April 10, 2019

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Paying medical claims with a Health Savings Account. When can it be done tax free?

I have run into this situation several times recently: An employee attempts to pay for their qualified medical expense claim with their health savings account (HSA) tax-free dollars, but are still taxed or face penalties. Why would this happen? Well, the ability to pay with tax-free HSA dollars is not based on when an employee […]

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April 2, 2019

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Association Health Plans (AHPs) – Update

Round One in the Fight over the new AHP Rules [Mostly] goes to the States Last summer, eleven states and the District of Columbia (the “States”) sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) over its final regulations intended to promote the expansion of AHPs (the “new rules”) on several grounds, including claims that the new […]

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March 27, 2019

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U.S. Department of Labor Releases Proposed Overtime Rule

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) proposing to revise the overtime salary thresholds under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed rule would increase the weekly salary threshold for exempt employees from $455 ($23,660 annually) to $679 ($35,308 annually). The DOL made earlier […]

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March 8, 2019

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Social Determinants of Health

Population Health Managers have long known that the health of an individual is dependent on a complex variety of factors, not just genetics and lifestyle. Health can also be determined by the places and conditions where employees work and live. Poor social and environmental conditions can negatively affect the health outcomes of those employees. For […]

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March 7, 2019

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Mistaken HSA Contributions

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have become increasingly popular over the past decade. When combined with a qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP), an HSA allows an individual to save money to be used on qualifying medical expenses at a later date. Employees may elect to contribute money to their HSA account on a pre-tax basis […]

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March 7, 2019

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Frequently Misunderstood Health Savings Account Issues

Authors: Christopher Beinecke is the Employee Health & Benefits National Compliance Leader for Marsh & McLennan Agency.  Jennifer Stanley is a Compliance Consultant in the Employee Health & Benefits Compliance Center of Excellence for Marsh & McLennan Agency. The health savings account (HSA) eligibility and contribution rules are often misunderstood, which can result in potential adverse consequences […]

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February 25, 2019

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2018 Stop-Loss Survey

Last year we published our inaugural Stop-Loss Survey, which allowed employers and their advisors to more accurately benchmark deductibles and premium levels based on peers of similar size and geographic area. As a result of the success of our 2017 Marsh & McLennan Agencies Stop-Loss Survey, we are excited to share with you the results […]

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February 5, 2019

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Automatic Enrollment Given a Boost

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Issues Letter Indicating ERISA Preemption Applies to State Payroll Withholding Laws On December 4, 2018, the DOL issued a letter in response to an inquiry from the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) about the interaction of ERISA and state wage withholding laws that require an affirmative written election before […]

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January 30, 2019

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Is it Time for a Benefits Administration Technology Solution?

The benefits you offer your employees are valuable. Your benefits package is also a key factor when attracting – and keeping – top talent. When employees aren’t engaged in their benefit offerings, it can lead to costly turnover and job dissatisfaction. But there is some good news. When it seems like your employees are dissatisfied […]

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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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