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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:
DOL releases 2011 Form 5500
The DOL has released advanced copies of the 2011 Form 5500 series. Plan administrators of employee welfare benefit and pension plans subject to ERISA must file an annual return/report to the DOL on the Form 5500. The Form 5500s and appropriate schedule information are to be completed and filed electronically via DOL's EFAST2 website (http://www.efast.dol.gov). The 2011 information-only 5500 forms, schedules and instructions are available from the DOL’s website.
Updates for California Employers
San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance
New Pilot Audit Program: HIPAA Privacy and Security Compliance
The health care privacy rules, which were included originally in the HIPAA law and later amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, are intended to protect the confidentiality of individually protected health information. Included in the HITECH rules are some specific procedures requiring that individuals be notified of any breach of their personal information.
January 6, 2012
HRB 44 - Additional IRS Guidance on W-2 Reporting Requirement
January 3, 2012
Tapping into the Benefits of CRM in Your Business (article)
December 21, 2011
HRB 43 - Year-end Wrap Up
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
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)
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.