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EEOC Releases Final Rule Implementing Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Pregnant Workers Fairness ActOn April 15, 2024, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a final rule to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The final rule clarifies definitions and limitations under the PWFA and seeks to help employers understand their duties under the law. The final regulation will be published in the Federal Register on April 19, 2024, and becomes effective on June 18, 2024.

Court Ruling Expected Soon on Free Preventive Care

preventative careThe 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to issue a decision within the next few months regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) preventive care mandate. The ACA requires non-grandfathered health plans and health insurance issuers to cover a set of recommended preventive services without imposing cost-sharing requirements, such as deductibles.

Prescription Drug Report Is Due by June 1, 2024

Prescription Drug Report Is Due by June 1, 2024 Group health plans must annually submit detailed information on prescription drug and health care spending to the federal government. This reporting is referred to as the “prescription drug data collection,” or the “RxDC report.”

Biden Budget Proposes National Paid Family and Medical Leave

Biden Budget Proposes National Paid Family and Medical LeavePresident Joe Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 includes a national paid family and medical leave program and urges Congressional action on mandatory paid sick leave.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Biden’s budget would establish a national paid family and medical leave program that would be administered by the Social Security Administration and provide workers with progressive, partial wage replacement to take time off for family and medical reasons. More specifically, the president’s plan would provide up to 12 weeks of leave for eligible workers to:

Medicare Part D Changes May Impact Creditable Coverage Status of Employer Plans

Medicare Part D ChangesThe Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) includes several cost-reduction provisions affecting Medicare Part D plans, which may impact the creditable coverage status of employer-sponsored prescription drug coverage beginning in 2025.

Employers that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D must inform these individuals and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether their prescription drug coverage is creditable, meaning that the employer’s prescription drug coverage is at least as good as Medicare Part D coverage.

Key Health Plan Notice Updates for 2023, 2024 and Beyond

health planEmployers should be aware of updates to several model notices that can be used to comply with certain disclosure requirements that apply to their group health plans under federal laws.

Federal agencies provide these model notices to aid compliance and periodically update them to reflect changes to the law or changes to the information contained in the notices.

This Compliance Bulletin provides details on key health plan notice updates for 2023, 2024 and beyond that the agencies intend to make.

IRS Released Updated Penalty Amounts For 2025

IRS Releases ACA Pay-or-Play PenaltiesOn Feb. 12, 2024, the IRS released updated penalty amounts for 2025 related to the employer shared responsibility (pay-or-play) rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For calendar year 2025, the adjusted $2,000 penalty amount is $2,900, and the adjusted $3,000 penalty amount is $4,350. This is a decrease from the penalty amounts for the 2024 calendar year, which are $2,970 and $4,460, respectively.

7 Key Employee Benefits Trends in 2024

7 Key Employee Benefits Trends in 2024This article discusses the 7 key employee benefits trends in 2024. Attracting and retaining employees has challenged employers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2024, the labor market is expected to cool slightly; however, competition for talent will remain. As such, employers must remain agile and adapt to developing labor and market trends that will shape the market in 2024. In particular, current labor challenges are forcing employers to find ways to balance rising health care costs and inflation while providing employees with benefits they value and need. Understanding this year’s key employee benefits trends can help employers attract and retain talented individuals in an evolving labor market.

Upcoming ACA Reporting Deadlines

Upcoming ACA Reporting DeadlinesEmployers subject to Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting under Internal Revenue Code Sections 6055 or 6056 should prepare to comply with the upcoming ACA reporting deadlines in early 2024. For the 2023 calendar year, covered employers must:

  • Furnish statements to individuals by March 1, 2024 (an alternative method of furnishing statements to covered individuals is available in certain situations); and
  • File returns with the IRS by Feb. 28, 2024, or April 1, 2024, if filing electronically. Beginning in 2024, employers that file at least 10 returns during the calendar year must file electronically.

Penalties may apply if employers are subject to ACA reporting and fail to file returns and furnish statements by the applicable deadlines.

2023 Year-end Checklist for Employee Benefit Plans

2023 Year-end Checklist for Employee  Benefit PlansAlthough the end of the year is a busy time, employers should continue to prioritize compliance requirements for their employee benefit plans. There are several benefits-related tasks that employers should make sure are completed by the end of 2023, such as:

  • Submitting a gag clause attestation for their health plans (or confirming that an issuer or third-party administrator (TPA) submits the attestation);
  • Amending plan documents for discretionary changes made for 2023;
  • Confirming annual notices have been provided, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) notice; and Performing any necessary nondiscrimination testing.

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