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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Chief Counsel Memorandum 201912001: Deduction of Company-Paid Health Insurance Premiums by S-Corp Shareholder-Employee (PDF)

"In order for the 2-percent shareholder-employee to deduct the amount of the accident and health insurance premiums, the S corporation must report the accident and health insurance premiums paid or reimbursed as wages on the 2-percent shareholder-employee's Form W-2 in that same year. In addition, the shareholder must report the premium payments or reimbursements from the S corporation as gross income on his or her Form 1040[.]"
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


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[Guidance Overview]

Common FMLA Mistakes

"Employers can unintentionally overlook state FMLA leave laws, particularly if an employer has remote workers or small numbers of employees across multiple 'state FMLA' jurisdictions. The nature of these laws vary, some adding additional family members to the definition of a covered family member, some setting lower employee thresholds for leave eligibility, some providing for only additional family leave rights, and some mirroring the federal FMLA more closely but providing leave over a longer period of time."
Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Issues 'Second Draft' of Family and Medical Leave Regs

"The revised draft regulations add significant (and rather lengthy) clarifications for employers and employees: 'Massachusetts covered individuals' ... 'Covered contract workers' and financial eligibility ... Covered business entities ... Average total workforce count for covered business entities ... Deductions from wages ... Calculating leave allotments for employees who work variable hours ... Fitness-for-duty certifications ... Reductions to weekly benefit amounts due to other wage replacement programs ... Interaction with employer-provided paid leave ... Intermittent leave schedules and impact on leave allotment ... Continuing treatment by a health care provider."
Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Westchester County Sick Leave Law Now in Effect; FAQs and Notice of Rights Released

"After some uncertainty about when the County sick leave mandate, known as the Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL), would begin, the ESLL officially went into effect [on] April 10, 2019.... [A]lthough a lengthy mandate, questions about certain ESLL requirements remained based on the text of the law.... [T]he Westchester County [New York] Human Rights Commission's ESLL webpage ... contains [FAQs for employers and employees], a 'Notice of Employee Rights,' and a copy of the ESLL. Despite offering employers clarity on select paid sick leave symptoms, certain questions remain."
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Update

"Starting July 1, 2019, employers may begin payroll deductions to fund the paid family and medical leave (PFML) program. Employees are eligible for PFML benefits for baby bonding, military exigency, and for an employee's own serious health condition beginning January 2021. PFML benefits for a family member's serious health condition begins July 1, 2021."


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Colorado's Expansive Proposed Paid Leave Bill Advances

"Colorado will create an entirely new division within Colorado's Department of Labor ... which is required to inform the public about the new law, establish premium rates, develop procedures and forms for filing claims, administer the program, promulgate rules, ensure employer compliance, establish administrative review of claims determinations and perform a host of other tasks; A FAMLI fund will be created, into which insurance premiums will be paid (with employers to pay 40% of those premiums under the current bill), and out of which will be paid family and medical leave benefits to eligible individuals; and Employees will have the right to take 12 weeks of paid leave in any 52-week continuous period."
Husch Blackwell

CMS Issues 2020 Medicare Part D Benefit Parameters Used for Creditable Coverage Disclosures

"CMS has released the following 2020 parameters for the defined standard Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit: [1] Deductible: $435 (a $20 increase from 2019); [2] Initial coverage limit: $4,020 (a $200 increase from 2019); [3] Out-of-pocket threshold: $6,350 (a $1,250 increase from 2019); ... and [4] Minimum cost-sharing under the catastrophic coverage portion of the benefit: $3.60 for generic/preferred multi-source drugs (a $.20 increase from 2019), and $8.95 for all other drugs (a $.45 increase from 2019)."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Judge Prunes Association Health Plan Regs

"The AHP rule includes a severability provision that allows the rest of the rule to survive. The court sent the rule back to the [DOL] to remove the parts of the rule that the court said violated federal law. The DOL has three options: ... [1] [R]emove the final rule altogether.... [2] [I]ssue a new rule that removes the provisions the court found objectionable... [3] [A]ppeal to try and keep the rule intact." [State of New York v. U.S. Department of Labor, No. 18-1747 (D.D.C. Mar. 28, 2019)]
HUB International

Sens. Cruz, Paul, Lee Reintroduce Retirement Freedom Act

"[T]he Retirement Freedom Act (S.1030) ... would allow senior citizens the choice to opt-out of Medicare Part A and utilize other healthcare options without being forced to lose their Social Security benefits. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives."
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz [R-TX]

Bills Now in House and Senate to Allow Reimbursement for OTC Drug Expenses

"H.R. 1922, the Restoring Access to Medication Act ... would overturn the provision in the [ACA] that prohibited FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs from reimbursing expenses for over-the-counter drugs unless the drug is insulin or prescribed by a physician.... S. 1089, the Restoring Access to Medication Act ... would also overturn the ACA provision that prohibited FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs from reimbursing expenses for over-the-counter drugs."
Employers Council on Flexible Compensation [ECFC]

Integrated Healthcare a Boon for Employees and Employers

"[Integrated healthcare is] a global trend that has also been referred to as 'coordinated care' or 'comprehensive care.' But in practice, it means associating disciplines that have traditionally been kept apart in healthcare delivery silos, such as primary medical care (e.g. your family doctor), behavioral health, substance abuse and more.... Businesses embracing the integrated healthcare approach are seeing a healthier, more stable workforce with fewer absences and a team of employees who are engaged, productive and stay in their jobs longer."
Inside Indiana Business


Reining In Drug Costs: No Easy Fix

"Elimination of drug rebates seems like a clear winner but opponents would argue that, at least in the short term, this may result in increased costs and certainly will create a shift in who bears the expenses.... A recent Milliman report shows that 57% of the Medicare population has under $1,000 in claims and their costs would increase without rebates as compared to 27% of the population with costs over $2,500 whose costs would decrease."
Frenkel Benefits

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Editor's Pick Text of IRS FAQs: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Section 199A - Qualified Business Income Deduction

33 Q&As, Apr. 11, 2019. "[Included] are answers to some basic questions about the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction, also known as the section 199A deduction, that may be available to individuals, including many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations. Some trusts and estates may also be able to take the deduction. This deduction, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allows non-corporate taxpayers to deduct up to 20 percent of their QBI, plus 20% of qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership (PTP) income."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

DOJ Response Opposes Obama-Era 1557 Regulation
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

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