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January 19, 2012

Federal Tax Updates

A law enacted in December, 2010 (Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-312) provided for a reduction in the Social Security Tax Rate, and a temporary increase in mass transit benefits as part of qualified transportation benefits.  Following are updates on these two issues:

January 19, 2012

Updates for California Employers

San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance

January 6, 2012

HRB 44 - Additional IRS Guidance on W-2 Reporting Requirement

January 6, 2012 --  While 2012 is yet in its infancy, the IRS has released additional guidance relating to the Form W-2 health coverage reporting requirement imposed by the Affordable Care Act.  In 2011, the IRS issued interim guidance explaining the W-2 requirement (see the CBIZ Health Reform Bulletin, IRS Issues Interim Guidance on W-2 Reporting).  On January 3, 2012, the IRS issued Notice 2012-09 which modifies the prior 2011 guidance(IRS Notice 2011-28).  Below are some of the pertinent modifications and clarifications made to the W-2 requirement.

January 3, 2012

Tapping into the Benefits of CRM in Your Business (article)

Organizations are turning to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as a means of corporate performance.

December 21, 2011

HRB 43 - Year-end Wrap Up

December 21, 2011 -- As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is approaching its second birthday, it is appropriate to reflect on where we have come and what we can anticipate in the coming year. 

In 2011, the governing Agencies (HHS, IRS and CMS) were busy issuing a multiplicity of guidance relating to health care reform, including:

December 12, 2011

HRB 42 - Final Minimum Loss Ratio Regulations Issued and ERRP Closes

December 12, 2011 -- 

Final Minimum Loss Ratio Regulations Issued

One of health care reform’s more challenged provisions relates to what is known as the minimum loss ratio (MLR) rules.  These rules require insurers issuing individual and group health plans to spend a certain amount of premium dollars on medical care and health care quality improvements.  And, if the insurer does not meet the required target, a rebate is owed to the policyholder and subscriber. 

December 9, 2011

Evaluating Vendor Risk...An Emerging Best Practice (article)

Finding the right balance between procurement risks and the resources allocated to each phase of procurement (from front end to back end) is critical to any effective procurement function.

December 3, 2011

Updates: San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance

HRAs Used to Satisfy the Employer Spending Requirement

December 3, 2011

USERRA Expanded to Recognize Hostile Work Environments

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) was enacted to ensure continuation of benefits, including health insurance and pension, as well as reemployment and reinstatement rights to individuals called to military duty.  The law applies to all public and private employers, regardless of size.  On November 21, 2011, President Obama signed the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act (Public Law 112-56).  Similar to current Title VII protections, this law amends USERRA to provide further employment protection against hostile work environments by prohibiting discrimination with respect to any of the terms, conditions or privileges of employment. 

December 2, 2011

Extension of Premium Assistance for Certain TAA Individuals

Since 2002, premium assistance toward COBRA or other health coverage has been available to certain individuals whose jobs were lost due to foreign trade-related agreements.  The assistance has been in the form of a refundable Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC), equaling 65% of health premium. This provision has been extended several times since first enacted in 2002, and had expired as of February 14, 2011. The law has been extended again, retroactive to February 14, 2011, by way of the Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Extension Act of 2011, signed by President Obama on October 21, 2011. Following are highlights of this law:

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