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ERISA Exemption: How the Supreme Court’s Decision Impacts Church Plans

Jun 7, 2017 1:30:50 AM / by Deborah Hyde posted in ERISA exemption, hr compliance, Front Page Post, church plans, Deborah Hyde, ERISA, Supreme Court

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On June 5, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) issued a unanimous decision in the case of Advocate Health Care Network et al. v. Stapelton et al. that expands the ERISA exemption for church plans to include plans established by church-affiliated organizations. The decision is a departure from prior “plain text” judicial readings of the exemption, but it aligns with the interpretations of other federal agencies.

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PCORI Fee due by July 31, 2017

May 21, 2017 8:00:37 PM / by Deborah Hyde posted in ACA, fee, hr compliance, Front Page Post, Affordable Care Act, Deborah Hyde, PCORI

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The PCORI Fee Applies to Health Insurance Issuers and Self-funded Health Plans

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance issuers and self-funded health plans are required to pay an annual Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee (PCORI), set to expire in 2019. Because health insurance issuers are subject to this fee, the sponsor of a fully-insured health plan does not need to take any action. However, sponsors of self-funded health plans (including level-funded arrangements) are obligated to comply. Payment of the PCORI fee must be submitted to the IRS by July 31 of the year following the last day of the plan year. This year, payment is due no later than Monday, July 31, 2017

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Duty to Provide Life Insurance Conversion Information

May 7, 2017 8:18:53 PM / by Deborah Hyde posted in hr compliance, life insurance, Front Page Post, Uncategorized, benefits CONSULTING, conversion, Deborah Hyde, liability

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Conversion is an important feature in employer-sponsored life insurance plans that can allow an employee to maintain coverage after experiencing a loss of eligibility by converting group coverage to an individual policy. Critically, though, the responsibility to adequately inform the employee about the conversion option falls upon the employer rather than the insurer. This duty is underscored in a recent decision by a U.S. District Court, Erwood v. Life Insurance Company of North America (Erwood).

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San Francisco HCSO 2016 Annual Report Due

Apr 19, 2017 10:55:34 PM / by Deborah Hyde posted in hr compliance, Front Page Post, Annual Report, Deborah Hyde, HCSO, San Francisco

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Employers subject to the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) must complete and submit the online 2016 Annual Reporting Form by May 1, 2017. Covered employers who fail to make this required submission by the deadline will be subject to penalties of $500 per quarter.

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An Update on Healthcare Reform: Market Stabilization

Apr 16, 2017 10:26:46 PM / by Deborah Hyde posted in Front Page Post, Affordable Care Act, Deborah Hyde, individual market

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final regulations (the Regulations) on April 13 aimed at stabilizing the individual and small group markets. Effective June 19, 2017, the Regulations represent President Trump’s first major change to the Affordable Care Act in an effort to provide insurers with more flexibility – and reasons to stay in the marketplace. The Regulations implement the following:

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The New Fiduciary Rule: What it means for Employer Compliance

Apr 4, 2017 9:18:02 PM / by Deborah Hyde posted in fiduciary, hr compliance, Front Page Post, 401(k), Deborah Hyde, DOL fiduciary rule, ERISA, Financial, industry LEADERSHIP

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Update: As of April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor finalized a 60-day delay to the effective date of the new fiduciary rule (the Rule). The Rule was originally set to take effect April 10, 2017, but as a result of the delay, will become effective June 9, 2017.  The delay is in response to President Trump's directive that the DOL review and report on how the Rule may negatively impact consumers. 

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San Jose's Opportunity to Work Ordinance takes Effect

Mar 15, 2017 12:28:51 AM / by Deborah Hyde posted in hr compliance, Front Page Post, Opportunity to Work, San Jose, California, Deborah Hyde

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In the November 2016 election, San Jose voters approved a ballot measure that would require employers to offer additional hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new employees. The measure, known as the Opportunity to Work Ordinance (the Ordinance), took effect March 13, 2017. Though the goal of the Ordinance is to provide part-time workers with the opportunity to work additional hours, earn higher wages, and - in some instances - become eligible for benefits, it does impose a number of new employer obligations.

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Domestic Partner Coverage in California

Mar 12, 2017 10:16:22 PM / by Deborah Hyde posted in hr compliance, Front Page Post, Uncategorized, benefits CONSULTING, California, Deborah Hyde, domestic partners

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domestic-partner-california.jpgDomestic partner coverage under a group health plan can be a complex issue for employers, particularly in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide (Obergefell v. Hodges). California law continues to require domestic partner coverage of some employer-sponsored plans, while others are faced with the decision. But important considerations exist for all employers with respect to domestic partner coverage.

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In California, Single-User Restrooms must be All-Gender

Feb 26, 2017 11:12:46 AM / by Deborah Hyde posted in hr compliance, Front Page Post, California, California Employers, Deborah Hyde, employment law

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single-user-restrooms.jpgEffective March 1, 2017, all single-user restrooms in California businesses, government buildings, and places of public accommodation must be "all-gender" (or gender neutral) to comply with the State's Equal Restroom Access Act (the Act). The Act applies to employers in California and requires specific signage be displayed to indicate the restroom is all-gender.

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