Posts Categorized: Welfare Benefits

Revised Red Flags Rule

in Cafeteria Plans, Welfare Benefits

This week President Obama signed revised red flags rule legislation designed to exempt professionals and “other service providers” from the FTC Red Flags Rule.  It is unclear if this new legislation will change its application to health FSAs and HRAs that utilize debit cards.  The FTC website indicates that it is updating its guidance and will update the website when that process is complete.  In the interim, you can review the application of the Red Flags Rule for employee benefits, by reviewing our Legal Alert:  http://bit.ly/i5YOSm

Transit Benefit Extension Approved

in Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

Last night the House approved the extension of the current income tax rates and unemployment insurance benefits. President Obama is expected to sign the bill today or tomorrow. The bill includes an extension of the transit-parking parity rules for another year. Thus, for 2011 the parking and the mass transit limit will now be $230 per month. The extension of the parity rules begins to apply January 1, 2011. See, Section 727 of the attached bill:  http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_satohr4853_txt.pdf

Transit Benefit Extension

in Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

The current transit benefit of $230 per month expires at the end of this month, and the transit benefit reverts back to its prior limit of $120 per month. The legislation to extend the current income tax rates and unemployment insurance benefits is currently being drafted in the Senate. This legislation also extends the increased transit benefit of $230 per month through December 31, 2011. The legislation is expected to be voted on in the Senate early next week, and thereafter addressed by the House.

All Quiet in DC this Week

in Health Benefits, Retiree Benefits, Welfare Benefits

Now that the set of Transformers 3 has moved out of DC, it is fairly quite this week.  It appears that everyone is digging out from the avalanche of Affordable Care Act guidance, and waiting for the elections in two weeks.  As you are updating your enrollment guides and summary plan descriptions, and drafting plan document amendments, keep in mind that plaintiffs lawyers love obscurity and inconsistency.  The best way to draft any plan language is to be clear and consistent among your enrollment guides, summary plan descriptions and plan documents.

Texas Injury Plans

in Affordable Care Act, HIPAA Privacy & Security, Welfare Benefits

Under Texas law, employers can opt-out of the normal workers’ compensation system by sponsoring a separate, self-insured plan for workplace injuries, typically referred to as a Texas Injury Plan. Texas Injury Plans are treated as ERISA group health plans and subject to the typical ERISA requirements, as well as the HIPAA privacy rules. Recently, some third-party administrators and plan sponsors have begun to review whether these types of plans are covered by the Affordable Care Act, and whether an exception can apply. There are exceptions in ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code for “worker’s compensation and similar insurance” benefits. However, when an employer opts… Continue Reading