Daniel L. Morgan
On April 1, 2018, a new Department of Labor regulation that modifies the procedures ERISA-governed plans must use to evaluate disability claims took effect.
According to a Department of Labor news release, the modified procedures:
“give America’s workers new procedural protections when dealing with plan fiduciaries and insurance providers who deny their claims for disability benefits … and ensures, for example, that disability claimants receive a clear explanation of why their claim was denied as well as their rights to appeal a denial of a benefit claim, and to review and respond to new information developed by the plan during the course of an appeal. The rule also requires that a claims adjudicator could not be hired, promoted, terminated, or compensated based on the likelihood of denying claims.” Continue reading “New Department of Labor Disability Claim Procedure: A Trap for the Unwary”
Daniel L. Morgan
Buried in the December 2017 tax legislation is a provision that changes the method that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) uses to determine cost of living adjustments to annual dollar limits applicable to health plans and some other benefits.
Applying the new methodology, the IRS announced this week that the 2018 family health savings account (“HSA”) contribution limit is being reduced from $6,900, which the IRS announced last year would be in effect for 2018, to $6,850. Continue reading “Not So Fast . . . The IRS Retroactively Reduces the 2018 Family Health Savings Account Contribution Limit”
Joining Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, the Maryland Legislature enacted legislation requiring employers in Maryland to provide paid sick and safe leave to employees by overriding Governor Hogan’s veto of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (“MD HWFA”). Unless the date for implementation is delayed by the Legislature, the requirements of the Act go into effect on February 12, 2018. Continue reading “Maryland Jumps on Bandwagon—Adopts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law”
Jonathan A. Clark, Andrew J. Rudolph, and Michael A. Kadlec
In the wake of the catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, there are several steps that employers can take to help their impacted employees. To assist employers, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the Department of Labor (“DOL”) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) have each issued guidance on relief in response to Hurricane Harvey.
Tax-Free Disaster Assistance to Employees
Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) allows an employer (or other entities) to provide tax-free disaster relief to its employees in those instances where the payments constitute qualified disaster relief payments. Continue reading “Government Agencies Stepping up in Light of Hurricanes”