Executive order does not release employers from shared responsibility payments

The IRS has issued two information letters in response to inquiries about employer shared responsibility payments (ESRP) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). In the letters, the IRS emphasizes that, despite a recent executive order issued by the Trump administration, Code Sec. 4980H still provides that, if an applicable large employer (generally, […]

Dispute over injured employee’s ‘resignation’ advances his FMLA claims

Reasoning that it was clearly disputed whether an employee voluntarily resigned while he was restricted from working due to an injured knee, a federal district court in Michigan refused to dismiss his FMLA interference and retaliation claims on summary judgment. The employee’s request for time off work, coupled with a doctor’s note from an occupational […]

CMS issues Part D premiums for 2018

The average premium for a basic Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2018 will be $33.50 per month, which is a decrease from $34.70 in 2017, according to a projection from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “We are committed to making prescription drug plan premiums affordable so that seniors and people with […]

Exclude health savings accounts from fiduciary rule, ECFC says

Health savings accounts (HSA) are primarily used to fund health care expenses and should not be subject to the fiduciary rule like individual retirement arrangements (IRA). That’s according to a letter from the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC) to the Department of Labor (DOL) in response to a request for information in connection with […]

Employers expect health care costs to rise by 5.5 percent in 2018, up from 4.6 percent in 2017

Employers expect health care costs to increase by 5.5 percent in 2018, up from a 4.6 percent increase in 2017, according to the 22nd annual Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey by Willis Towers Watson. In the face of these continued cost pressures, including employee affordability, employers plan to step up cost management strategies […]

Religious exemption to contraceptive mandate not extended to nonreligious employers

“After careful review, but without any hesitation,” the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals determined that the religious exemption to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate does not apply to a secular anti-abortion group with no religious affiliation and affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the federal government. […]

Denial of disability benefits, failure to offer accommodation didn’t show constructive discharge

An employee who claimed his employer failed to engage in the interactive process or accommodate his disability, and that a claims examiner falsely told him she had contacted his doctor before denying his disability claim, was unable to proceed with his claims under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Family Rights Act (CFRA) […]

The ACA helped working people get insured

Rates of health insurance coverage in working families increased under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). About 9.5 million workers and 5.2 million of their family members gained coverage from 2010 to 2015 under the ACA, according to a brief from the Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Prior to the […]

IRS finalizes premium tax credit regs

The IRS has finalized regulations under Code Sec. 36B and Code Sec. 162(l) related to the premium tax credit. The temporary and proposed regulations (T.D. 9683; REG-104579-13), which were issued in 2014, provided: (1) relief from the joint-filing requirement for married victims of domestic abuse or spousal abandonment, (2) the methodology for indexing certain percentages […]

Final regs define “controlled group” for branded prescription drug fee purposes

The IRS has issued final regulations that define the term “controlled group” for purposes of the branded prescription drug fee. The final regulations affect persons engaged in the business of manufacturing or importing certain branded prescription drugs and supersede and adopt the text of temporary regulations that define the term “controlled group.” The final regulations […]