November Compliance Recap

Category: Compliance

November Compliance Recap

Posted On: December 9, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance

November was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released draft 2019 instructions for Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C. The IRS also released health plan limits and various compensation, benefit, and contribution levels under qualified retirement plans for 2020. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalty amounts. The Department of Labor (DOL) released advance copies of Form 5500 and related instructions for 2019. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) materials and supporting documents for plan years beginning 2021. A district court vacated the conscience rights protection final rule. The IRS, DOL, and HHS (collectively, Departments) released proposed rules on coverage transparency for health plans and issuers and final rules on price transparency requirements for hospitals. IRS Releases Draft 2019 Instructions for Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C The…


IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadline for Furnishing Statements for 2019 from January 31 to March 2, 2020

Posted On: December 3, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

In Notice 2019-63, the IRS extended the 2020 deadline for employers and insurers to furnish individual statements on 2019 health coverage and full-time employee status (Forms 1095-B and 1095-C) from January 31 to March 2. The notice also extends the good-faith penalty relief to 2019 for incorrect or incomplete reports due in 2020. In the Notice, the IRS did not extend the due date for filing the 1094 and 1095 forms with the IRS. If filing by paper, forms are due February 28, 2020, or March 31, 2020, if filing electronically. Please remember that filers can still take advantage of an automatic 30-day extension of the IRS filing deadline by submitting Form 8809 before the relevant due date. IRS indicated that it will continue to require the Filing of Form 1095-B and the completion of Part III of Form 1095-C for 2019. Notice 2019-63 also extends the good-faith relief to 2019. This relief applies to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers…


Innovative Welcomes Lisa as Director of Compliance

Posted On: November 13, 2019 | Categorized as: Company News, Compliance

We are excited to announce the latest addition to the Innovative Benefit Planning team! Please join us in welcoming Lisa A. Hill as our Director of Compliance.  As Director of Compliance, Lisa will be a valuable resource to Innovative’s leadership team, employees, and clients in ensuring all compliance needs are met. Lisa will be critical in guiding Innovative and our clients through federal, state, and industry regulations and standards. She will be responsible for developing, overseeing, and evaluating control systems to prevent or deal with violations of legal guidelines and internal policies. Moreover, Lisa will be a valuable resource to guide our clients through the proper steps and identify potential liabilities associated with various employee benefits options. Prior to accepting this position, Lisa spent 16 years as an attorney with law firms in California. During that time, she litigated wage and hour class actions and advised clients on such topics…


2020 IRS Contribution Limits Released

Posted On: November 8, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

On Wednesday, the IRS announced new contribution limits for medical FSA, Commuter Benefit, and HSA plans for 2020.  The FSA contribution will increase to $2,750, a $50 increase from current limits. The HSA contribution limit for individuals with a high deductible health plan (HDHP) will likewise be raised from $3,500 for an individual and $7,000 for a family to $3,550 for an individual and $7,100 for a family.  The IRS also adjusted the contribution limits for adoption assistance programs, increasing the limit from $14, 080 to $14,300. The current and new contribution limits are listed below:   2019 2020 Medical FSA Contribution Limit   $2,700 $2,750 Monthly Commuter Benefits Contribution Limit $265 $270 HSA Contribution Limit Single:   $3,500 Family: $7,000 Single:   $3,550 Family: $7,100 Adoption Assistance Limit   $14,080 $14,300


October Compliance Recap

Posted On: November 5, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance

Compliance Recap-October 2019 October was a relatively quiet month in the employee benefits world. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas vacated portions of the current rule implementing Section 1557 that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and pregnancy termination. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court's preliminary injunction of final rules regarding contraceptive coverage exemptions. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released the latest version of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Security Risk Assessment Tool. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated its webpage that has general information about the CP233J notice. The Treasury released its 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan. District Court Vacates Parts of ACA Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Rule As background, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1557 provides that…


September 2019 Compliance Recap

Posted On: October 8, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

September was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The U.S. Senate confirmed Eugene Scalia as the new Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed rules regarding affordability safe harbors and Section 105(h) nondiscrimination rules as applied to individual coverage health reimbursement arrangements (ICHRAs). The IRS also announced that the health insurance providers fee will resume for 2020. The IRS released an information letter regarding transition relief and whether employer shared responsibility penalties may be waived under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The DOL, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Treasury (collectively, the "Departments") released final FAQs on mental health parity. The DOL issued an opinion letter regarding delaying Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. The DOL also issued an opinion letter regarding whether employer contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) are earnings subject to wage garnishment…


DOL Overtime Rule Change

Posted On: October 2, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance

On Sept 24th, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released a new rule, increasing the minimum salary level for exempt status to $35,568 per year for a full-time employee, effective January 1, 2020.  Read the full law, here: DOL Overtime Rule Change  The proposed rule creates the following changes:Raises the minimum salary for an exempt administrative, professional, or executive employee to $684 per week or $35,568 per yearRaises the minimum salary for an exempt "highly compensated employee" from $100,000 to $107,432Permits employers to include some non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the minimum salary requirementAllows employers to make a one-time "catch up" payment to an employee whose annual salary will fall short of the new minimum in some circumstancesThe consequences of such a conversion can be serious for the unaware employer. Most employers do not trackhours worked by exempt employees.For assistance in assessing whether employees are properly…


August 2019 Compliance Recap

Posted On: September 6, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance

August was a relatively quiet month in the employee benefits world. The Department of Labor (DOL) issued its updated Medicaid / CHIP Model Notice. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revised its Medicare Secondary Payer User Guide and changed reporting requirements regarding prescription drug coverage beginning January 1, 2020. The Treasury, DOL, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued FAQs regarding enforcement of the Final 2020 Benefit and Parameters Rule. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a private letter ruling addressing whether certain expenses qualify as Section 213(d) medical care expenses. The DOL issued an advisory opinion addressing whether intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave can be taken to attend special education meetings for an employee's children.   DOL Issues Updated Medicaid / CHIP Model Notice The Department of Labor (DOL) issued an updated Premium Assistance Under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program…


NJ Bans Salary History

Posted On: August 8, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance

On July 25th, 2019, New Jersey's Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed NJ Bill A1094 ("the Law"), which bans employers from asking applicants for their salary history. Read the full law here, NJ Bans Salary History, to learn: What is now illegal for an employer to do What the law allows employers to do The next steps New Jersey employers should take Next Steps for New Jersey Employers If your employment application includes questions about the applicant’s salary history, consider either deleting them or, if you are a multistate employer, including a clear instruction that New Jersey applicants should not provide this information. Be certain that you expressly direct your background check vendors not to ask for or share an applicant’s salary history information with the employer unless the applicant has expressly authorized the disclosure. Conduct training with your recruiters and managers about the new law prohibiting them from asking applicants…


Additional Preventive Care Benefits Permitted for High Deductible Plans

Posted On: August 8, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

In Executive Order 13877, issued June 2019, the Treasury Department and the IRS were directed to consider ways to expand the use and flexibility of HSA's and HDHP's. In response to the Executive Order, the Treasury Department issued guidance on July 17, 2019, that lists newly identified preventive care items and services that may now be covered by a high deductible health plan. Read the complete executive order details here, including the list of identified items: HDPS Additional Preventive Care HDHP sponsors should review the new guidance promptly. For some HDHPs, plan sponsors may seek to expand the list of preventive care items and services covered under the HDHP. For other HDHPs, which already treated certain chronic care expenses as preventive, plan sponsors will need to consider whether changes to that list of preventive items and services are now necessary or appropriate. If you have any questions regarding these additional…


July 2019 Compliance Recap

Posted On: August 8, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance

July was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a notice that expands the list of preventive care benefits a high deductible health plan can provide without a deductible or with a deductible below the annual minimum deductible. The IRS also released the indexed affordability percentage for plan years beginning in 2020. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) published an "A" rating final recommendation. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an update to the notice requirements for plans using the HHS-administered federal external review process. A U.S. District Court upheld the 2018 short-term, limited-duration insurance final rule. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a federal district court's preliminary injunction regarding contraceptive coverage exemptions. The Department of Labor (DOL) released an advisory opinion regarding association health plans (AHPs) and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs). The Fifth Circuit Court of…


Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Updates

Posted On: July 23, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Effective July 20, 2019, Pennsylvania will recognize anxiety and Tourette Syndrome as serious medical conditions in the medical marijuana program.   The Pennsylvania Department of Health stated that the decision came after a research-based recommendation by the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, followed by Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s careful review of the medical literature available about the conditions. You can read more in Pennsylvania’s press release: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=620 The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act allows individuals with a serious medical condition to receive a certification to use medical marijuana obtained from a licensed dispensary in the Commonwealth. Employers need to be familiar with the Act and prepared to properly manage employees at the worksite that are certified to use medical marijuana. The Act provides protections for employees certified to use medical marijuana and in particular, it prohibits employers from discriminating or taking an adverse action against an employee “solely on the basis of the employee’s…


EEOC Component 2 Data Update

Posted On: July 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

On July 2, 2019, following initial notifications to employers of the upcoming Component 2 filing deadline, the EEOC updated the Component 2 website to include both Additional Information https://eeoccomp2.norc.org/info.html and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sections. https://eeoccomp2.norc.org/faq.html Under the Additional Information section, employers can find a sample form, an instruction booklet, a fact sheet, a sample initial Component 2 notification letter sent to employers, and reference documents. Under the FAQs section, employers can find answers to questions related to the filing deadline, the filing requirements, the summary compensation and hours worked data to be reported, multi-establishment reporting, the Component 2 online filing system, and confidentiality concerns. Many of the FAQs are consistent with previous guidance from EEOC. However, one particularly helpful and new FAQ is related to whether an employer must choose the same “workforce snapshot period” for Component 2 data that it chose for Component 1 EEO-1 reporting for 2017…


HRA Final Rules

Posted On: July 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

The Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively, the Departments) recently released their final rules regarding health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans. An HRA is a type of account-based group health plan funded solely by employer contributions that reimburses an employee for IRC Section 213(d) medical care expenses incurred by the employee, or the employee’s spouse, dependents, and children who are not age 27 as of the end of the taxable year, up to a maximum fixed-dollar amount during a coverage period. Link to IRC Section 213(d):  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCODE-2011-title26/pdf/USCODE-2011-title26-subtitleA-chap1-subchapB-partVII-sec213.pdf These reimbursements are excludable from the employee’s income and wages for federal income tax and employment tax purposes. An HRA can allow amounts that remain at the end of the year to be available to reimburse medical care expenses incurred in later years. The final rules were…


June 2019 Compliance Recap

Posted On: July 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance

June was a relatively busy month in the employee benefits world. The Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Treasury published final rules that removed the prohibition against integrating a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) with individual health insurance coverage and recognized certain HRAs as limited excepted benefits. A U.S. District Court issued a permanent injunction against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contraception mandate. The President signed an executive order directing federal agencies to issue guidance and regulations regarding high deductible health plans with health savings accounts, Section 213 medical care expenses, flexible spending arrangements, health plan communication of out-of-pocket costs, and surprise billing. The Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding HIPAA compliance for health plans during care coordination and continuity. DOL, HHS, and Treasury Publish Final Rules on Health…


NJ Now Has Greater Protections for Employees Who Are Cannabis Users

Posted On: July 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

On July 2, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill into effect that overhauls the state’s existing medical cannabis program and law, the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA), and greatly expands patient access to medical marijuana. For employers who must address the issue of employees and job applicants who use and test positive for cannabis, the New Jersey Assembly Bill A20 provides certain job protections for medical cannabis users. This is a significant change for employees and employers, since CUMMA previously did not explicitly contain such protections.  These changes are summarized below. The CUMMA Amendment Assembly Bill A20 now contains a non-discrimination provision which provides that an employer cannot take an adverse employment action against an employee “based solely on the employee’s status as a registrant” for medical cannabis. Unlike the previous draft of the bill, there is no carve-out in Assembly Bill A20 allowing an…


Compliance Alert: IRS Raises HSA/HDHP Limits for 2020

Posted On: June 18, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Compliance Alert: IRS Raises HSA/HDHP limits for 2020 The IRS has announced that effective January 1, 2020, an individual in a High Deductible Health Plan (“HDHP”) with self-only coverage has a new maximum allowable annual contribution into a Health Savings Account of $3,550, increased from $3,500.  The maximum annual contribution for individuals with family coverage will increase from $7,000 to $7,100.  The catch-up contribution for people age 55+ remains at $1,000. See below for the updates to the annual contributions and cost sharing.   Because of the cost-sharing limits change for HDHPs in 2020, employers that sponsor High Deductible Health Plans may need to make plan design changes for plan years beginning in 2020.  Employers that allow employees to make pre-tax HSA contributions should review their benefit guides and election forms to reflect the updated HSA contributions limits for 2020.


New NJ Commuter Law

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Governor Murphy signed a new law on March 1, 2019, read here: Commuter Law, requiring certain employers to provide pre-tax commuter fringe benefits to employees.  New Jersey employers with at least 20 employees in the state will need to begin offering those employees pre-tax transportation fringe benefits covering commuter highway vehicle and mass transit costs. The program must be implemented by March 1, 2020, or the effective date of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce regulations, whichever occurs first. Covered Employers The benefit applies to employers and employees covered by New Jersey’s unemployment insurance law. Employers covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) are exempt until any current CBA expires. The mandate doesn’t specify how soon after hire employers must be offered these benefits or impose any notice or posting requirements, but these issues may be addressed in the impending regulations. Mandated Benefit The pre-tax commuter benefit must comply with…


March 2019 Compliance Recap

Posted On: June 17, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

March 2019 Compliance Recap

March was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will not defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the court case challenging the ACA's constitutionality. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated two Q&As regarding ACA reporting for 2018. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its 2020 Actuarial Value Methodology and 2020 AV Calculator. HHS also released a bulletin that allows grandmothered plans to be extended through 2020. A U.S. District Court vacated the bona fide associations and working owner provisions contained in the Department of Labor's association health plans final rule. The Department of Labor (DOL) released two information letters. One information letter clarifies when an authorized representative may receive claim-related notices on behalf of an ERISA plan participant. The other information letter addresses whether employees may delay taking FMLA leave and whether the statutory…


February 2019 Compliance Recap

Posted On: March 20, 2019 | Categorized as: Compliance

February was a quiet month in the employee benefits world. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released an information letter addressing when an employer may seek recoupment of contributions made to an employee's HSA. A U.S. District Court held that the State of Maryland could not ask for a declaration that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is constitutional and enforceable. Four states and the U.S. House of Representatives joined the appeal of the court case that held the ACA to be unconstitutional. The Department of the Treasury, Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for information regarding grandfathered group health plans. UBA Updates UBA released one new advisor: Compliance Recap - 2018 Year in Review UBA updated or revised existing guidance: State Guide to COBRA Supplemental Requirements IRS Releases Information Letter on Returning HSA Contributions to an Employer Generally,…


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