By Greg Daugherty and Porter Wright on Seemingly unfazed by the recent setbacks with the Association Health Plan regulations, the Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services have released new health reimbursement (HRA) regulations that could reshape the group health plan landscape by providing employers with potentially cheaper options than traditional group health plan coverage for satisfying Affordable Care Act … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on On Jan. 5, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that would make it easier for small businesses to join together to purchase health insurance. This is not a completely new concept. Unrelated small employers can join together to purchase health insurance today. Under current guidance, however, these types of plans are … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on The IRS yesterday released IRS Notice 2016-4, which extends the due dates for certain 2015 information reporting under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). This notice relates to due dates for the 2015 information reporting requirements (i.e., both furnishing to individuals and filing with the IRS) for insurers and self-insuring employers. Specifically, Notice 2016-4 extends the … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on President Obama might want to invite Chief Justice John Roberts to the White House for a “thank you” dinner! The United States Supreme Court today issued an opinion in King v. Burwell that upholds the Obama administration’s interpretation of language in the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) that concluded government subsidies to underwrite the cost … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Veteran observers of the United States Supreme Court regularly and wisely advise not to make too much out of the questions asked by the justices during oral argument as a predictor of ultimate outcome. Having said that, the first reaction of those who follow these oral arguments (often including some of those veteran observers) invariably … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Come One, Come All!
Feel like a lion tamer or a trapeze artist trying to avoid a risky move or a dangerous misstep?
Join Porter Wright's Labor and Employment Group in Cleveland on Thursday, October 23 as we present . . .… Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Some days are just more fun that others! Just hours after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Halbig v. Burwell, which held that tax subsidies made available under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) to lower income individuals to help defray the cost of health care coverage may not be extended to … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on A federal Court of Appeals panel in Washington, D.C. today released a decision that, if upheld, would strike down one of the main pillars of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) and in the minds of many observers lead to unpredictable consequences. In a 2-1 decision in Halbig v. Burwell, the three-judge federal appeals panel reversed a … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on As we noted in a previous blog entry, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled in two companion cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius (referred to hereafter as Hobby Lobby) , that regulations issued under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) that compel closely held corporations to provide contraception … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Back in 2011, I mentioned a missing link in the health care reform Section 4980H shared responsibility employer excise tax scheme. 42 U.S.C. Section 18081 requires the establishment of an appeals and redeterminations process for penalty assessments, and acknowledges a problem with the provision itself. It requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on The United States Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision issued on Monday that regulations issued under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) that compel closely held corporations to provide contraception coverage for their employees violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (the “RFRA”). Two cases actually are involved in this opinion, including Sebelius v. … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on And the gloves are off! The IRS has threatened employers with PPACA penalties of $36,500 per employee, per year, nondeductible. Makes those $2,000 and $3,000 penalties look like small potatoes, right? The targets of this particular Q&A are employers who maintain “non-integrated” “employer payment plans.” These are new terms, which include reimbursement plans such as … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Sixth Circuit retiree health care case, M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett. The issue is: Whether, when construing collective bargaining agreements in Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) cases, courts should presume that silence concerning the duration of retiree health-care benefits means the parties intended those benefits … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on We have a new Sixth Circuit decision regarding “vested” retiree health care benefits that is likely to be of concern to many employers, United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing Energy, Allied Industrial And Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO-CLC v. Kelsey-Hayes Company. You may recall that in the last significant Sixth Circuit decision on this … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Join Porter Wright’s Employment Group for our Spring Employment Relations Seminar -Keeping Your Workforce Healthy, Wealthy and Wise – on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in Cleveland. Topics include: Keeping Pace: Learn the Latest in Employment Law presented by Tracey L. Turnbull De-Stress: Effectively Managing Mental Stress Claims in Workers’ Compensation Cases presented by Fred … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Employers have always been concerned about the potential for worker reclassification, but health care reform and a recent NLRB decision take this issue to an entirely new level. “Large” employers who offer coverage will be required to offer coverage to “all” of their “full-time workers,” defined as at least 95% of employees working 30 hours … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Hot off the press are the final regulations for the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (more commonly referred to as the “pay-or-play mandate”). In fact, the regulations are so new that they will not actually be published in the Federal Register until tomorrow, February 12. … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on As a reminder, under health care reform, all employers to which the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) applies, not just “applicable large employers,” are required to distribute health care exchange notices to their employees by October 1, 2013. Given that health care reform is chock full of big penalties, it puzzled me that I couldn’t find a penalty for failure to provide this notice. Last week, the DOL published Frequently Asked Questions that confirmed, “there is no fine or penalty under the law for failing to provide the notice.” Nonetheless, health care reform involves so many inter-related statutes, pages of guidance, government agencies and interested parties that we encourage employers to comply to demonstrate good faith, and to avoid potential alternative theories of liability.… Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Employee Relations Seminar Halloween Edition: Toil and Trouble...
Please join the labor and employment group of Porter Wright on Tuesday, October 8 in Cleveland as we address issues that will help keep your workforce out of trouble.
… Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on In a surprising but generally welcome move, the Obama administration has moved to delay the enforcement of the employer mandate to provide health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”), which otherwise was scheduled to go into effect in 2014. This delay in enforcement formally was announced in a statement released July 2, … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on The Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) makes sweeping changes to the current health insurance landscape. Though some of these changes are already in force, the most significant provisions of the ACA become effective on January 1, 2014. This includes the "pay or play mandate," the individual coverage mandate, and certain significant taxes and fees that are imposed on employers.… Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) recently issued guidance in the form of a Frequently Asked Question (“FAQ”) that relates to the applicability of the market reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) to certain expatriate health care plans. … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on As you may have heard, the U.S Supreme Court denied Hobby Lobby an injunction against the PPACA contraceptive coverage mandate. Employers who maintain health care plans are required to pay excise taxes for failure to comply with a particular aspect of the law, regardless of whether coverage is affordable. … Continue Reading
By Porter Wright on Thank you to everyone who attended our recent Health Care Reform seminar! During the seminar, we mentioned the Summary of Benefits and Coverage, or SBC, required to be distributed as early as Sept. 23, 2012. One of the questions that arose about the SBC was, “Does this mean that the insurers now have to provide … Continue Reading