Co-authored by Christopher K. Buch.

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) released a direct final rule on July 13, that amended the procedures retirement plan fiduciaries are to use for reporting a covered service provider’s (CSP’s) failure to furnish the newly required disclosures related to the CSP’s compensation and possible conflicts of interest.

Continue Reading DOL Issues Direct Final Rule Related to Service Provider Disclosures

The Internal Revenue Service recently published Notice 2012-40 in which it provided guidance with regard to the $2,500 limitation effective next year for health flexible spending arrangements (Health FSAs) subject to Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 125. The reduction in the maximum amount of contribution (from the current limit of $5,000) was enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Health FSAs with a cap on employee contributions which exceed $2,500 will have to be amended to come into line with this new limitation.

Continue Reading IRS Provides Guidance on Reduction in Health FSA Limit to $2,500

Co-authored by Christopher Buch.

Under final regulations issued February 9, group health plans must issue a summary of benefits and coverage and a uniform glossary. The final rule implements a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requirement of group health plans to provide its enrollees and potential enrollees with certain disclosures to help them better understand their health coverage, as well as to learn about additional coverage options. The final regulations were the combined effort of the Internal Revenue Service, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the three agencies responsible for implementing healthcare reform legislation under PPACA.

Continue Reading Agencies Issue Final Rules On Summary of Benefits for Health Plans and Insurance Coverage Under PPACA

Co-authored by Christopher Buch

Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA), an employer that sponsors a group health plan is generally required to provide an employee with a right to continue healthcare coverage after the employee’s termination of employment. The employer (or its healthcare administrator) must also notify terminated employees of their COBRA rights. This notice must be given within 44 days from the date of the employee’s termination of employment. Although COBRA does not provide a limitations period for improper-notice claims (i.e., the statute of limitations), courts “borrow” the most analogous limitations period from the forum state. On August 22, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled on the timing of that notice and the statute of limitations for improper-notice claims.

Continue Reading Failure to Provide COBRA Notice Tolls Statute of Limitations