Archive for Compliance News’ Category

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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Department of Labor Form 5500’s Time-Intensive and Expensive Reporting Requirements Painful for Small Employers
Jan

20

2017

Department of Labor Form 5500’s Time-Intensive and Expensive Reporting Requirements Painful for Small Employers

Proposed regulations for revising and greatly expanding the Department of Labor (DOL) Form 5500 reporting are set to take effect in 2019. Currently, the non-retirement plan reporting is limited to those employers that have more than 100 employees enrolled on their benefit plans, or those in a self-funded trust. The filings must be completed on the DOL EFAST2 system within 210 days following the end…

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Written 2017 With Fireworks In The Night Sky
Jan

18

2017

2017: What HR Can Do to Prepare for a Big Year of Change

Employers saw unprecedented changes to human resources management in 2016, including Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, parental leave laws and a push for equal pay. With a new year and a new president taking office, 2017 is sure to usher in some major changes and HR challenges that could have significant impact on businesses large and small. Here…

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Federal Employment Law Update – January 2017
Jan

7

2017

Federal Employment Law Update – January 2017

FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 35 On December 20, 2016, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing special enrollment for group health plans, coverage of preventive services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements. The FAQs were prepared jointly by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health and Human Services…

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FAQ text concept on green blackboard with hand
Dec

30

2016

Officials Provide New ACA Guidance in FAQ #35

On December 20, 2016, federal officials released FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 35 (FAQ #35) in an ongoing series of informal guidance regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This FAQ addresses several topics: Special enrollment rules. Preventive services. Qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements. A summary of the key points from FAQ #35 follows. Special Enrollment Rules Group health plans are subject to…

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Interim Final Regulation on Maximum Civil Monetary Penalties
Dec

29

2016

Interim Final Regulation on Maximum Civil Monetary Penalties

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued interim final regulations that adjust for inflation the maximum civil monetary penalties (CMP) that fall under HHS’s jurisdiction. The regulations reflect changes required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the Act). Adjustments under the Act were effective on August 1, 2016, and HHS’s CMP adjustment regulations were effective on…

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New Law Allows Small Employers to Pay Premiums for Individual Policies
Dec

16

2016

New Law Allows Small Employers to Pay Premiums for Individual Policies

This week, the U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act which includes a provision allowing small businesses to offer a new type of health reimbursement arrangement for their employees’ health care expenses, including individual insurance premiums. The act was previously passed by the House and President Obama is expected to sign it shortly. The provision for Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs), a…

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OSHA’s New Recordkeeping Rule Will Take Effect December 1 As Scheduled
Dec

2

2016

OSHA’s New Recordkeeping Rule Will Take Effect December 1 As Scheduled

In a November 28, 2016 decision, a federal district court in Texas denied a preliminary injunction to block the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new rule, Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses. This means that the antiretaliation provisions will take effect on December 1, 2016 and the electronic filing provision takes effect in 2017. In filing suit, plaintiffs sought an injunction challenging the…

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