Vigilant Blog

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

Showing posts for: Employee Benefits

Aug 19 2011
Employee Benefits

Debate over health care reform’s individual mandate rages on

A second appeals court has weighed in on the legality of the “individual mandate” contained in the federal health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this time ruling that the mandate is unconstitutional.  The ACA’s individual mandate is the requirement that by 2014 nearly all U.S. citizens must maintain health…

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Aug 15 2011
Employee Benefits

Affordable Care Act requires contraceptive coverage with no cost-sharing

Check out HealthCare.gov, for a list of all the preventive services required to be covered with no cost sharing.

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Jun 03 2011
Employee Benefits

Deadline approaching for OTC drug amendment

Although the restriction on FSA or HRA reimbursement of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medications went into effect on January 1, 2011, you have until June 30, 2011 to amend your plan document to reflect this change, so if you haven’t yet done so, now is the time. The federal health care…

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Jun 03 2011
Employee Benefits

U.S. Supreme Court: Participants can enforce inaccurate SPD

When is the last time you reviewed and updated the summary plan description (SPD) for your company’s health plan or retirement plan? A recent decision by the Supreme Court makes it more important than ever that your plan’s SPD is up-to-date and accurate. Cigna Corporation converted its defined benefit pension plan into a “cash…

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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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