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Kushner & Company Blog

The Kushner & Company blog brings current legal, regulatory, and items of interest to our business executives and HR professionals in all areas of HR and benefit design and administration. The extensive library of blogs is fully searchable and contains many ideas, tips, and updates on all things HR and benefits.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act has now been signed into law on March 27, 2020. It is a mammoth bill of over 880 pages, and contains many employee benefit related items. This post deals with two health and welfare items: over-the-counter drugs and telemedicine.

Posted on March 28, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefit Card, 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COVID-19, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA), 
Team Rewards, 
Total Rewards

In an IRS News Release (IR 2020-57) issued on March 20, 2020, the IRS announced that they will shortly provide guidance that employers with fewer than 500 employees may retain payroll taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks for the tax credits for emergency paid leave.

Posted on March 21, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
Compensation, 
COVID-19, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
HR Compliance

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

On March 11, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service advised that high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) can pay for COVID-19-related testing and treatment, without jeopardizing their status. This also means that an individual with an HDHP that covers these costs may continue to contribute to an HSA.

Posted on March 11, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

On February 26, 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled in Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee v Sulyma that under ERISA a plan participant "must have 'actual knowledge' of the information contained in required disclosures he receives but does not read or cannot recall reading."

Posted on February 26, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Blog, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Team Rewards, 
Total Rewards

Much later than usual, the IRS released the 2020 retirement plan contribution limits. Earlier this year, they also released the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Health Savings Account (HSA) limits. We now also have the cafeteria plan, adoption credit, and transit benefit limits as well.

Posted on November 6, 2019 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
Cash Balance, 
Combo Plans, 
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, 
Money Purchase, 
Plan Document Services (BDA), 
Plan Document Services (RPS), 
Profit Sharing, 
Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA), 
Retirement Plans, 
Team Rewards, 
Total Rewards

The US Department of Labor has suddenly realized that employers and their employees use a newfangled means of communicating in the real world: e-mail and the internet. In a bold move proposing their latest regulations he DOL has proposed new rules.

Posted on October 28, 2019 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
Cash Balance, 
Combo Plans, 
Compensation, 
Defined Contribution Plan, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
IRS Form 5500 Services (RPS), 
Money Purchase, 
Nonqualified Plans (Executive Compensation), 
Plan Document Services (RPS), 
Profit Sharing, 
Retirement Plans, 
Team Rewards, 
Total Rewards

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

Starting in 2007, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA) requires that the IRS release the upcoming year’s new HSA limits prior to June 1st.

Posted on May 29, 2019 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
Compensation, 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA), 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures, 
Team Rewards

Under the ACA, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) was established. The funding mechanism for PCORI was a fee on group health plans, including certain employer-contributed health care flexible spending accounts (employer FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).

Posted on May 23, 2019 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
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