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.

Employers Are Likely to Cover Mandates Even if High Court Strikes Health Reform

As you must know by now, regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the federal health care reform, a couple of very large insurers announced they would continue several of health reform’s insurance mandates. The impact of this announcement directly applies to companies that buy full insurance. But self-insured plans and employers big enough […]

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2 Big Insurers Pledge to Cover Mandates Even if Health Reform Is Cast Out

Regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the federal health care reform,  Humana and UnitedHealth Group on June 11 announced that they would continue several of health reform’s insurance mandates. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether the “individual mandate” (for everyone to get health insurance or pay a penalty) is unconstitutional, but […]

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House Nod on Repealing OTC Rules, Easing ‘Use-it-or-Lose-it’

The rules on how expenditures for over-the-counter drugs are reimbursed and governing health flexible spending account balances still unused at the end of the year could change if a bill the House passed on June 7 is enacted. In a 270-146 vote, the House approved H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012. […]

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Bill Would Increase Dependent Care Credit, Make Limits Permanent

If this bill becomes law, there will be higher dollar limits for eligible services for which employees can claim the dependent care tax credit. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., introduced the Middle Class Dependent Care Fairness Act of 2012 (H.R. 5886) on June 1. Israel’s bill calls for: increasing the credit to $35,000 per year; increasing […]

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Top 5 HR and Benefits Administration Challenges Facing Companies

Summer’s here, and coincidentally, it’s a hot time for legal and regulatory developments affecting human resources and benefits professionals! Many companies trying to make ends meet also should expect new laws and regulations in these five areas. The perils of not heeding leave and disability law. Employers struggle with determining what a “reasonable accommodation” is under […]

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Texas Excludes Self-funded Plans From ‘Insurer’ Definition, Exposing S-L Policies to State Taxes

In a May 18 ruling, the Texas Supreme Court compelled a stop-loss insurer to pay a direct premium tax on stop-loss policies sold to self-funded health plans. Stop-loss insurance written in Texas for self-funded plans is not “reinsurance” and thus must pay state levies and follow state insurance rules, the court held. American National, a […]

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Fight Continues Against Tax on Private Flights

Employers that operate private airplanes for the use of their executives may want to stay tuned to some controversy over a recent IRS legal memorandum outlining the tax collector’s stance on aircraft management fees. The IRS shared its views on federal excise tax in Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum 201210026, which concludes that the tax applies […]

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Recouping FMLA Premiums—Legal, But Not Necessarily Easy

When an employee fails to return from FMLA leave, for at least 30 calendar days, the employer may demand payment of its share of the health premiums paid during the leave. However, that may not be easy, and it may not be sensible. Most state wage and hour laws do not permit an employer to […]

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House to Vote on Bill to Repeal OTC Rules

Legislation that would repeal health reform rules limiting the reimbursement of over-the-counter medications is inching closer to passage. On June 5, the Restoring Access to Medication Act (H.R. 5842) was placed on the House calendar, so the full House will soon vote on the measure. The Ways and Means Committee on May 31 ordered the […]

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Full 9th Circuit Refuses to Review California’s Same-sex Marriage Ban

Employers can expect continued uncertainty regarding whether they will need to adjust their plans, documents and policies to accommodate same-sex spouses. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 5 refused a petition that the full bench of the court rehear Perry v. Brown, Nos. 10-16696, 11-16577. That lets stand the ruling by a […]

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