Showing 8 posts by Lauren B. Dunn.
Late in the afternoon on March 6, two committees of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation that would replace and repeal significant portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or Obamacare. The new legislation, titled the American Health Care Act, addresses a number of key complaints that have been raised by employers since the ACA's implementation. Several provisions of the new legislation that are of particular interest to employers are described briefly below. Read More ›
In the last few days of 2015, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") published welcomed relief for employers who are struggling to understand their reporting obligations under the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"): extended deadlines. Read More ›
The US Supreme Court's Ruling on the Affordable Care Act will not Change Employers' Responsibilities
On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the "Act") in the case of King v Burwell. The issue that the Court addressed was whether tax credits were available to individuals who purchased health insurance coverage through a Health Insurance Exchange ("Exchange") that was established by the Federal government.
An Exchange serves as a marketplace where individuals can compare various health insurance plans and ultimately purchase health insurance coverage. The Act requires an Exchange to be established in each State. If a State fails to establish its own Exchange, the Federal government is required to step in and establish the Exchange for that State. The Court's decision had the potential to preclude tax credits for individuals purchasing insurance through the Federal Exchanges in 34 States, including Michigan.
This issue was of significant importance because of its implications for the Act's Employer Mandate, which generally requires large employers to offer health insurance coverage to their full-time employees. The tax credits provided under the Act serve as the lynchpin for liability under the Employer Mandate. Despite the fact that a large employer may fail to offer health insurance coverage to its full-time employees, it will not be penalized if those employees do not obtain coverage through the Exchange and receive a tax credit. Therefore, large employers located in States that have a Federal Exchange could arguably avoid penalties for their failure to offer coverage to their full-time employees; such employees would not receive a tax credit when purchasing health insurance coverage on the Exchange and would not trigger the penalty. Read More ›
On Feb. 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service published final rules (the “Final Rules”) related to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, referred to as the “Employer Mandate,” generally require certain employers to offer minimum essential health care coverage to their full-time employees or face penalties. The Employer Mandate was originally scheduled to become effective on Jan. 1, 2014 but was delayed until Jan. 1, 2015.
The Final Rules include a second delay of the Employer Mandate. They provide that employers who employ 50 – 99 full time equivalent employees will not be required to comply with the Employer Mandate until Jan. 1, 2016. Additionally, those employers who employ 100 or more full time equivalent employees must offer minimum essential coverage to only 70 percent of those full time employees by Jan. 1, 2015 (as opposed to the 95 percent coverage requirement under the previous regulations). Those employers employing 100 or more full time employees will be required to offer coverage to 95 percent of all full time employees by Jan. 1, 2016. The chart below summarizes the basic details concerning this delay. Read More ›
An October 1, 2013 deadline is looming for many employers to give employees written notices under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, commonly known as the health care reform act.) Read More ›
Categories: Health Care Reform
Michigan’s Right to Work legislation (“Legislation”) was signed into law by Governor Synder on December 12, 2012. The Legislation will become effective on the 91st day following the final adjournment of the 2012 regular session of the Michigan legislature (December 27, 2012). Unions are attempting to either renew or extend current collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) prior to the Legislation becoming effective, in an effort to avoid impact that the Legislation would have on union dues and participation. Read More ›
The Departments of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services (collectively, the "Departments") recently published the final regulation (the "Regulation") with regard to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage ("SBC") requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA"). The Regulation implements certain disclosure requirements in order to help individuals and health plans better understand their medical coverage as well as other coverage options. Many liken the SBC to the summary plan description for retirement plans. Read More ›
A recent case highlights why a plan sponsor must use caution when agreeing to provide COBRA coverage that extends beyond the maximum COBRA coverage period. The court in Bekaert Corporation v. Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, 2011 WL 3568028 (N.D. Ohio) recently held that an employer who offered extended COBRA coverage pursuant to a separation agreement with a particular employee was not entitled to stop-loss coverage. In Bekaert,a retiree received extended COBRA continuation health coverage pursuant to a separation agreement with the employer. The retiree's medical claims were paid under the employer's self-funded health plan and then were submitted for reimbursement under the employer's stop-loss policy as excess loss claims. The stop-loss carrier denied the claims, stating the retiree was not a covered person under the stop-loss policy. Read More ›
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