Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 17, 2020

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Ascensus
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Ascensus
Indianapolis IN / San Diego CA

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[Guidance Overview]

Parking Tax on Nonprofits Repealed Retroactively

"With its repeal, nonprofits that reported qualified transportation fringes on IRS Form 990-T as UBTI and paid tax attributable to such income between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2019, should note that they generally have three years from the date the return was filed to claim a refund."

McGuireWoods

[Guidance Overview]

New Jersey Bill Mandating Payment of Severance Benefits Sent to Governor for Signature

"The bill has been sent to Governor Phil Murphy for signature. If signed, the new law will take effect immediately.... New Jersey employers would be mandated to pay affected employees one week of severance for every year of employment, even if the employer had provided the required amount of New Jersey WARN Act notice."

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Employer Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave (PDF)

"When enacted, this credit was made available for two years, 2018 and 2019.... The credit was extended through 2020 in the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. This [article] [1] provides an overview of the employer credit for paid family and medical leave; and [2] highlights some issues to consider when evaluating the credit." [CRS IF11141, updated Jan. 16, 2020]

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Guidance Overview]

HHS Increases Civil Monetary Penalties for HIPAA Noncompliance, Effective January 17, 2020

"The adjusted penalty amounts apply to penalties assessed on or after January 17, 2020, if the violation occurred on or after November 2, 2015 (that is, the Inflation Adjustment Act's enactment date).... The cost-of-living adjustment multiplier for 2020, based on the CPI-U for October 2019 (not seasonally adjusted), is 1.01764[.]"

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Absent Actual Proof of Mailing, Court Rejects General Evidence Regarding COBRA Mailing Procedures

"The employer asserted that upon terminations, resignations, or retirements, COBRA notifications were automatically generated and mailed to employees, and there was 'no reason to believe that the ordinary process would not have been completed' for this employee.... [T]the court concluded that the employer's declaration regarding general business practices was insufficient to demonstrate it had met its notice obligations[.]" [Randolph v. E. Baton Rouge Parish Sch. Bd., No. 15-654 (M.D. La. Nov. 22, 2019)]

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

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[Opinion]

Consumers or Patients: The Role of Individuals vs. Employers in Health Care Spending Choices

"When people are in need of health care, it's because they are sick. And anyone who has ever been sick knows that the highest priority tends to be getting well, not shopping around for value-based services.... [One study] concluded that employer intervention should be a consideration and that employers could cut their drug costs nearly in half simply by shifting patients to physician office settings or negotiating site-neutral pricing for medicines."

EBRI [Employee Benefits Research Institute]

Benefits in General

Employment Data, Employee Benefits and the CCPA

"For programs subject to ERISA, there is certainly an argument that CCPA is preempted by ERISA -- but California has a history of challenging ERISA preemption claims, and until courts work through that issue, it's an open question. Moreover, if your company provides any benefit programs that are not subject to ERISA (for example, a dependent care FSA, an HSA contribution program or a salary continuation program for those on short-term disability leave), no pre-emption argument is available."

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

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Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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