Author: Kathleen A. Berger, CEBS

On June 13, 2019, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury released an advance copy of a Final Rule on Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). It will be published in the Federal Register on June 20, 2019. The rule expands the types of HRAs that can be offered starting in 2020. Background…

Question: Our company offers group medical and dental plans for all employees. We also have an executive-only medical plan that covers out-of-pocket expenses that the regular group plan does not pay. Does COBRA apply to the executive-only plan? Do we have to include it in our summary plan description (SPD)? Answer: The coverage continuation requirements…

At this time of year, many employers and benefit advisors begin preparing Form 5500, the annual report required for most employee benefit plans. Form 5500 must be filed with the federal government within seven months after the end of the plan year. For calendar-year plans, that means the plan’s 2018 Form 5500 is due July…

School’s out! Summer is here, and it’s the time of year when working parents have questions about using their Dependent Care Spending Accounts (DCSAs). Are summer camp expenses eligible? What about day versus overnight camps? Employers and benefit advisors want to be ready with answers about this valuable benefit program. The following are the top…

Do you offer coverage to your employees through a self-insured group health plan? Do you sponsor a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)? If so, do you know whether your plan or HRA is subject to the annual Patient-Centered Research Outcomes Institute (PCORI) fee? This article answers frequently-asked questions about the PCORI fee, which plans are affected,…

Question: Our company offers group health coverage and other employee benefit plans. Our workforce includes a number of employees who do not speak English. Are we required to distribute summary plan descriptions (SPDs) in different languages? Answer: No, ERISA does not require translating and distributing the entire SPD in any non-English languages, but does require…

Question: Our company’s group medical plan is self-funded (uninsured). What is our responsibility when we pay a claim but the payee never cashes it? We cannot locate the payee. Do we have to escheat the money to the state? Answer: Various states have “unclaimed property laws” which may lead to amounts from uncashed checks escheating…

Today is National Employee Benefits Day! For the past fifteen years, the benefits community has taken a moment each April 2 to recognize the important role that employee benefits play in the lives of millions of American workers. Created in 2004 by the nonprofit International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), the day honors the…

Yesterday, a federal district court struck down a Department of Labor (DOL) Rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs). Issued in 2018, the DOL rule aimed to expand the availability of AHPs to a greater number of small businesses as an alternative to standard ACA-compliant small group insurance policies. For details, see our June 2018 blog post….