Archive for Compliance News’ Category

Department of Labor Delays Enforcement of the Fiduciary Duty Rule | Houston Benefit Advisors
Apr

9

2017

Department of Labor Delays Enforcement of the Fiduciary Duty Rule | Houston Benefit Advisors

On April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the applicability date for the final fiduciary rule will be extended, and published its final rule extending the applicability date in the Federal Register on April 7. This extension is pursuant to President Trump’s February 3, 2017 presidential memorandum directing the DOL to further examine the rule and the DOL’s proposed rule to extend…

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The Changing Landscape of Employee Benefits | Houston Benefit Consultants
Mar

18

2017

The Changing Landscape of Employee Benefits | Houston Benefit Consultants

There is no denying our industry is changing rapidly, and it’s not about to slow down. Combined with disruptive advances in technology and evolving consumer expectations, we’re seeing consumer-driven health care emerge. Take, for example, the fact that employees now spend more than nine hours a day on digital devices. There’s no doubt that all this screen time takes a toll. Device screens expose users…

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Long-Awaited Repeal and Replacement Plan for ACA Unveiled | Houston Benefit Advisors
Mar

15

2017

Long-Awaited Repeal and Replacement Plan for ACA Unveiled | Houston Benefit Advisors

On March 6, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee released a proposed budget reconciliation bill, entitled the American Health Care Act, to replace portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If enacted, the American Health Care Act would provide some relief from provisions of the ACA for employers and make other significant changes to employee benefits. While the proposal is 53…

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The “Line 22” Question: Which Box(es) Do I Check? | Houston Benefit Consultants
Mar

10

2017

The “Line 22” Question: Which Box(es) Do I Check? | Houston Benefit Consultants

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals are required to have health insurance while applicable large employers (ALEs) are required to offer health benefits to their full-time employees. In order for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify that (1) individuals have the required minimum essential coverage, (2) individuals who request premium tax credits are entitled to them, and (3) ALEs are…

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Keeping Pace with the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act | Houston Benefit Advisors
Feb

22

2017

Keeping Pace with the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act | Houston Benefit Advisors

Last fall, President Barack Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE), which preserved the historical definition of small employer to mean an employer that employs 1 to 50 employees. Prior to this newly signed legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was set to expand the definition of a small employer to include companies with 51 to 100 employees (mid-size segment) beginning January…

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Cafeteria Plans: Qualifying Events and Changing Employee Elections | Houston Benefit Advisors
Feb

18

2017

Cafeteria Plans: Qualifying Events and Changing Employee Elections | Houston Benefit Advisors

Cafeteria plans, or plans governed by IRS Code Section 125, allow employers to help employees pay for expenses such as health insurance with pre-tax dollars. Employees are given a choice between a taxable benefit (cash) and two or more specified pre-tax qualified benefits, for example, health insurance. Employees are given the opportunity to select the benefits they want, just like an individual standing in the…

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The IRS Clarifies Tax Treatment of Fixed-Indemnity Health Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors
Feb

15

2017

The IRS Clarifies Tax Treatment of Fixed-Indemnity Health Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors

While many Americans will remember January 20, 2017 as the day the 45th President of the United States was sworn into office, employee benefits experts will also remember it as the day the IRS Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) released this memorandum that clarifies, among other things, the tax treatment of benefits paid by fixed-indemnity plans. Fixed indemnity plans are generally voluntary benefits employers offer…

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Implications of the 21st Century Cures Act | Houston Benefit Advisors
Feb

7

2017

Implications of the 21st Century Cures Act | Houston Benefit Advisors

On December 13, 2016, former President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. The Cures Act has numerous components, but employers should be aware of the impact the Act will have on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, as well as provisions that will impact how small employers can use health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). There will also be new guidance for…

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President Trump Makes First Moves Towards ACA Repeal – What Employers and Plan Sponsors Should Know Now | Houston Benefit Advisors
Feb

1

2017

President Trump Makes First Moves Towards ACA Repeal – What Employers and Plan Sponsors Should Know Now | Houston Benefit Advisors

Last Friday, one of President Donald Trump’s first actions in office was to make good on a campaign promise to move quickly to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He issued Executive Order 13765, Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal. The one-page executive order (EO) is effective immediately and very light on details, with the goal to…

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DOL Increases Penalty Amounts to Adjust for Inflation
Jan

24

2017

DOL Increases Penalty Amounts to Adjust for Inflation

For the second time in less than a year the Department of Labor (DOL) has increased the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by the DOL. The increases were announced in a final rule issued by the DOL on January 18, 2017. The increases were made pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which requires federal agencies to annually…

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