COBRA

On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It contains many HR and benefit-related items, and in this post we'll cover the new temporary rules for this year's version of Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs).

Posted on March 17, 2021 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Administration, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
HR Compliance

On the last possible workday on which to provide needed guidance before health plan sponsors had to fend for themselves on when the COBRA and HIPAA Outbreak Period ended, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, part of the US Department of Labor, issued Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01.

Posted on February 26, 2021 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures

We provided information at the end of April, 2020 about the IRS' and DOL's determination that the "pause" button was hit on a number of regular timing and payment due dates relating to COBRA, health plan claims (including health care FSA claims), and HIPAA Special Enrollment Periods. Is it ending?

Posted on February 18, 2021 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA)

This is a very difficult question, since neither the IRS nor the DOL has addressed it directly.

Posted on October 30, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19

The DOL and IRS issued a Notice that announced a "pause" in the timelines that affect many COBRA and HIPAA Special Enrollment Period timelines during the COVID-19 National Emergency pandemic. It also provides for additional timelines relating to all health and welfare plan claim filings and appeals.

Posted on April 30, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Administration, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

We have seen many news stories of how the COVID-19 virus has impacted many employers, causing some to turn to significant reductions in their workforce via furloughs and layoffs.   COBRA law and regulations are quite clear.

But there is an alternative for some employers.

Posted on March 19, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures

Since 2009, special enrollment rights to immediately enroll in an employer's health plan arise if an individual becomes eligible for a state premium assistance subsidy under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act ("CHIPRA", or often shortened to CHIP).

Posted on August 5, 2019 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
Plan Document Services (BDA), 
Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA), 
Summary Plan Descriptions, 
Team Rewards

Kushner President and CEO Gary Kushner was invited to present a 5-minute (and exactly 5 minutes) speech at this year's DisruptHR conference. His topic was on "Total Rewards: Why are We Doing What We're Doing?" Here's the video of that talk.

Posted on May 23, 2019 By Kushner & Company, Consulting Services
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
Compensation, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Goal Setting and Alignment, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA), 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures, 
Performance Management, 
Team Rewards, 
Total Rewards

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published an Information Letter that confirms the general preemption under ERISA of state civil laws that require employers to obtain written consent before withholding amounts from employees’ wages for contribution to a benefit plan subject to ERISA.

Posted on February 18, 2019 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
Compensation, 
Defined Contribution Plan, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA), 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures, 
Retirement Plans, 
Team Rewards

Employers who sponsor group health plans that cover any prescription drugs generally must disclose whether the plan provides creditable or non-creditable prescription drug coverage to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within 60 days of the start of a new plan year.

Posted on February 18, 2019 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefit Card, 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Excepted Benefit HRA (EBHRA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures, 
Plan Document Services (BDA), 
Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA), 
Team Rewards

In a recent article published by SHRM, our President and CEO Gary Kushner was cited as the main resource on dealing with active employees and their dependents upon their reaching Medicare-eligibility. Kushner mentioned many issues related to employer-based health and prescription drug benefits.

Posted on February 15, 2019 By Kushner & Company, Consulting Services
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA), 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures, 
Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA), 
Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA), 
Team Rewards

On December 14, 2018, a US District Judge in Texas issued a ruling that the entire ACA was unconstitutional given that the individual mandate contained in it no longer had a tax penalty, the basis of the 2012 US Supreme Court ruling upholding the ACA's constitutionality. 

Posted on December 17, 2018 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA), 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures, 
Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA), 
IRS Form 5500 Services (BDA), 
Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA), 
Team Rewards