Health & Welfare

No Statute of Limitations Protection Gained from Filing Forms for Employer Shared Responsibility Penalties

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel has released a memorandum stating that employers are not protected by a statute of limitations from the ACA's employer shared responsibility penalties ("ESRP"), even if they file the required forms relating to the penalties. (IRS Chief Counsel Memorandum 20200801F; Dec. 26, 2019). The ACA's employer shared responsibility provisions apply to an employer that is an ...

Agencies Release FAQs on Updated 2021 Summary of Benefits and Coverage Template

HHS, DOL and IRS (collectively, the "Agencies") have released FAQs discussing the recently updated version of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage ("SBC") template and related materials (i.e., instructions, coverage examples guides and narratives, and the optional SBC Coverage Examples Calculator) to be used by group health plans and health insurers beginning in 2021.

New Laws Impact ACA and Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

President Trump has signed into law a spending package which includes the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, (the "Act"), and contains a number of provisions related to employer-sponsored group health plans and the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"). Below is a summary of the key provisions found in the Act:

Federal Circuit Court Determines ACA's Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Texas v. United States, has upheld a district court ruling that the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") is unconstitutional. However, the Fifth Circuit has sent the case back to the district court for it to reconsider how much of the remainder of the ACA should also be invalidated.

IRS Issues Qs&As on the ACA's Individual Shared Responsibility Provisions

The IRS has issued a set of Qs&As explaining the Individual Shared Responsibility provisions of the ACA after the elimination of the individual shared responsibility penalty.

IRS Extends Deadline for ALEs to Furnish ACA Reporting Forms to Employees

The IRS has issued Notice 2019-63, which provides an automatic deadline extension for Applicable Large Employers' ("ALEs") reporting obligations under the Affordable Care Act's ("ACA"s) Employer Mandate for the 2019 tax year.

Agencies Issue Guidance on Impact of Drug Manufacturer Coupons on ACA's Out-Of-Pocket Limits

DOL, IRS and HHS (collectively, the "Agencies") have issued a FAQ to address whether drug manufacturers' coupons for name brand prescription drugs should be counted toward the annual cost-sharing limits under the Affordable Care Act ("ACA"), including situations where there is no medically appropriate generic drug available.

IRS Releases ACA Affordability Rates for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service has issued Revenue Procedure 2019-29 to implement the 2020 index adjustments for certain Affordable Care Act ("ACA") contribution percentages used to determine affordability under the employer shared responsibility mandate. Background. Under the ACA, contribution percentages are used to determine: (i) whether an Applicable Large Employer ("ALE") is subject to the ...

IRS Expands List of Preventive Care Benefits

IRS has issued Notice 2019-45 which expands the list of "preventive care benefits" permitted to be provided by a high deductible health plan ("HDHP") when determining if an individual is eligible to make tax-exempt contributions to a health savings account ("HSA"). In general, an individual is eligible to contribute (or have his or her employer contribute) to an HSA if he or she participates in ...

A Sigh of Relief For Employers Subject to Potential ACA Disparate Impact Discrimination Claims

In the aftermath of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, litigants have pressed courts on what conduct meets the criteria for a disparate impact discrimination claim. Typically, a disparate impact discrimination claim contends that a facially neutral employment practice has a discriminatory effect on a protected class of people such as race, gender, or age. In contrast to traditional ...