The world has been hit hard by the loss of life, human suffering, and financial repercussions of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Here in the U.S., federal, state, and local governments have been issuing guidance and directives that affect the general population as well as businesses and employees. At current count more than 100 million Americans are under state or local directives to stay at home or otherwise "shelter in place." In several states, governors have required or otherwise encouraged "non-essential" businesses to suspend operations and even "essential" businesses are experiencing reductions in working hours, layoffs or furloughs. This situation has directly impacted employees and their families, not only from a pay perspective, but also as to the employee benefits they receive.
On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act. Title XVIII of the Act overturns a portion of ACA regulations (IRS Notice 2013-54) that prohibits employers from offering employees standalone health reimbursement arrangements (i.e., HRAs that are not integrated with a group health plan). This change will allow eligible small employers the opportunity to contribute money to HRA accounts of their employees that can be used to pay health insurance premiums as well as deductibles, copayments, and other out-of-pocket medical expenses.
On November 18th, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2016-70 which:
Are you an employer trying to sort through all the changes to the Affordable Care Act? If so, join Coolidge Wall Labor & Employment attorney R. Brent Gambill on July 27th in Columbus, OH, at the Sterling Education Services Affordable Care Act Seminar. This in-depth seminar has been approved for CLE credits for both the legal industry and HR industry and will address the following topics:
The IRS has unexpectedly extended the deadlines by which insurers and self-funded employers must provide health plan enrollment and coverage information to employees and the IRS under the Affordable Care Act. This is the information required to be reported on Forms 1094 and 1095. Notice 2016-4 issued December 28 extends the due dates:
The monolithic Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which became law December 18, changes the effective date of the Affordable Care Act's so-called "Cadillac" tax.
The federal government recently issued final regulations that apply to the "employer mandate" or "play or pay" provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These provisions require employers with 50 or more employees to offer full-time employees (and their dependents) the opportunity to enroll in an adequate and affordable employer-sponsored health plan or pay a penalty. Last year, the government postponed enforcement of the new mandate until 2015. Now, the government has provided a further delay for employers with 50 to 99 employees and modified for one-year the coverage requirement that applies to employers with 100 or more employees: