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02/07/2018

Group Health Plan Reporting and Disclosure Reminders; EEOC Workplace Posting Penalties (article)


Following are some reporting and disclosure reminders.  Also important to note that the EEOC recently increased the penalty for failure to post the required workplace posting.

Annual Reporting Reminders

  • Medicare Part D Disclosure Notice to CMS.  All group health plans, whether insured or self-funded, are required to provide notices of creditable or non-creditable coverage to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on an annual basis. The Creditable Coverage Disclosure Form filing must be accomplished electronically, and is due within 60 days of the commencement of the plan year. For calendar year plans, this means the disclosure filing must be accomplished no later than March 2, 2018. In addition, this disclosure form must be completed within 30 days upon other events such as when the prescription drug benefit is cancelled, or if any material change in the prescription drug benefits that would cause it to change status from creditable to non-creditable, or vice versa. Guidance and instructions, as well as the disclosure form, are available on the CMS website.
  • Form M-1 Filing.  If you sponsored a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) in 2017, make certain that you file the 2017 Form M-1 annual report by March 1, 2018.  Failure or refusal to file a completed or accurate Form M-1 could result in penalties of up to $1,558 per day (indexed for 2018).  As a reminder, the Form M-1 can only be submitted electronically through the DOL’s Online Filing System (http://www.askebsa.dol.gov/mewa).  In addition, all welfare benefit plans required to file a Form M-1 are required to file the Form 5500 regardless of the plan size or type of funding.

Annual Disclosure Reminder: Medicaid/CHIP Premium Assistance Notice

Employers sponsoring health plans are obligated to annually provide a premium assistance notice to their workforce. This notification can be accomplished by using a model notice provided by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA).

The model Medicaid/CHIP notice has been revised and is current as of January 31, 2018. Following are the changes to the revised notice, when compared to the August 10, 2017 version:

  1. Both the website address and phone number for the Medicaid agency in New Hampshire have changed;
  2. There is a different website address for the Medicaid office in Nevada; and
  3. The phone number for the Medicaid office in West Virginia has changed.

Model notice.  The revised model Medicaid/CHIP notice is available for viewing and/or downloading from the DOL’s website, in both English (pdf or word) and Spanish (pdf or word),

Who gets the notice?  The notice explaining the right to premium assistance must be provided to employees residing in the below-listed states at least once annually, without regard to where the employer is located, or where the health plan is sitused: 

States with Premium Assistance

Alabama

Minnesota

Pennsylvania

Alaska

Missouri

Rhode Island

Arkansas

Montana

South Carolina

Colorado

Nebraska

South Dakota

Florida

Nevada

Texas

Georgia

New Hampshire

Utah

Indiana

New Jersey

Vermont

Iowa

New York

Virginia

Kansas

North Carolina

Washington

Kentucky

North Dakota

West Virginia

Louisiana

Oklahoma

Wisconsin

Maine

Oregon

Wyoming

Massachusetts

 

 


Method of distributing notice.  The Medicaid/CHIP premium assistance notice can be included in other plan materials, such as open enrollment materials, or a summary plan description. Alternatively, it can be provided as a separate document. If the notice is to be included with other plan material, it must be clearly delineated as a unique document. The notice can be provided in written form; or, electronically, as long the DOL’s electronic disclosure rules are followed. Employers are welcome to modify the model notice; though, it is very important that the document provided to affected individuals clearly explains the right to premium assistance; and most importantly, provides at least minimal information about how to contact the relevant state Medicaid or CHIP office.

Penalty for failure to provide notice.  The penalty for failure to provide this notice is adjusted on a periodic basis. Beginning January 2, 2018, failure to notify employees of premium assistance opportunities could result in a penalty assessment of up to $114 per day, per employee.

EEOC Workplace Posting: Increased Penalty for Failure to Post

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced an increase in the penalty for failure to post the EEOC notice from $534 to $545 per violation, beginning February 20, 2018.  As background, employers subject to various laws enforced by the EEOC should ensure that they have the appropriate EEOC notice posted in their workplaces.  The EEOC enforces laws that prohibit workplace discrimination under such laws as:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (relating to discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex);
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ADA Amendments Act (ADAA);
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA);
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA); and
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)

The EEOC poster, “Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law” is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese; and, can be obtained by downloading and printing it via EEOC website.


The information contained in this article is provided as general guidance and may be affected by changes in law or regulation. This article is not intended to replace or substitute for accounting or other professional advice. Please consult a CBIZ professional. This information is provided as-is with no warranties of any kind. CBIZ shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever in connection with its use and assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in laws or other factors that could affect the information contained herein. 

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