AHA, community organizations react to CMS’ ‘Benefit and Payment Parameter’ proposed rule

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and I Am Essential, an organization representing 138 patient and community organizations, have expressed their concerns that many of CMS’ proposed changes to the rules for the health insurance marketplace included in its Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019 (proposed rule, 82 FR 51052, November 2, 2017) will […]

Employee fired days after intermittent leave approved advances FMLA claims

An employee who requested intermittent FMLA leave so he could take his wife, who had suffered a stroke, to physical therapy, and who was fired just four days after his leave was approved, sufficiently pleaded FMLA interference and retaliation claims, a federal court in Louisiana ruled, denying in part his employer’s motion to dismiss. His […]

DOL releases advance copies of 2017 Form 5500

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have released advance informational copies of the 2017 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions. The “Changes to Note” section of the 2017 instructions highlight important modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF and their schedules and […]

Jury will say if city disclosed basis for FMLA leave and was liable for resulting harassment

Disposing of cross motions for summary judgment by a city and its former firefighter/paramedic who claimed FMLA retaliation based on the city’s alleged release of personal information about his leave, adverse work assignments, and constructive discharge, as well as failure to rehire him, a federal district court in Florida denied summary judgment in part, allowing […]

Treasury and DOL extend deadlines for employee benefits plans affected by Hurricane Maria

The Departments of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury have extended certain time frames under the IRC and ERISA for group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, pension plans, participants and beneficiaries of these plans, and group health insurance issuers directly affected by Hurricane Maria. Individuals and plans affected. Participants, beneficiaries, qualified beneficiaries or claimants […]

DOL postpones final rules on disability benefit claims procedures

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a ninety-day delay – until April 1, 2018 – of the applicability date for ERISA plans to comply with a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to disability benefits. The final rule, which was published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2016, adopted certain procedural […]

Free health insurance for former employee relieved employer of liability for COBRA violation

Despite the fact that a software company failed to notify an employee of his COBRA benefits immediately following his termination, it was not liable for statutory penalties because he suffered no prejudice as a result of the COBRA violation, a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has ruled. After the employee was […]

Claims to lifetime retiree health insurance benefits ended with expiration of CBA

The Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a suit by retirees of Honeywell claiming the employer promised, in a collective bargaining agreement, to pay lifetime health insurance. The appeals court found that the general-durational clause in the CBA applied to the employer’s promise to provide health care. Specifically, the language of the CBA […]

Annual survey reveals highest rate of employers offering health care benefits since 2013 despite concerns about looming changes

Nearly two in three employers (66 percent) say their company is extremely/very aware of the potential changes to health care policy coming out of Washington D.C., and more than a quarter (26 percent) of employers report that the most common fear among their employees is losing health care due to a preexisting condition, according to […]

Small employers worried about growing complexity of regulations

The majority of small employers are troubled by the growing complexity of federal, state, and local regulations, according a survey of 300 small businesses (those with five to 100 employees) by ComplyRight. The survey found that nearly 74 percent of small businesses feel that federal, state, and local laws are becoming increasingly complex. This complexity […]