New York Labor And Employment Law Report

New York Labor And Employment Law Report

Category Archives: Employee Benefits

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Cybersecurity and Employee Benefit Plan Fiduciary Duties: Going Beyond HIPAA

Posted in Cybersecurity, Employee Benefits
It seems as though we hear about new cybersecurity issues every day — from traditional hacking incidents to the increasingly sophisticated phishing, malicious apps and websites, social engineering, and ransomware attacks.  Employee benefit plan sponsors likely have a fiduciary duty to ensure participant information and plan assets are protected from the growing number of cyber… Continue Reading

Reduce Fiduciary Risk With An Effective Investment Policy

Posted in Employee Benefits
Human resource officers and managers are often asked to chair or sit on a retirement plan committee responsible for administrative tasks.  In this role, a committee member takes on fiduciary responsibilities to plan participants and beneficiaries, and can be held personally liable for fiduciary breaches under Federal law.  As legal counsel, we endeavor to manage… Continue Reading

ACA 2015 Reporting Delayed (Slightly)

Posted in Employee Benefits
Under the heading of “better late than never,” the IRS has recognized that “some employers, insurers, and other providers of minimum essential [i.e., health] coverage need additional time to adapt and implement systems and procedures to gather, analyze, and report” the information required on Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C for the 2015 calendar year. … Continue Reading

For-Profit “Religious Employers” May Exclude Certain Contraceptives From Preventive Care Requirement Under the Affordable Care Act

Posted in Employee Benefits
On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., that a for-profit corporation is a “person” that has religious rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”).  Therefore, guidance under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) that requires all 20 FDA-approved contraceptive measures to be covered with no employee cost… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Issues Decision Regarding Vesting of School District Retiree Health Insurance Benefits

Posted in Employee Benefits, Public Employment
On December 12, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision in Kolbe v. Tibbetts, in which the Court addressed whether the Newfane Central School District could unilaterally alter the health insurance benefits of certain retirees of the District.  The Court held that the retirees had a vested right to the same health insurance coverage… Continue Reading

United States v. Windsor: What Federal Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Means for Employee Benefits

Posted in Employee Benefits
On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in United States v. Windsor.  The Court ruled that a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional.  DOMA, which was enacted in 1996, restricted the definitions of the terms “marriage” and “spouse” for purposes of any federal law… Continue Reading

Implementation of the Employer Mandate Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Delayed Until January 1, 2015

Posted in Employee Benefits
The Treasury Department has announced that the implementation date for the employer mandate provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) (i.e., the provisions requiring employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide affordable, minimum value health coverage to full-time employees or pay a penalty to the federal government) has been delayed… Continue Reading

With the Supreme Court Upholding Most of Health Care Reform, Employers Must Focus on Immediate Compliance Deadlines

Posted in Employee Benefits
On June 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court issued its landmark decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Act”), and ruled that all of the challenged health care reform provisions in the Act are constitutional other than a portion of a Medicaid expansion provision.  Although future challenges to the… Continue Reading

Proposed Regulations Issued for the Group Health Plan Summary of Benefits and Coverage

Posted in Employee Benefits
Section 2715 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (“PPACA”), mandates that group health plans provide a summary of benefits and coverage (“SBC”) to all participants and beneficiaries. The SBC is a brief description intended to provide a consistent and accurate description of benefits and… Continue Reading

HHS To Cease Accepting New Applications For Annual Limit Waivers

Posted in Employee Benefits
On June 17, 2011, HHS issued supplemental guidance on obtaining waivers of the PPAC Act ban on annual dollar limits on certain essential health benefits. The supplemental guidance includes procedures for obtaining an extension of existing waivers, and revisions to the application process for new applicants --and a September 22 deadline.… Continue Reading

New York’s Same-Sex Marriage Law: The Employee Benefits Impact, Part I

Posted in Employee Benefits
On June 24, 2011, Governor Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act which will allow same-sex couples to be married in New York and to have, with certain exceptions, the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples married in New York. The effective date of the Legislation is July 24, 2011, giving New York employers only a month to comply.… Continue Reading

DOL Proposes Limited Delay Of Initial Disclosures Required Under Participant Disclosure Regulation

Posted in Employee Benefits
In a proposed regulation issued on June 1, 2011, the DOL proposed a 60-day extension of the time period that a plan administrator has to provide certain initial disclosures, once the final regulation becomes applicable to the plan. Given the limited duration of the delay, however, plan administrators should begin or continue to take steps to comply with the requirements of the final regulations.… Continue Reading

Health Care Reform Update

Posted in Employee Benefits
The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury recently issued additional guidance regarding the implementation of certain Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 requirements… Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Release Fifth Set Of FAQs On Health Care Reform And Mental Health Parity

Posted in Employee Benefits
On December 22, 2010, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury issued their fifth set of answers to several frequently asked questions about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. The FAQs also address the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 nondiscrimination rules for wellness programs.… Continue Reading

IRS Delays Compliance with Nondiscrimination Rules for Insured Group Health Plans

Posted in Employee Benefits
In a move akin to delaying Christmas after all the hard work of shopping, wrapping and baking is done, the IRS (and the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services) have delayed compliance with the nondiscrimination requirements of the Affordable Care Act until after regulations or other administrative guidance are issued (IRS Notice 2011-1).… Continue Reading

Departments Clarify Health Care Reform Grandfather Rules

Posted in Employee Benefits
Recently, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury amended the interim final regulation on grandfathered plans exempt from many of the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to provide that a change in a group health plan's insurer, in and of itself, will not cause an otherwise grandfathered plan to lose grandfathered status if certain requirements are satisfied. Plan sponsors that are in the process of evaluating changes to their group health plans should consider the grandfathered plan rules as part of that process.… Continue Reading