Category: Compliance Corner

Vizance Insight Series: July – September 2018

Jun
05
2018
Join us for our Vizance Insight Series webinars when Beth Ward, Vizance’s Compliance Attorney, will address several common issues affecting employee benefit plans. Beth will discuss the legal issues and practical concerns surrounding these topics and discuss strategies to help employers be compliant. Section 125 (Cafeteria) Plans, Tuesday, July 10th, 1:30 - 2:30 Changes in Business Ownership, Tuesday, August 14th, 1:30 - 2:30 Mental Health Parity, Tuesday, September 11th, 1:30 - 2:30 Please see our 2018 3rd Qtr Vizance Insight Series Schedule for more information.

New IRS Guidance for HSA Limits

Apr
30
2018
Recently, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance again adjusting the maximum health savings account (HSA) contribution for individuals with family coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP). The new guidance, Revenue Procedure 2018-27, provides that for the 2018 calendar year an individual with HDHP family coverage may use $6,900 as the maximum contribution limit rather than the lower limit of $6,850 established following the passage of the 2018 Budget Reconciliation Act and published by the IRS on March 2, 2018. The new guidance further provides that, if permitted by the HSA trustee or custodian, an individual who receives a distribution from an HSA of an excess contribution (with earnings) based on the previously published $6,850 limit may repay the distribution to the HSA and the amounts will not be includable in the individual’s taxable income or subject to the 20 percent additional tax under Section 223(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.  

CMS Extends Transitional Relief for Small Groups through 2019

Apr
17
2018
Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced further extension of its transitional policy allowing insurers in the small group market to renew health insurance policies that they would otherwise have had to cancel due to noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). By way of background, the ACA includes market reforms that created new coverage standards for health insurance policies such as: premium rating rules, guaranteed availability and renewability, and the requirement to provide essential health benefits. Under the ACA the market reforms were to be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. However, prior to the effective date, CMS implemented a transitional relief policy that, if permitted by the states, would allow insurers offering coverage in the individual and small group markets the option of renewing current policies for current enrollees without adopting all of the ACA market reforms. The transitional relief policy was extended several times, but was set to expire in 2018. The CMS guidance extends the transitional relief policy through 2019. Under the CMS guidance, states can permit insurers that have continually renewed health insurance coverage for small groups since 2014 under the transitional relief policy to again renew such coverage for a policy year beginning on or before October 1, 2019. However, any policy renewed under the transitional relief cannot extend beyond December 31, 2

Vizance Insight Series: April – June 2018

Mar
14
2018
Join us for our Vizance Insight Series webinars when Beth Ward, Vizance’s Compliance Attorney, will address several common issues affecting employee benefit plans. Beth will discuss the legal issues and practical concerns surrounding these topics and discuss strategies to help employers be compliant. Benefits Based on Disability:  What the New DOL Regulations Mean for Employers, Tuesday, April 10th, 1:30 - 2:30 Continuation Coverage:  An Overview of Federal COBRA and State Continuation Rules, Tuesday, May 15th, 1:30 - 2:30 An Employer's Guide to FMLA, Tuesday, June 12th, 1:30 - 2:30 Please see our 2018 2nd Qtr Vizance Insight Series Schedule for more information.    

Vizance Insight Series: January – March 2018 Webinar Schedule

Dec
19
2017
Join us for our Vizance Insight Series webinars when Beth Ward, Vizance’s Compliance Attorney, will address several common issues affecting employee benefit plans. Beth will discuss the legal issues and practical concerns surrounding these topics and discuss strategies to help employers be compliant. It's Time to "Pay or Play" - The Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate Tuesday, January 9th, 1:30 - 2:30 Discrimination in Employee Benefits:  What Is or Is Not Permitted? Tuesday, February 13th, 1:30 - 2:30 Employee Health Savings Accounts:  What Employers Should Know Before They Contribute Tuesday, March 13th, 1:30 - 2:30 Click here for our upcoming webinar details.

Vizance Insight Series: Employee Benefit Plan Issues and Compliance – What Employers Need to Know

Oct
19
2017
In recent years we have seen new laws, rules and regulations that have significantly impacted almost every aspect of employee benefits – from the benefits an employer can offer to how those benefits are offered and the programs administered. In the ever-changing world of employee benefits knowing the current and applicable rules and maintaining compliance can be a daunting task for employers.  We want to help.  Join us for our fall webinar series when Beth Ward, Vizance’s Compliance Attorney, will address several common issues affecting employee benefit plans.  Beth will discuss the legal issues and practical concerns surrounding the issues and discuss strategies to help employers be compliant.

COBRA Webinar Scheduled for July 18th

Jun
29
2017
The complex requirements of COBRA leave many employers anxious and concerned about their liability and possible penalties from the IRS and Department of Labor. Join us for a webinar on Tuesday, July 18th at 1:30 pm when Beth Ward, Vizance’s Compliance Attorney, will address your COBRA concerns, helping you to become compliant. In this webinar we will discuss: >  Triggering rules for COBRA >  Notices that must be provided >   Penalties for noncompliance >   Difference between Federal COBRA rules and State Continuation   RSVP to Joanna Baisch at (262) 563 5457 or register@vizance.com  

Are You Prepared for a DOL Audit?

Jun
12
2017
Although the future of the Affordable Care Act may be uncertain, the Department of Labor has not reduced its enforcement efforts. Rather, the DOL has increased the number of audits and has stated that it will continue to focus its resources on compliance. Beth Ward, Vizance's Compliance Attorney, recently presented a seminar regarding this topic. Beth has actively assisted numerous employers with DOL and IRS audits, along with pre-audit corrective actions. Future webinars and seminars will again cover this topic. If you're interested in attending, please email us at contact@vizance.com.

HHS Extends Transitional Relief for Small Groups

Mar
07
2017
On February 23, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that insurers in the small group market will be permitted to renew health insurance policies that would they otherwise have had to cancel due to noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). By way of background, the ACA includes market reforms that created new coverage standards for health insurance policies such as: premium rating rules, guaranteed availability and renewability, and the requirement to provide essential health benefits.  Under the ACA the market reforms were to be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014. However, prior to the effective date President Obama implemented a transitional relief policy that, if permitted by the states, would allow insurers offering coverage in the individual and small group markets the option of renewing current policies for current enrollees without adopting all of the ACA market reforms. The transitional relief policy was extended several times, but was set to expire in 2017. The HHS guidance again extends the transitional relief policy. Under the HSS guidance, states can permit insurers that have continually renewed health insurance coverage for small groups since 2014 under the transitional relief policy to again renew such coverage for a policy year beginning on or before October 1, 2018. However, any policy renewed under the transitional relief cannot extend beyond December 31, 2018. Also, state

New DOL Overtime Rules Effective December 1, 2016

May
23
2016
On May 18, 2016, changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) increase the salary an employee must earn to qualify to be exempt. Employees that are currently not eligible for overtime but make less than $47,475 per year will be eligible for overtime pay beginning December 1, 2016. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime. In order for an employee to be exempt, they must meet all three of the following criteria: Salary Basis Test: Employee is paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction due to variations in the quality or quantity of work. Salary Level Test: Employee’s salary must meet a minimum specified amount to qualify for the exemption. This salary threshold provides employers with an objective and efficient way to determine whether an employee qualifies for a white collar exemption. Duties Test: Employee’s job duties must primarily involve executive, administrative, or professional duties, as defined by law. The new FLSA regulations modify the Salary Level Test to mean no less than $47,475 per year. An employer may include ten percent of non-discretionary incentive bonuses tied to productivity and profitability. The bonus must be paid at least quarterly in order to be factored into the Salary Level Test. Because an employee must meet all three criteria to be exempt, an employee that makes less than $47,475 per year as of December 1, 2016 will no longer be exempt. What should employers do now? Employers shoul