Q.- An employee used her flexible spending account debit card at the dentist to pay for a teeth cleaning and a crown. Now, she received notice that her debit card has been deactivated and she needs to provide information to justify the charge. Why is this?
The Department of Labor issued a proposed rule that, if finalized, would require federal contractors to report to the government information on employees’ compensation. The rule intended to stop unequal pay issues and was drafted as required by a Presidential memorandum.
The proposed rule would apply to federal contractors and subcontractors who file an EEO-1 report, have more than 100 employees, and have a contract of $50,000 or more with the government for at least 30 days. These groups would have to provide information, including:
Individuals who purchased health coverage through the Federal Marketplaces are being asked to document that they are living in the United States legally.
Q. I know Labor Day is a federal holiday. Do we have to pay our employees if they do not work on this day?
An employer had to pay more than $25,000 in penalties for failing to provide a COBRA election notice to a terminated employee and her children. A recent court case out of Nevada underscores the importance of employers understanding the COBRA rules and implementing solid COBRA administration. Benefit Allocation System’s Cobra Control Services can assist employers with accurate and timely COBRA processes.
In Honey v. Dignity Health, an employer did not provide a COBRA election to an employee who was terminated and reinstated twice during her pregnancy. Regina Honey requested leave from her employer to go on bed-rest for pregnancy related problems. She tried to return to work, but was fired. Her employer provided a COBRA notice at the time of her firing.
Newly released Revenue Procedure 2014-37 increases the threshold used to determine if an employer offers affordable coverage. This new guidance provides that an employer can charge an employee 9.56% of household income and coverage will be considered affordable. This is an increase from 9.5%.
Q.- We have only 30 employees. Will we have to worry about the new health care reform filing requirements?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance on how employers have to accommodate pregnant employees. This is the first update of the EEOC’s guidance on pregnancy discrimination since 1983.
The chairperson of the EEOC opined that pregnancy cannot be a basis for denying employment or treating women less favorably than coworkers similar in their ability or inability to work.
All US citizens must have health insurance that provides minimum coverage or pay a penalty on their tax returns. The IRS released the fines that will be imposed on people who forgo health insurance coverage.
Q.- An employee’s ex-spouse called us. She wants information about the expenses her ex-husband is submitting for reimbursement from his health flexible spending account plan. She said she needs this information for her estate planning. Should we provide information about his FSA election and reimbursements?
A.- No. If the employee has provided a HIPAA Authorization form allowing you to talk with his ex-wife about his health coverage, you should look at the terms of the authorization to see what information you can provide. If there is no HIPAA Authorization on file, you should not discuss the employee’s FSA participation with the ex-wife.
The importance of properly classifying and paying workers cannot be overstated.
The Health Insurance Marketplace offers individuals the opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage as an alternative to employer provided coverage. Some individuals may find that obtaining coverage through the Exchange costs less than enrolling in coverage offered by an employer or continuing coverage under COBRA.