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July HR News Worth Review

By Higginbotham on July 18 , 2018

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HSA/HDHP Limits Will Increase for 2019

On May 10, 2018, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2018-30 to announce the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2019. These limits include:

  • The maximum HSA contribution limit;
  • The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs; and
  • The maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs.

These limits vary based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under an HDHP.

The following chart shows the HSA and HDHP limits for 2019 as compared to 2018. It also includes the catch-up contribution limit that applies to HSA-eligible individuals who are age 55 or older, which is not adjusted for inflation and stays the same from year to year.

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Employer Takeaway
Because the cost-sharing limits for HDHPs will change for 2019, employers that sponsor these plans may need to make plan design changes for plan years beginning in 2019.


Oklahoma Legalizes Medical Marijuana

On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana. The state’s voters approved a ballot measure, called State Question 788, that will allow Oklahoma residents to obtain state-issued licenses to use and possess marijuana for medical purposes starting on July 26, 2018.

The new law will not affect an Oklahoma employer’s right to prohibit its employees from using or possessing marijuana in the workplace or during work hours. However, it does include certain employment protections for individuals who hold a medical marijuana license. Specifically, the law prohibits employers from taking any adverse employment action against a license holder solely because he or she holds the license or solely because he or she tests positive for marijuana (except under limited circumstances).

Employer Takeaway
Oklahoma employers should become familiar with the new law and review their workplace marijuana policies to ensure that they comply with the law’s prohibition against employment discrimination based on off-duty marijuana use. Oklahoma has established the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) to implement and provide regulations regarding the state’s new medical marijuana law. Only draft rules are available at this time, which may be subject to further revision. Employers should review their workplace drug policies to ensure compliance with the new law and monitor the OMMA’s websites for additional information.


Massachusetts Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave

On June 28, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed Bill H.4640 into law. The bill establishes a mandatory statewide paid family and medical leave program, which will be administered by a new Department of Family and Medical Leave. The leave program will be financed through employer and employee contributions. However, employers with fewer than 25 employees in Massachusetts will not be required to pay the employer portion of premiums for the paid family and medical leave program.

Virtually all employees working in Massachusetts will be covered individuals who are eligible for paid family and medical leave benefits. There are no restrictions on length of employment or other eligibility requirements, other than having a qualifying reason for paid leave benefits.

Beginning in 2021, eligible employees may take protected paid leave for certain family and medical reasons. Effective July 1, 2019, employers must:

  • Comply with a new workplace poster requirement and new hire notice; and
  • Begin remitting contributions for the paid family and medical leave program.

Employer Takeaway
Employers should keep track of developments related to the new paid family and medical leave program, including publication of model workplace posters and employee notices. Proposed regulations are to be published for public comment by March 31, 2019. These regulations should clarify employer obligations under the law.

 

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