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Straight From The Source Blog by Higginbotham Insurance


February HR News Worth Review

February 11 , 2020

 HR-News-Blog

Upcoming ACA Reporting Deadlines

Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting for the 2019 calendar year is due in early 2020. Specifically, reporting entities must:

  • File returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by Feb. 28, 2020 (or March 31, 2020, if filing electronically); and
  • Furnish statements to individuals by March 2, 2020.
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Tags: Compliance


January HR News Worth Review

January 09 , 2020

 HR-News-Blog

PCORI Fee Extended Until 2030

Before the holidays, we sent information about President Trump signing into law a spending bill that prevented a government shutdown and repealed the following three taxes and fees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

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Tags: Compliance


Individual Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional, But ACA Itself Remains In Place and Cadillac Tax Repealed

December 19 , 2019

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its decision in the Texas v. United States case. The case challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate in light of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which zeroed out the individual mandate penalty. The appellate court was reviewing the lower court's ruling that found that the individual mandate, with no accompanying tax penalty, is unconstitutional and that the individual mandate is such an essential part of the ACA that the ACA cannot function without the individual mandate in place, and therefore the entire law must be ruled unconstitutional.

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Tags: Compliance


COBRA administration: the overlooked compliance pitfall

December 05 , 2019

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Is your business compliant with state and federal regulations? Even if you’re staying on top of the ACA, ADA, ERISA, HIPAA and FMLA, there may be one rule you’ve forgotten about: COBRA. Although the ACA has created new options for health insurance, companies are still required to offer continuation coverage in certain situations. Make sure you don’t get caught in this compliance pitfall.

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Tags: Compliance


December HR News Worth Review

December 04 , 2019

 HR-News-Blog

IRS Provides Transition Relief for 2019 ACA Reporting

On Dec. 2, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2019-63 that:

  • Extends the due date for furnishing forms under Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2019 from Jan. 31, 2020, to March 2, 2020;
  • Extends good-faith transition relief from penalties related to 2019 information reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056; and
  • Provides additional penalty relief related to furnishing 2019 forms to individuals under Section 6055. Under this relief, employers will only have to provide Form 1095-B to covered individuals upon request.

Please be aware that these delays relate to the furnishing of forms to individuals only — the due date for filing forms with the IRS for 2019 remains Feb. 28, 2020 (March 31, 2020, if filing electronically). 

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Tags: Compliance


November HR News Worth Review

November 06 , 2019

 HR-News-Blog

DOL Wage Office Nets Record $322 Million For Underpaid Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) releases an annual report highlighting its work in the previous fiscal year, specifically how much it recovered for underpaid workers. Last week it reported that in 2019 it collected a record $322 million for workers shorted on overtime, minimum wages and other compensation.

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Tags: Compliance


October HR News Worth Review

October 10 , 2019

 HR-News-Blog

Federal Agencies Finalize Resources for Mental Health Parity Compliance

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (Departments) have finalized resources to promote compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). 

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Tags: Compliance


September HR News Worth Review

September 10 , 2019

 HR-News-Blog

Medicare Part D Notices Due Before Oct. 15, 2019

Each year, Medicare Part D requires group health plan sponsors to disclose to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable. Plan sponsors must provide the annual disclosure notice to Medicare-eligible individuals before Oct. 15, 2019—the start date of the annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D. CMS has provided model disclosure notices for employers to use.

This notice is important because Medicare beneficiaries who aren't covered by creditable prescription drug coverage and don't enroll in Medicare Part D when first eligible will likely pay higher premiums if they enroll at a later date. Although there are no specific penalties associated with this notice requirement, failing to provide the notice may be detrimental to employees.

To make the process easier, employers often include Medicare Part D notices in open enrollment materials sent out annually. If a plan sponsor chooses to provide the disclosure notice with other plan participant information, the creditable coverage disclosure must be prominent and conspicuous. This means that the disclosure notice portion of the document or a reference to the section in the document that contains the disclosure notice portion must be prominently referenced in at least 14-point font in a separate box, bolded or offset on the first page of the provided plan participant information. Also, as a practical matter, group health plan sponsors often provide the creditable coverage disclosure notices to all plan participants.

Employer Takeaway
Employers should confirm whether their health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable and prepare to send their Medicare Part D disclosure notices before Oct. 15, 2019. “Before” means the individual must have been provided with the notice within the past 12 months. So, if it was provided on or after Oct. 16, 2018, that will suffice.

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Tags: Compliance


August HR News Worth Review

July 31 , 2019

 HR-News-Blog

IRS Expands Preventive Care for HDHPs to Include Chronic Conditions

On July 17, 2019, the IRS released Notice 2019-45 to add care for a range of chronic conditions to the list of preventive care benefits that can be provided by a high deductible health plan (HDHP) without a deductible. This includes treatment and medication for asthma, diabetes, heart disease and depression, among others.

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Tags: Compliance


July HR News Worth Review

July 08 , 2019

 HR-News-Blog

Dallas and San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Starts Accumulating on August 1st

This past legislative session, the Texas Legislature failed to pass laws preempting paid sick leave ordinances that were passed by municipalities. While a similar ordinance in Austin was ruled unconstitutional by the Court of Appeals – and also enjoined from being implemented – no such legal actions have been filed with regards to the ordinances in Dallas and San Antonio. While it is likely that litigation will still be filed up until the August 1st implementation date, the lack of any such suits leaves employers with no choice but to prepare accordingly. Therefore, Dallas and San Antonio employers (and even companies based elsewhere with employees in those cities) should review their current leave policies to make sure that leave accumulation and utilization is handled correctly starting on August 1, 2019 (August 1, 2021 for small employers with less than five employees.)

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Tags: Compliance


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