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July 5, 2007
Retiree Health Coordination on the Move Again?
For the last several years, there has been an unresolved issue relating to retiree health coverage and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). A few years ago, a Third Circuit Court decided that it would be a violation of the ADEA for an employer to coordinate retiree health benefits with Medicare. In other words, employers would be prohibited from providing greater benefits for pre-Medicare eligible retirees, than for post-Medicare eligible retirees.
Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law: Employer Obligations At-A-Glance
Fair and Reasonable Contribution Penalty - Fair Share Contribution
Federal Minimum Wage Update
On July 5, 2007, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division released a revised Federal minimum wage poster reflecting the new minimum wage increases. Beginning July 24, 2007, the minimum wage will be $5.85 per hour, increasing to $6.55 in 2008 and $7.25 in 2009. Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage provisions are required to post this notice, in a conspicuous place in all of its locations, where employees can readily read it.
June 5, 2007
Electronic Form 5500 Filing Requirement Delayed
An EBSA official has stated that the required electronic filing of the Form 5500 has been delayed from January 1, 2008 to January 1, 2009. For calendar year plans, this means the first electronic filing will be due in 2010.
HSA Guidance Again: Comparability Rules Re-Visited
On June 1, 2007, the IRS and Treasury issued proposed regulations on two very narrow aspects of the health savings account (HSA) comparability rules. These proposed regulations address the situation in which an individual has either not established, or has not advised the employer about the establishment of, an HSA prior to the end of the calendar year. The proposed regulations also address a situation of accelerating contributions to individuals who incur medical expenses. The regulations provide guidance about how to ensure compliance with the HSA comparability rules in these situations.
2008 HSA Cost-of-Living Adjustments
In Rev Proc 2007-36, the IRS released 2008 cost of living adjustments for health savings accounts. Following are annual deductible amounts for a high deductible health plan (HDHP) used in conjunction with a health savings account (HSA), and limits for out-of-pocket expenses and contributions for both 2007 and 2008.
Massachusetts Employers: A New Cafeteria Plan Requirement
As part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ effort to provide universal health coverage to all residents, the State is requiring employers to offer its employees an IRC Section 125 (cafeteria) plan, effective July 1, 2007. This rule applies to all employers employing 11 or more full-time equivalent employees in the Commonwealth. It applies to employers whether they offer insured health plans, self-funded health plans, or no health insurance plan at all. Failure to comply with the cafeteria plan requirement may cause the employer to be subject to the Free Rider Surcharge.
May 3, 2007
Rash of Regulations Issued
Last month, three sets of regulations relating to retirement and deferred compensation were issued.
Medicare Part D – 2008 Benefit Limits
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released the 2008 cost of living adjustments for Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits. Following are select modified limits relating to the standard drug benefit and the retiree drug subsidy.
May 2, 2007
Employers Beware: Comply with Plan Terms
A recent court decision boldly underscores the importance of accurate plan administration, specifically as it relates to eligibility. In Carolina Care Plan, Inc. v. Auddie Brown Auto Sales of Florence, Inc., 2007 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 24962 (D.N.C. 2007)], the HMO sued the employer for over $650,000 worth of claims reimbursed to an individual who was no longer eligible for the plan.