Category: Benefits

From 401(k) plans to vacation policy, this topic gives HR and Compensation professionals specific strategies on how to handle benefit plans. Articles also provide guidance to brokers, advisers and consultants.

Coverage of Dementia Services Bodes Well for Employer LTC Insurance

Why should a recent tax court decision that caretaker services provided to a dementia patient are qualified long-term care (LTC) expenses be of interest to employers? Well, if you see employee benefits as a way to attract and retain good employees, and don’t yet offer LTC insurance, the ruling —  which means those services could […]

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Tell the IRS What You Think of Changes Affecting LTC Insurance

Do you offer long-term care (LTC) insurance to your employees? If so, and the changes the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) made to the tax and information reporting requirements affecting some LTC coverage apply, you can offer your two cents’ worth to the IRS. The PPA amended the tax rules for qualified LTC insurance, […]

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Timing of Backaches Justifies Firing, Negates FLMA and ADA Claims

Some people complain about “rheumatism,” backaches and other physical ills when the weather shifts. For a Southwest Airlines employee, his backaches — and resulting requests for Family and Medical Act (FMLA) leave — seemed to follow the same shift as holidays and vacation time. Southwest determined that this was not the whim of nature but […]

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Keep That Travel Budget Tight: Feds Issue Per Diems for FY 2012

Policymakers may debate the federal government’s overall spending habits, but federal employees have long had restrictions on how much they can be reimbursed for travel expenses, for example. And each year, the “per diem” travel reimbursement rates are adjusted. In fact, the feds have released per diem rates, adjusted for inflation, for fiscal year 2012, […]

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DOL Clarifies End of COBRA Premium Subsidy Period

Keep in mind that some individuals may be eligible for COBRA premium subsidies beyond Aug. 31, 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) noted today in updated material on its website. The updated frequently-asked-question on the end of the subsidy period follows: Q1: I’ve heard that the COBRA Premium Reduction (Subsidy) ends on August 31, 2011, […]

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Annual Waiver Requirement for HRAs? No Sweat for Some!

If you offer your employees health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), you know better than I that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) increased your administrative duties. But there’s good news, at least for some of you! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a reminder that HRAs established […]

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Vermont Drops Immediate Demand for Liberty Mutual Data

A quick update on the case involving the state of Vermont’s demand for claims data from Liberty Mutual’s group health plan — the state agreed to drop its immediate demand for this information, pending the ultimate outcome of the lawsuit. The state’s health and insurance agency had issued a subpoena for this data, and Liberty […]

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Employer Sues to Block State’s Demand for Health Plan Data

An insurance company recently sued the state of Vermont to block its attempt to get details on the employees and family members enrolled in the company’s group health plan, and the actual claims they’ve submitted. Vermont health care regulators want this information for a database designed to measure and improve the quality of health care […]

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IRS Clarifies Electronic Filing, Signatures for Form 8955-SSA Users

Do you have to file the new Form 8955-SSA? If so, you may be able to breathe — and file — a little more easily. The IRS recently provided Announcement 2011-21 clarifying how the form is to be used, including how it is to be signed and electronically filed. The IRS also has provided additional information […]

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Resuscitate COBRA Premium Subsidies to Help Unemployed, Commonwealth Fund Says

In the waning days of the COBRA premium subsidy, The Commonwealth Fund is calling for the program to be resuscitated as a way to help unemployed and uninsured workers until health care reform is fully implemented. In an Aug. 24 issue brief,  the Fund noted that “the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression has […]

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