Compliance Alerts

We Are Here For You.

The coronavirus is top of mind for companies and their employees. Below you can find information and guidance released from our Compliance Center of Excellence about current legislation and issues that impact employers.

In addition, you can click here to visit our dedicated page with resources and information we trust about the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019.

All our clients receive regular e-newsletter alerts. From the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act to ERISA to the Affordable Care Act, annual reminders, and new Paid Family Leave legislation, our experts and attorneys help keep you up to date and compliance.

November 20, 2020

2020-11 Final Transparency Rules

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor, and the Department of Treasury (the “Agencies”) issued final rules for Transparency in Coverage on October 29, 2020. HHS also posted a fact sheet summarizing these rules that were drafted in response to President Trump’s June 2019 Executive Order on Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to PutPatients First.

The rules will provide health plan participants with greater access to health care cost information than is generally available or required today, but they impose a significant burden on insurance carriers and the sponsors of employer-provided medical plans. The rules also allow insurance carriers to affect their medical loss ratio calculations by using certain shared savings programs, but we will not address this in this Alert.

Click here to read full article

October 30, 2020

A Summary of 2021 Health and Welfare Plan Limits and Other Annual Adjustments 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2020-45 on October 26, 2020, which contains the 2021 inflation adjustments for various employee benefit plans, including health care flexible spending accounts, qualified transportation fringe benefits, and adoption assistance programs. This Alert also summarizes other health and welfare benefit plan limits announced earlier this year, and provides a brief summary of changes to the employer shared responsibility penalties under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

If you have any questions or need further details about the tax limits and how they will affect your employee benefit programs, please contact your account team.

Click here to read full article

October 21, 2020

Final 2020 IRS Forms 1094/1095 Published

On October 16, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published the final versions of Forms 1094/1095-B and 1094/1095-C (collectively, the “Forms”) along with instructions for completing them to report information about employer-sponsored health coverage for the 2020 calendar year.

Click here to read full article

October 8, 2020

Affordable Care Act Reporting Relief Extended for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2020-76 (the “Notice”), which extends the deadline for 2020 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Form 1095 reporting to individuals and the good faith compliance
defense for reporting errors consistent with the relief that has been available each reporting year since 2015.

Relief Notes
– Delivery of Forms 1095 to Individuals – The deadline to provide the 2020 Forms 1095 (B or C) to individuals is extended to March 2, 2021. No additional extension is available.
– Filing Forms 1094/1095 with IRS – The deadline to file the 2020 Forms 1094/1095 with the IRS has not been extended.
o Electronic filers – The deadline for entities filing electronically is March 31, 2021. Entities filing 250 or more forms must file electronically.
o Paper filers – The deadline for entities filing by paper is February 28, 2021. An automatic 30-day extension of the deadline to file with the IRS is available using IRS Form 8809.
– Good faith relief extended – The IRS will not assess penalties for missing or inaccurate information if the 2020 forms are completed and filed in good faith. Entities who fail to provide and/or file forms altogether are not eligible for this relief.
Note: The Notice indicates that 2020 will be the final year this good faith relief is available.
– Form 1095 Delivery Relief – The IRS also repeated delivery relief first granted in 2019 for Forms 1095-B and 1095-C (see immediately below).

Click here to read full article

October 8, 2020

Michigan Revises No-Fault Auto Insurance
A Change to Michigan’s Personal Injury Protection Requirement Likely Affects Many Medical Plans

In May 2019, Governor Whitmer signed legislation revising Michigan’s o-fault auto insurance law. The changes are substantial, and employees will likely ask about health plan coverage related to auto accidents. The changes affect auto insurance carriers and health insurance carriers as they adopt administrative changes related to no-fault auto insurance  policies issued or renewed after July 1, 2020.

This Alert reviews auto personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and employer-sponsored health plans, and the increased potential liability to employees. The changes will take place as each employee’s auto policy renews, so the need for information will occur over time.

Click here to read full article

September 21, 2020

A Coronavirus Update for Employers –
Trying to Remain Calm in Troubled Times

Remaining calm is easier said than done given the relentless stream of news about the spread of novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) across the globe. This article summarizes recent articles taken by both the federal and state governments affecting employer-provided health benefits as well as certain other related issues.

This article covers the following:
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
States are Addressing Coverage for COVID-19
High Deductible Health Plans
Spending Account Plans
Other Coverage Options for Employees
Potential Increase in Appeals?
Data Privacy Concerns
Certain Labor & Employment Issues
The Affordable Care Act and the Employer Mandate
The WARN Act
Additional Resources

Please contact your MMA Trion representative directly with any questions or concerns.

2020-09-21 A Coronavirus Update For Employers v9.0 

September 21, 2020

Medicare Part D Notice Reminder

The Annual October 14th Deadline is Fast Approaching

Employer group health plans that include prescription drug coverage must provide a Medicare Part D creditable and/or non-creditable coverage notice (“Notice”), as applicable, each year to all Medicare-eligible employees and dependents before the annual October 15th Medicare Part D enrollment period. The purpose of this annual Notice is to notify Medicare beneficiaries whether or not their employer’s prescription drug coverage is at least as good as Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, in order to help them decide whether to enroll in Medicare Part D.

Click here to read full article

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

September 17, 2020

Return to Sender

What to do with Insurance Premium Refunds and Discounts

Insurance carriers will soon issue 2019 Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rebates as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition to this recurring refund, insurance carriers have been offering – and continue to offer – employers premium refunds and discounts on fully insured health coverage due to lower-than-expected claims experience during 2020. While money back is useful for employers, there are rules affecting what employers may be able to do with it resulting in another headache for beleaguered HR personnel to sort out. This Alert distinguishes between refunds and discounts, and it addresses what employers can do with them.

Click here to read full article

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

September 14, 2020

Transportation Fringe Benefits Update

Proposed Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit Regulations
Provide a New Roadmap

On June 23, 2020, the IRS issued proposed regulations providing guidance regarding employee taxability and employer deductibility for qualified transportation fringe (QTF) benefits. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) eliminated most employer deductions for QTF benefits provided to employees while preserving the pre-tax treatment of those benefits for employees.

Click here to read full article

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

August 14, 2020

The Empire State Strikes Back

New York Federal Court Strikes Down Certain FFCRA Paid Leave Provisions

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) became law on March 18, 2020. Among many other provisions, FFCRA created a pair of COVID-19-related paid leaves effective beginning April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020:

1. Emergency paid sick leave (EPSL); and
2. Public health emergency leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
(EFMLEA).

Click here to read the full article

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

July 22, 2020

The Rise of State Individual Mandates

Restoring an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Requirement

As of 2019, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced the ACA’s individual mandate penalty to $0. In reaction, several states and the District of Columbia have enacted their own ACA-style individual mandates requiring taxpayers to provide proof of health coverage to avoid financial penalties. 1 This article focuses on the obligations for employers sponsoring group medical coverage and summarizes what we know so far.

Click here to read full alert

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

July 22, 2020

The Rise of State Individual Mandates

Restoring an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Requirement

As of 2019, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced the ACA’s individual mandate penalty to $0. In reaction, several states and the District of Columbia have enacted their own ACA-style individual mandates requiring taxpayers to provide proof of health coverage to avoid financial penalties. 1 This article focuses on the obligations for employers sponsoring group medical coverage and summarizes what we know so far.

Click here to read full alert

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

Compliance Alert – July 8, 2020

IRS Addresses Direct Primary Care and Health Care Sharing Ministries

Payments for Direct Primary Care and Health Care Sharing Ministries can be Qualified Medical Expenses. On June 8, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations addressing when amounts paid for direct primary care arrangements and health care sharing ministry expenses are “qualified medical expenses” under Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) Section 213(d). A 2019 Presidential Executive Order directed the Treasury Department to “propose regulations to treat expenses related to certain types of arrangements, potentially including direct primary care arrangements and health care sharing ministries, as eligible medical expenses under [Code] Section 213(d).”

When, Exactly?
For now, the proposed regulations operate as a safe harbor. Final regulations will ultimately specify an effective date applicable to tax years that end on or after their publication date. We believe this is unlikely to occur before spring 2021 at the earliest.

Click here to read the full alert

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

The following communication is a consolidation of several compliance updates from our Compliance Center of Excellence. Please reach out to your dedicated MMA Trion representative for any questions regarding the impact this may have on your health plans or business practices.

A Tale of Two IRS Notices: IRS Provides Relief for Mid-Year Election Changes and Flexible Spending Accounts

On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued two notices (collectively referred to as the “Notices”):

  • IRS Notice 2020-29 gives employers additional flexibility to allow mid-year benefit electionchanges, permits employers to provide flexible spending account (FSA) participants anextended grace period to use their 2019 FSA plan year funds, and addresses someprevious loose ends.
  • IRS Notice 2020-33 increases the carryover limit for unused health care FSA (HCFSA)funds and indexes it for inflation.

Click here to read the full alert

2021 Plan Limits and Final Coupon Guidance Released

Now that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has released its Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2021 and the IRS has released Rev. Proc. 2020-32, we know the 2021 cost-of-living adjustments for non-grandfathered plans subject to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), and health savings accounts (HSAs).

Click here to read the full alert

State Individual Mandate Reminder – May 8, 2020

Restoring an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Requirement

As of 2019, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced the ACA’s individual mandate penalty to $0. In reaction, several states and the District of Columbia have enacted their own ACA-style individual mandates requiring taxpayers to provide proof of health coverage to avoid financial penalties. This article  focuses on the obligations for employers sponsoring group medical coverage and summarizes what we know so far. This is an update to our earlier release.

Click here to read the full alert

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

EBSA Notice and Final Rule – May 8, 2020

COVID-19 Plan Administration Relief: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 

On April 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”)1 coordinated the release of the following guidance in response to the COVID-19 National Emergency:

  • EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 (the “EBSA Notice”) – The EBSA Notice provides limited relief for certain plan filings, broad relief for the delivery of plan notices and disclosures, and relaxes the rules for electronic delivery.
  • Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID–19 Outbreak Final Rule (the “Final Rule”) – The Final Rule suspends various plan administration deadlines. Most of this relief gives employees/participants more time to enroll when certain events occur, file claims for benefits or appeal denied claims, and elect and pay for COBRA. Group health plans must administer these employee/participant rights but get limited consolation in the form of COBRA election notice relief.
  • COVID-19 FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries (the “COVID-19 FAQs”) – The COVID- 19 FAQs are intended to help employees and participants understand how the EBSA Notice and Final Rule may affect them.

This Alert solely addresses the guidance applicable to group health plans, and it does not cover any guidance for retirement plans (e.g. 401(k) plans, pension plans, etc.). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicated in both the EBSA Notice and Final Rule that it intends to adopt similar relief through the Public Health Services Act (PHSA), which will affect non-federal governmental and church plans.

Click here to read the full alert
If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

IRS and DOL Extend Filing Deadlines Due to COVID-19 – May 8, 2020

IRS Notice 2020-23 Gives Limited Relief for Certain Plan Filings The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued IRS Notice 2020-23 (the “Notice”) on April 6, 2020, which automatically delays the filing date for tax returns and payments that were due on or after April 1, 2020 through July 14, 2020 (the “Automatic Relief Window”) until July 15, 2020.

Most of the items covered by the Notice are beyond the scope of this Alert. The Notice does not directly mention anything related to health and welfare benefits, but it incorporates Revenue Procedure 2018-582 by reference which includes Forms 5500 and 990.

Click here to read the full alert
If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

CARES Act – April 10, 2020

This alert from our Compliance Center of Excellence provides an overview of the recently signed CARES Act and its effect on health and welfare programs.

Provisions Affecting Health and Welfare Plans
Congress worked overtime to pass a stimulus bill intended to assist employers and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. While most of the CARES Act provisions involve economic relief for employers and employees that are beyond the scope of this Alert, there were several changes affecting group health plans. Some of these changes are permanent while others are of limited duration to address the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Our overview includes details on the mandate to cover testing (and vaccination) for COVID-19, the changes for Spending Account Plans, telemedicine and HSAs, and student loan repayment assistance.

Click here to read the full alert
If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

IRS Notice 2020-23 Gives Limited Relief for Certain Plan Filings – April 2020

The IRS issued IRS Notice 2020-23 (the “Notice”) on April 6, 2020, which automatically delays the filing date for tax returns and payments that were due on or after April 1, 2020 through July 14, 2020 (the “Automatic Relief Window”) until July 15, 2020.

Most of the items covered by the Notice are beyond the scope of this Alert. The Notice does not directly mention anything related to health and welfare benefits, but it incorporates Revenue Procedure 2018-582 by reference which includes Forms 5500 and 990.

Click here to read the details related to Form 5500 and Form 990
If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

Update: The Rise of State Individual Mandates – March 24, 2020

As a follow up to our special alert  on the State of New Jersey announcement that postponed their 1094/1095 filing deadline, the original Compliance Alert on The Rise of State Individual Mandates has been updated and is now available.   This article, released in February, provided an overview of states and the District of Columbia who have enacted their own ACA-style individual mandates requiring taxpayers to provide proof of health coverage to avoid financial penalties. The alert focuses on the obligations for employers sponsoring group medical coverage and summarizes what we know so far.

Note: We intend to continue to update this article as new or additional state individual mandate guidance becomes available.

Click here to read the Updated State Individual Mandate Guide
If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

New Jersey Postpones Filing Deadline for Form 1094/1095 – March 20, 2020

This is a follow up to the MMA Compliance Alert on Individual State Mandates released on Friday, February 14, 2020.  The State of New Jersey has postponed the deadline for their new filing 1094/1095 requirement from March 31, 2020 to May 15, 2020. As a reminder, this requirement applies to all covered individuals who are residents of the state of New Jersey and is required of all applicable large employers (ALE’s) and self-insured small groups regardless of where the company is located.  The State will not accept paper filings, for information on how to file electronically from New Jersey State click here.

Click here to read the full alert
If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

IRS Notice 2020-15 – March 11, 2020

This is a follow up to the MMA Trion Special Alert on Coronavirus Testing Benefit Considerations released on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance through IRS Notice 2020-15 that allows the coverage of COVID-19 on a first dollar basis without rendering a qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP) ineligible for use with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The full notice is available at:  https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-15.pdf


Click here to read the full alert

If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

Coronavirus Testing Benefit Considerations – March 10, 2020

As we continue to monitor COVID-19 and its impact throughout the world and within the U.S. there are several issues impacting employee benefits that employers need to consider quickly. While information is changing rapidly we wanted to provide some immediate updates based on what we know as of right now, so you can make decisions on how you would like to proceed.

COVID-19 Testing

Last Thursday, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded its testing guidelines for COVID-19 to be covered as a preventive benefit. Lab Corp. announced last Thursday, that it was immediately offering testing for COVID-19, while Quest Diagnostics said it will start testing specimens this week. It is important to note that there continues to be a testing supply issue so while these labs may be able to complete the testing they may not have the supplies to do so. Members cannot just request testing, a physician’s prescription is required, and will be ordered based on CDC guidelines after completion of an overall risk assessment that will review symptoms and potential for exposure based on travel, interaction with those having potential or presumptive diagnosis in the area, etc. If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

Click here to read the full alert

Federal Agencies Issue Proposed Rules Addressing Transparency in Coverage – March 9, 2020

The proposed rules on Transparency in Coverage were published by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury (the “Agencies”) on November 27, 2019. These rules were generated in response to President Trump’s June 2019 Executive Order on Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First. If enacted as written, the rules will provide health plan participants with greater access to health care cost information than is generally available or required today.

Click here to read the full alert
If you have any questions or need further details, please contact your client service team.

Annual CMS Medicare Part D Disclosure Due for Calendar-Year Plans – February 14, 2020

Reporting Creditable or Non-Creditable Status to CMS

As part of the annual notification requirements under the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), employer-sponsored group health plans that provide prescription drug coverage are required to disclose the plan’s creditable or non-creditable coverage status to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This online disclosure is due sixty (60) days after the first day of each plan year, and for calendar year plans it should be made by February 29, 2020 (but see Timing of the Disclosure to CMS Form below).

This alert provides a summary of the Medicare Part D disclosure requirements including a review of:

If you have any questions or need further details about the creditable coverage disclosure requirements, please contact your client service team.

Click here to read the full alert

Guide to the State Individual Mandates – February 10, 2020

The Rise of State Individual Mandates

Restoring an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Requirement

As of 2019, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced the ACA’s individual mandate penalty to $0. In reaction, several states and the District of Columbia have enacted their own ACA-style individual mandates requiring taxpayers to provide proof of health coverage to avoid financial penalties. This article focuses on the obligations for employers sponsoring group medical coverage and summarizes what we know so far.

Note: We intend to update this article as new or additional state individual mandate guidance becomes available. This article is current as of the publication date appearing at the top of this page.

Click here to read the full alert

ACA Mandate Part 4 – January 23, 2020

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2020 Spending Package and 5th Circuit ACA

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2019 ACA Reporting Relief

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IRS Releases Draft 2019 Instructions for Forms 1094/1095

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IRS Releases 2020 FSA Limits

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – Volume 7

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New Health Reimbursement Arrangements Allowed Under Final Rules-September 30, 2019

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – Volume 6

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Medicare Part D Notice – September 23, 2019

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AHP Update – August 13, 2019

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Expanding Preventive Care for HDHPs

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Exec Order on Price and Quality Transparency – June 28, 2019

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New HRAs Allowed Under Final Rules – June 18, 2019

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – Volume 4

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – Volume 3

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DOL Releases Proposed Overtime Rule

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – Volume 2

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – February 2019

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February Reminder – Annual CMS Disclosure

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Texas Federal Court Rules ACA Unconstitutional…But Please Sit Tight

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – December 2018

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Massachusetts Employers Must File HIRD Form by November 30

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – November 2018

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter  – October 2018

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Reminder: Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice Deadline is October 14, 2018

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Federal Agencies Release Final Regulations for Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance Coverage

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Agencies Issue Guidance on Mental Health Parity Issues, Signal Enhanced Enforcement

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IRS Grants Relief for Reduction to 2018 HSA Tax Limits

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IRS Announces Reductions to 2018 HSA and Adoption Credit Tax Limits

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Reminder: Annual CMS Medicare Part D Disclosure

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DOL Announces April 1 Applicability of Final Disability Plan Claims Procedure Regulations

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COMPLIANCE ALERT

Time-sensitive alerts about legislative events and regulatory reminders such as spending account contribution limits and required annual notices.

HCR ALERT

Short alerts sent within 48-72 hours of any newsworthy healthcare legislation events. Stay ahead of the curve 24/7/365 with Trion.

HCR NEWS

Comprehensive newsletters explaining recent healthcare legislative events and providing our experts’ opinions on what actions are required of employers.

New HRAs Allowed Under Final Rules – June 18, 2019

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – Volume 4

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – Volume 3

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DOL Releases Proposed Overtime Rule

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Compliance Center of Excellence Newsletter – Volume 2

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February Reminder – Annual CMS Disclosure

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Texas Federal Court Rules ACA Unconstitutional…But Please Sit Tight

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Massachusetts Employers Must File HIRD Form by November 30

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Reminder: Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notice Deadline is October 14, 2018

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Federal Agencies Release Final Regulations for Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance Coverage

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Agencies Issue Guidance on Mental Health Parity Issues, Signal Enhanced Enforcement

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IRS Grants Relief for Reduction to 2018 HSA Tax Limits

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IRS Announces Reductions to 2018 HSA and Adoption Credit Tax Limits

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Reminder: Annual CMS Medicare Part D Disclosure

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DOL Announces April 1 Applicability of Final Disability Plan Claims Procedure Regulations

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HCRAlerts

DOL Releases Final Rule Expanding Association Health Plans

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IRS Announces ACA Health Plan Affordability Threshold For 2019

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ACA 2019 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters & Individual Mandate Exemptions

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Agencies Release Proposed Regulations on Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance

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ACA Cadillac Tax Delayed Another Two Years

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Court Vacates EEOC’s Wellness Program Incentives Rules Effective January 1, 2019

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Health Care Reform News

DOL Proposes Rule to Expand Association Health Plans

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Employee Benefit Changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Of 2017

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