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Straight From The Source Blog


President Trump's Executive Orders

October 17 , 2017

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On Oct. 12, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order intended to change certain rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The order would expand access to association health plans, health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and short-term, limited-duration insurance. It doesn't change existing regulations, but directs federal agencies to consider new regulations or guidance to implement the order’s policies. The executive order directs many agencies, including the Department of Labor, to consider proposing rules or new guidance to loosen current restrictions on what are called “association health plans” and on selling low-cost, short-term insurance. Such rules potentially exempt those plans for a number of ACA requirements.

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Tags: Compliance


Trump administration expands contraceptive mandate exemptions

October 10 , 2017

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Late last week, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) issued two interim final rules expanding certain exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage mandate. These final rules expand the availability of the religious exemption to include most employers that object to providing contraceptive coverage based on their religious beliefs or moral convictions, and they make the accommodations approach optional for eligible organizations. This guidance, which is effective immediately, significantly expands the number of employers that are eligible for an exemption from the contraceptive coverage mandate.

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Tags: Compliance


October HR News Worth Review

October 09 , 2017

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Court Orders EEOC to Reconsider Wellness Rules

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia directed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to reconsider its final wellness rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). The final rules allow employers to offer wellness incentives of up to 30 percent of the cost of health plan coverage. The court held that the EEOC failed to provide a reasonable explanation for adopting the incentive limit. Rather than vacating the final rules, the court sent them back to the EEOC for reconsideration, but it's unclear how it will respond to the court’s decision.

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Tags: Compliance


Medicare Part D notices due October 15, 2017

October 02 , 2017

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The deadline to distribute creditable coverage disclosure notices to Medicare-eligible individuals is only a few weeks away. If you have any plan participants eligible for Medicare Part D, you must disclose to those individuals before October 15 each year whether their prescription coverage through your group plan is as comprehensive as the benefits offered under Medicare Part D.

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Tags: Compliance


HR update: overtime rule, ACA penalties, updated Form I-9 and DOL fiduciary rule delay

September 11 , 2017

Human Resources Compliance Update

Overtime Rule Struck Down

On August 31, 2017, Federal District Court Judge Amos Mazzant overturned the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) final overtime rule that would have doubled the annual salary level to qualify for exemption from overtime pay, raising it from $23,660 to $47,476. Mazzant issued an injunction stopping implementation of the final rule nine months ago, and the Trump administration didn't challenge the decision.

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Tags: Compliance


Hurricane Harvey relief for employee benefit plan compliance

September 06 , 2017

Human Resources Compliance Update

DOL and IRS Issue Compliance Guidance for Employee Benefit Plans Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced an update on employee benefit plan compliance for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “Our deepest and most immediate concern is for those who are in harm’s way, and for the first responders who will work tirelessly to help those affected,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “We also realize that employers and employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey will need assistance in dealing with employee benefits issues arising from disruptions in banking and payroll processing.” 

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Tags: Compliance


ACA repeal, Washington state paid leave and HSA fiduciaries

August 02 , 2017

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Senate Rejects Efforts to Repeal the ACA

In the early morning hours of July 28, 2017, members of the U.S. Senate voted 49-51 to reject a “skinny” version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) called the Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA).

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Tags: Compliance


Republican ACA repeal effort dead for now

July 28 , 2017

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Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) cast the dramatic and decisive “no” vote early Friday, July 28 that upended the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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Tags: Compliance


ACA employer mandate and paid family leave guidance

June 30 , 2017

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What happens if the ACA employer mandate is repealed?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires applicable large employers (ALEs) to offer affordable, minimum value health coverage to their full-time employees in order to avoid possible penalties. Because this employer mandate has been criticized as burdensome for employers and an impediment to business growth, its repeal has been a central part of Republican plans to repeal and replace the ACA.

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Tags: Compliance


Senate releases ACA "repeal and replace" bill

June 22 , 2017

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On Thursday morning, members of the Senate revealed their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like the AHCA, the majority of the BCRA deals with individual markets and Medicare. Of particular note, the BCRA places the eligibility for tax credits to purchase individual coverage back on income, instead of on age as the AHCA does.

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Tags: Compliance


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