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Health Care Reform Update
December, 2015

ACA prohibits employers from offering enhanced or subsidized health care benefits to highly compensated management employees while at the same time not providing equivalent health benefits to all other covered employees. Click here to learn more

November, 2015

Affordable Care Act: What You Need to Do Now. You’ll need to file data with the IRS showing participation (or non-participation) of your employees in your insured group health plan on a month-by-month basis. This reporting is required even if you do not provide any group health coverage for your employees. Self-insured plans have a separate filing requirement. Click here to learn more.

October, 2014

Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act or “ACA”) provides another set of compliance deadlines starting on November 5, 2014. The new deadlines involve: Click here for more...

February, 2014

There has been a deluge of regulatory activity involving the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), or the ACA. The most recent ACA regulatory developments that may be of interest to employers and HR professionals include: Wellness Programs, Fixed-Indemnity Plans, and a discrimination ban that prohibits employers from offering enhanced or subsidized health care benefits to highly compensated management employees while at the same time not providing equivalent health benefits to rank and file employees.
Click here for more...

September, 2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers to distribute an employee notice about their rights to elect health coverage under government run state exchanges, or "marketplaces." This notice must be distributed to all employees, including part-time employees and those not enrolled in coverage, by October 1, 2013.
Click here for more...

June, 2013

Government regulators continue to bombard group health administrators, HR staff and subject employers with compliance tools. Assistance with required ACA documentation can be found here:
Click here for more...

February, 2013

Regulatory releases under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or "Obamacare," are coming fast and furious. Recent focus has been on how a "large employer" (one with at least 50 full-time employees including "full-time equivalents") can satisfy the "employer mandate" to provide group health coverage.
Click here for more...

December, 2012

The ACA has triggered much discussion about employer coverage issues, plan design changes and possible switches from a full-time work force to a part-time work force.  Don’t lose sight of the compliance requirements that apply no matter what. 
Click here for more...

September, 2012

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, is here to stay – at least for now.  Employers, HR professionals and outside advisors need to gear up for compliance. The ACA requires attention now to the following current requirements.
Click here for more...

March, 2012

The Health Care Reform legislation (now referred to as the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) requires group health plans (both grandfathered and non-grandfathered) and insurers to provide participants and beneficiaries a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) in order to allow consumers to compare available health coverage options in a standard format. 
Click here for more...

August, 2011

What You Can Do in Response to PPACA? A comprehensive PowerPoint Presentation. Health Care Reform: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

August, 2011

Health Care Reform legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or “PPACA”) imposes additional claims processing requirements on subject group health plans and insurers. There are new claims notices, revised procedures and, for self-funded ERISA plans, a Federal external claims review requirement.
click to read more...

April, 2011

In a significant legislative development, the President recently signed a bill that repeals the PPACA requirement for businesses to report all purchases of goods and services from a single vendor of more than $600 in a calendar year on IRS Form 1099-MISC. This legislation eliminates a previously postponed requirement that had been the target of advocacy groups as unduly burdensome for small business owners.
click to read more...

Click here for all of our Health Care Reform Updates >> 

 

 

 

Recent Articles

Your Fiduciary Duty - And What to Do About It

(October 2016) Plan fiduciaries do not have to make perfect decisions but they do need to exercise diligence in their deliberation on both administrative and investment matters.


Benefits Update: The Regulators Speak

(August 2016) Significant new rules and regulations are proposed for retirement plans, deferred compensation plans and group health plans.


Breaking Up is Hard to Do

(July 2016) Entrepreneurs who work hard and build a business over decades realize that they need to think about slowing down and stepping back. Entrepreneurs worry about two things that can make delay an attractive option.


Retirement Funds and Business Start-Ups, Do "ROBS" Work?

(May 2016) You can use your retirement assets from a prior employer or prior business to fund a new business venture. The IRS calls it “ROBS” for “Rollovers as Business Start-ups.


Does Your Group Health Booklet Measure Up?

(April 2016)  Does your group health booklet measure up to ERISA requirements? In many cases that answer is “No” and here is why...


Stolen Laptop Triggers $1.55 Million Fine

Is a stolen laptop packed with medical information on thousands of patients worth paying a $1.55 Million government fine? North Memorial Health Care of Minnesota (“NMHC”) thinks so. 


Why Not Use Your IRA for a Business Investment?

(September 2015)  Is there a good way to use those IRA funds for your business investment?



Same-Sex Marriage and Your Benefit Plans

(August 2015) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to license marriage between two qualified individuals of the same-sex. This decision the extends the rights to file joint state income tax returns, community property rights in community property states, the right to inherit property more easily, the same hospital visitation rights afforded opposite-sex married couples. Click here to learn more...


Legal Advice on Your 401(k) Plan – Is It Confidential?

(July 2015) The Department of Labor (“DOL”) comes calling and asks to look at your plan administrative documents. You would like to withhold a lawyer’s memo as confidential “attorney–client” communications. Can you do that? 


Service Provider Mistakes – Who Is Responsible?

(May 2015) A typical service agreement for a “claims administrator” vests ultimate authority over claims decisions with the employer as plan administrator. In an insured welfare plan, claims decisions govern the expenditure of insurance company funds, so the employee’s supposed ultimate authority over claims is probably a fiction. However, employers should not have to spend gobs of money in attorneys’ fees to prove that proposition in court.


Fiduciary Update for 401(k) and Other Benefit Plans

(March 2015) A Selected highlights of recent court decisions point to significant liability concerns for employer and service providers to 401(k) and other ERISA plans.


ESOPs: The Ultimate Succession Solution

(January 2015) For Baby Boomer entrepreneurs with no inheritance option succession and the associated liquidity needs require a solution.


The Five 401(k) Duties That Employers Can’t Delegate

(December 2014) Understand the 401(k) plan responsibilities that are not delegated to service providers. If your current service providers cannot fully assist with provider fee disclosures or other operating matters, get needed assistance from other providers, investment advisors or legal counsel.


How Safe Is Your Retirement Nest Egg?

You’ve transferred your 401(k) retirement nest egg into an individual retirement account (IRA). Will those IRA assets be protected from creditors regardless of what happens to you?


ESOP Stock Drop Leaves Inside Trustees No Way Out

(April 2014) Participants in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) sponsored by Fifth Third Bancorp filed suit after the Bank’s stock experienced a 74 percent drop in market price between 2007 and 2009 – and plan fiduciaries failed to take action to avoid losses to the plan.


Court Approved Protection for 401(k) Fiduciaries

(March 2014) Fiduciaries need to be concerned about expanded liabilities from the changing regulatory and judicial landscape. Employers, plan administrators, HR staff and plan service providers should consider taking proactive steps.


Court: Plan Can Recover Retirement Windfall

(January 2014) The decision of the District Court for the Northern District of New York affirms a retirement plan’s right to recover excess benefit payments from participants even when such payments are made because of the administrator’s own mistaken benefit calculations. 


The Same Sex Marriage Compliance Challenge

(December 2013) Your retirement plan's administrative forms should be revised to reflect the rights of same sex married couples.


Click here to see our complete list of Benefits Bulletins

Benefits Law Group of Chicago, a web site maintained by the Employee Benefit Department of the Chicago, Illinois law firm, Golan & Christie LLP, provides information on: 

  • Employment and employment law, 

  • Group health insurance (including COBRA and HIPAA), 

  • Pension and  retirement plans (including IRAs, 401(k) plans, thrift plans, ESOPs and IRS compliance resolution system filings), 

  • ERISA and ERISA compliance (including benefit claims and fiduciary duties), 

  • Qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs), age discrimination and gender discrimination,

  • Executive compensation (including deferred compensation and non-compete agreements as well as Section 409A compliance),

  • Other state and federal employment matters, including ADA, ADEA and Illinois employment law.

Benefits Law Group of Chicago is a resource for HR professionals and human resource departments of private companies and not-for-profit organizations such as hospitals and medical centers, universities, associations and charitable organizations.

 

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Andrew S. Williams has practiced in the employee benefits and ERISA arena since ERISA was passed in 1974.  He has been recognized by his peers through a survey conducted by Leadings Lawyers Network as among the top 5 percent of Illinois lawyers in Small, Closely and Privately Held Business Law and Employee Benefits Law. 

   
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