BAS Blog


 

Question of the Week

Q.- A participant in our health flexible spending account plan needed to visit a doctor when on vacation in Mexico. He only has his credit card receipt from the visit and he can’t get in touch with the doctor to get any additional documentation. Can we reimburse his charge? 

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FMLA Changed to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor changed the Family and Medical Leave Act to recognize legal same-sex marriages. The new rule updates the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA so an employee who is in a legal same-sex marriage can take leave to care for his/her spouse, regardless of the state in which the employee resides. Prior to this rule, if the employee resided in a state that did not recognize same-sex marriage, the employee could not take FMLA leave to care for that spouse. The new rule follows the “place of celebration” approach which provides that once a couple is legally married in a state, that marriage will be recognized in other states. 

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Guidance on Cadillac Tax

Earlier this week, the IRS issued guidance on the “Cadillac tax” under health care reform. Beginning in 2018, the Affordable Care Act will impose an excise tax equal to 40% of any excess benefit provided under a health plan. An “excess benefit” is when the cost of coverage exceeds a limit set under health care reform. The limit for 2018 is $10,200 for self-only coverage and $27,500 for other coverage. The potential tax could be imposed on an insurer for an insured plan or an employer/plan sponsor for a self-funded plan.

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee is divorced. His ex-wife claims his son as her tax dependent on her tax return. Can the employee still be reimbursed for medical expenses of his son under his health flexible spending account plan?

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COBRA Class Action Settlement

A federal district court in Texas recently approved a $1M settlement in a class action lawsuit for COBRA violations. In Slipchenko v. Brunel Energy, Inc., former employees sued their former employer for failing to provide initial COBRA notices and qualifying event notices.

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IRS Explains Employer Health Care Reform Requirements

The IRS released new guidance, Publication 5196, explaining employer reporting requirements of the health care law. A copy of the publication can be found here.

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Question of the Week

Q.- We have an employee who is participating in the Dependent Care FSA Plan. His son turns 13 in February. He wants to be reimbursed for expenses for his son in March. Is this permitted? 

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Statutory Damages and Failure to Provide COBRA Notice

In a recent case in the Eighth Circuit, a court did not award statutory damages when an employer failed to properly provide a COBRA notice. In Cole v. Trinity Health Corporation, the employer, Trinity Health, did not timely notify Cole of her right to continue health coverage under COBRA. Cole filed a lawsuit, asking for statutory damages. 

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IRS Releases Final Health Care Reform Reporting and Transmittal Forms

The IRS released final Forms and Instructions for the 6055/6056 reporting required under health care reform. IRS forms 1094-C, 1095-C, 1094-B and 1095-B, along with instructions, were finalized for employers who wish to voluntarily report 2014 coverage information. 

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee enrolled in family coverage under our High Deductible Health Plan with Health Savings Account. She is now telling us that her husband has an FSA at his employer. Is she even eligible to participate in our HDHP/HSA?

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Massachusetts Parental Leave Act

Male employees in Massachusetts will be entitled to parental leave beginning April 7, 2015.

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Plan Not Meeting Health Care Reform Requirements Could Be Taxed

Employers should confirm with their insurers and TPAs that their group health plan provides coverage consistent with health care reform.

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