January 2, 2019

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Slowly Filling in the Blanks

IRS Releases Guidance on Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits for Tax-Exempt Organizations The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), enacted in December 2017, eliminated the business deduction employers received for providing qualified transportation fringe benefits (“fringe benefits”) to their employees beginning January 1, 2018. The Act did not affect the employee exclusion, which enables the […]

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December 18, 2018

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Texas Federal Court Rules ACA Unconstitutional

Given the heavy media attention, you are probably aware that a Texas federal district court issued a decision on December 14, 2018, declaring the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. The final outcome will take a while, and the ACA remains in effect as this case moves through the appeals process. Employers (and their group […]

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December 17, 2018

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Retail Workers and Fatigue

During the holidays, many retail workers experience irregular and extended shifts and often take on additional workload due to reduced staff. This can lead to overexertion, stress and fatigue which ultimately can cause poor overall health in the population. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) looked at the retail sector and provided […]

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November 27, 2018

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Do the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules Apply to My Organization?

This article is the second in a two-part series addressing whether and how the Privacy and Security Rules (the “Rules”) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) apply to various legal entities. Part One addressed Covered Entities and appeared in our October 2018 newsletter. This article addresses Business Associates of Covered Entities that […]

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November 16, 2018

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Better Late Than Never

The Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2018-57 today, which contains the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments for various employee benefit plans including employer sponsored health care flexible spending accounts, qualified transportation fringe benefits, and adoption assistance programs. The following provides a summary of the annual limits for these specific benefit programs along with a summary of […]

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November 2, 2018

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Health Reimbursement Arrangements Poised for a Facelift

The President signed an Executive Order on October 12, 2017, directing the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Agencies”) to consider rules expanding the availability and permitted uses for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The clear intent was to ultimately enable employers to offer HRAs to employees that can be […]

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October 22, 2018

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Do the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules Apply to My Organization?

This article is the first in a two-part series addressing whether and how the Privacy and Security Rules (the “Rules”) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA with one P and two As, always) apply to various legal entities. This article addresses Covered Entities. Part two will address Business Associates. What’s a Covered […]

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October 18, 2018

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Slope it. Shore it. Shield it.

OSHA issued a press release announcing that it has updated the National Emphasis Program (NEP) on preventing trenching and excavation collapses in response to a recent spike in trenching fatalities.  The NEP will increase education and enforcement efforts.  The program began on October 1, 2018 with a three-month period of education and prevention outreach.  During […]

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September 21, 2018

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Annual Creditable Coverage Notice Deadline Approaches

The annual deadline for the Creditable Coverage notice is arriving once again. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires employers offering prescription drug coverage to disclose to all Medicare Part D eligible individuals the creditable status of their plan by October 15th each year. Employers may use the model notices available here on […]

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September 21, 2018

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September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month

Most Americans know the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, but most still aren’t getting the daily recommended servings. The minimum requirement is 5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. A cup is equal to one tennis ball-size piece of fruit or one cup of cooked or raw vegetables. Most individuals need to do […]

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September 17, 2018

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Navigating the Wellness Program Rules for 2019

What a difference a year can make. Dealing with the various and differing wellness program requirements under HIPAA, the ADA, and GINA remains challenging, but we finally had a regulatory framework to work with for all three laws in 2017 and 2018. That was apparently too easy as a federal court determined that the Equal […]

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August 8, 2018

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Federal Agencies Release Final Regulations for Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance Coverage

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury recently released final regulations for short-term limited duration insurance policies (STLDI) that make several changes to the existing STLDI rules and also affect how these policies interact with other laws.  The final regulations become effective this Fall.  STLDI coverage is intended to provide individuals who […]

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