Monday Morning Reading

Some recent developments worth noting. Stay tuned this week for another ScreenCast or two on ACA Reporting. Here are the first three:  (defining the employer) (ACA Reporting Questions) (ACA Reporting Q&A / EINs)

  • There are a lot of ways to think about ERISA and severance plans and no magic approach that works for all employers.  A recent 7th Circuit Court  case applied a 3 part test to conclude a severance plan did exist. And that’s exactly what the former employee was hoping to hear. In other situations an ERISA severance plan is the employer’s best friend. Here’s the case. (FindLaw) Send us an e-mail if you are hoping to see a more detailed discussion on
  • Is that an auditor at my door? The GAO says the IRS needs to strengthen oversight of tax provisions for individuals who receive premium tax credits under ACA. (GAO)
    • Expect issues like this to affect ACA reporting simplification efforts.  The Health Affairs Blog has an interesting story around challenges created by the prospective nature of the premium tax credit. The District of Columbia Exchange (would that be a state or federal exchange?) actually recommends that enrollees take less than their full credit to make for a happier end-of-year tax filing.  (Health Affairs Blog)
    • Here in Minnesota more individuals are covered but still can’t afford to be sick according to the StarTribune. (Strib)
  • Take a look at the SPARK Institute’s white paper on electronic delivery of retirement plan documents. (SPARK) When will someone do this study for health SPDs?Let us know about your distribution challenges and workarounds.
  • IRS is requesting more comments on the 40% excise tax on high cost plans (aka: Cadillac Tax or a questionable policy that many hope will go away). This is an important one to watch. (IRS)
  • One of the many things that has always fascinated me about employee benefits is the demographics piece. And it seems to be getting some more layers with the millennials. (NYT) (Economist)
  • NPR story on Medicare turning 50 looks at Civil Rights implications of the Act. (NPR). The role of private health plans in Medicare and Medicaid continues to grow. (NYT) There’s a classic B&W photo with this story.

Bob Seng

With plenty of experience in private practice and as an Assistant General Counsel for Pay & Benefits in a Fortune 50 Company, Bob understands that employee benefits law isn’t for everyone. That’s why he takes pride in listening carefully and responding with clear answers and advice that can be followed by busy clients.

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