Percentage of private firms offering health coverage increases for the first time since 2008

In 2017, the overall percentage of private-sector employers offering health benefits increased for the first time since 2008, according to research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Between 2008 and 2016, the percentage of private-sector employers offering health benefits declined 11.1 percentage points, from 56.4 percent to 45.3 percent. However, it then increased to […]

Retaliation claim supported by timing of audit that led to manager’s firing, prior veiled threats about leave

Evidence that a collection manager’s superiors began auditing his paperwork right after he announced his need for leave to undergo back surgery, fired him five weeks later, and made veiled threats against him when he had previously attempted to take intermittent leave for medical reasons bolstered his FMLA retaliation claim, a federal court in Ohio […]

HSA assets exceed $50 billion

Health savings account (HSA) assets have accumulated $51.4 billion in their HSA accounts at the end of June, a year over year increase of 20.4 percent, according to the 2018 Midyear Devenir HSA Market Survey. Devenir expects this number to grow to $54 billion by the end of 2018. The survey also found the following: […]

Tips for preparing employees for upcoming open enrollment include using mix of communication methods

The Summer season is coming to end, which means open enrollment is looming. Productive employees who are engaged with their careers may not have the time to focus on their benefit offerings or may be overwhelmed with amount of choices that are available to them, especially during open enrollment season. Clarity Benefit Solutions says brokers […]

Senators introduce bill to retain prohibition on preexisting condition exclusions

Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) have introduced the Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, which would amend HIPAA to guarantee the availability of health insurance […]

Flight paramedic fired for fraudulent misuse of baby-bonding leave can’t advance FMLA claims

A helicopter pilot was fired from his job as a flight paramedic based on his apparent fraudulent misuse of baby-bonding leave to operate a side business at airshows, and for being dishonest when confronted about it, a federal district court in Kentucky ruled in dismissing his FMLA and promissory estoppel claims on summary judgment. The […]

GSA issues 2019 CONUS per diems

The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced its fiscal year (FY) 2019 Continental U.S. (CONUS) per diem reimbursement rates. The GSA rates are often a predictor of the per diem rates set by the IRS. The IRS is expected to release its annual special per diem rates and guidance for taxpayers later in 2018. The […]

DOL provides ERISA compliance assistance for association health plans

The Department of Labor has released an ERISA compliance assistance publication for newly-created association health plans (AHPs). In the publication, the DOL noted that ERISA sets standards of conduct for plan sponsors and employers that manage group health plans (including AHPs) and their assets. New rule. In June 2018, the DOL issued a final rule […]

ERIC files ERISA preemption suit against City of Seattle

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against the City of Seattle, claiming that ERISA supersedes and preempts the health coverage and payment mandates in Part 3 of the Seattle Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative – SMC 14.25 (the Initiative). Under […]

2018 monthly national average premium provided

The IRS has issued guidance providing the 2018 monthly national average premium for qualified health plans that have a bronze level of coverage for taxpayers to use in determining their maximum individual shared responsibility payment under Code Sec. 5000A(c)(1)(B). An explanation of the methodology used to determine the monthly national average premium amount also is […]