Fee) Q1: What plans does the PCORI fee apply to? A1: All plans that provide medical coverage to employees owe this fee. Medical coverage includes preferred provider (PPO) plans, health maintenance organization (HMO) plans, point-of-service (POS) plans, high deductible health plans (HDHPs), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). The fee does not apply to: Stand-alone dental and vision plans (stand-alone means these benefits are elected separately from medical, or the benefits are provided under separate insurance policies from the medical coverage) Life insurance Short- and long-term disability and accident insurance Long-term care Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs), as long as the employee also is offered medical coverage and any employer contribution is (in most cases) $500 or less Health savings accounts (HSAs) Hospital indemnity or specified illness coverage Employee assistance programs (EAPs) and wellness programs that do not provide significant medical care…


2021 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee

Posted On: June 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

2021 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee deadline is around the corner. In Notice 2020-84, the IRS adjusted the applicable dollar amount to be multiplied by the average number of covered lives for purposes of calculating the fee for policy years and plan years that end on or after October 1, 2020, and before October 1, 2021. The fee for the forgoing period is $2.66. Although the PCORI fee is based on the plan year, the reporting and fee due date is always July 31. However, for 2021 the deadline will be August 2, instead of the usual July 31 deadline because the 31st falls on a Saturday. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurers and sponsors of self-funded group health plans to pay the fee using IRS form 720. The PCORI fee is based on covered lives. Accordingly, both employees and…


April 2021 Compliance Recap

Posted On: May 12, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

April 2021 Compliance Recap April was a busy month in the benefits industry, largely due to the temporary 100% COBRA subsidy mandated by the American Plan Rescue Act of 2021 (the ARP). The Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services (the Departments) jointly issued FAQs regarding the amendments to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) made by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, enacted December 27, 2020 (CAA). Additionally, the Biden Administration encouraged every employer in America take advantage of the ARP tax credit by offering full pay to their employees for any time off needed to get vaccinated and for any time it takes to recover from the after-effects of vaccination. The Department of Labor (DOL) also issued important information on self-funded plans. COBRA Subsidy The COBRA Subsidy is required to be provided to eligible individuals who have not exhausted the maximum COBRA…


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