Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Showing posts for: Employee Benefits

May 20 2011
Employee Benefits

Medicare Part D: updated notices issued by CMS

model notices issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The new model notices, for use after April 1, 2011, satisfy the requirement that a group health plan notify Medicare-eligible individuals whether the plan constitutes “creditable coverage” under Medicare Part D. Although there is no requirement to issue the notices in…

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May 20 2011
Employee Benefits

CALIFORNIA: Adult child health benefits no longer taxable

AB 36 brings California tax law in line with federal law, which has permitted tax-free benefits for adult children (through the end of the year in which the child turns 26) since March 30, 2010. Previously, dependent benefits were only tax-free if the child was under 24, a fulltime student,…

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May 20 2011
Employee Benefits

OREGON: Adult child health coverage tax-free

If you have employees who cover their non-dependent adult children on your health insurance program, that coverage is now tax-free at the state level, thanks to legislation signed into law on March 9, 2011 (

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May 20 2011
Employee Benefits

IDAHO: Governor bars state agencies from implementing health care reform

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter recently issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies from receiving federal funding or otherwise taking steps to implement new programs or rules pursuant to federal healthcare reform law (Executive Order 2001-03, April 20, 2011). It also prohibits state agencies from assisting federal agencies in implementing the law. While…

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May 04 2011
Employee Benefits

Employer’s wellness program does not violate ADA

Surprisingly, an employer’s wellness program that penalized employees $20 per paycheck if they did not submit to a health questionnaire and biometric screening was not in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to a recent decision by a federal district court in Florida (Seff v. Broward County, SD…

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Apr 22 2011
Employee Benefits

Budget bill repeals health reform’s free choice vouchers

H.R. 1473, P.L.  112-10). This provision was set to take effect on January 1, 2014 and was intended to make exchange coverage affordable for employees with low incomes who were not eligible for federal income-based assistance.  It remains to be seen how this development will affect employers’ strategies for addressing health reforms in…

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Apr 22 2011
Employee Benefits

DOL/IRS/HHS issue more health care reform FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions” about the federal health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), focusing on issues of how plans lose grandfathered status. Key points include guidance on the anti-abuse provisions of the grandfathering rules—specifically, what is a “bona fide employment-based reason” for transferring employees from one grandfathered plan to another, such…

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Apr 22 2011
Employee Benefits

Early Retiree Reinsurance Program to stop accepting applications

76 Fed Reg 65, April 5, 2011). Under the program, the federal government has made available $5 billion to reimburse early retiree medical plans for up to 80 percent of claims between $15,000 and $90,000. Based on the rate at which the available funding is being disbursed, the Centers for…

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Feb 21 2011
Employee Benefits

EEOC rejects pay discrimination claim based on pension payments

If the courts take the same approach as the EEOC did in this case, it will be a huge relief for employers. One question that was left unanswered, though, is what happens when there is a significant gap in time between an employee’s last date of employment, and the date of…

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Feb 18 2011
Employee Benefits

CALIFORNIA: Health coverage of adult children subject to state income tax

Although last year’s health care reform law made coverage available to employees’ adult children up to age 26, and provided a federal income tax exclusion for the coverage, California employers should be aware that California’s tax law does not provide such an exclusion from income for adult child coverage. If passed by the…

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