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DEADLINE FOR SOME ACA REQUIREMENTS EXTENDED

On November 18th the IRS announced an extension of the deadline for furnishing 2016 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals.  The following article clarifies that the new extension does not alter the February 28th and March 31st deadlines for employers and insurers to file Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C, nor does it extend the normal January 2, 2018 deadline for furnishing 2017 forms to individuals.

  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: 2016 Furnishing Deadline for ACA Reporting Delayed     #145806

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ANNUAL EMPLOYER HEATH BENEFITS SURVEY RESULTS

The 2016 Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research and Educational Trust Annual Survey of Employee Health Benefits is now available.  This 270-page report provides a valuable benchmarking tool.  Data has been gathered from 1,933 employers on their health benefits coverage, costs, eligibility requirements, premium contributions and cost-sharing.  It covers retiree plans, as well as active employee programs.   Specific sections are devoted to wellness programs, plan funding, and prescription drugs.  Results are usually broken down by the employer’s geographic region, industry, and size.

  • Survey: 2016 Annual Survey of Employer Health Benefits     #145440

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PLANNING FOR 2017 AND BEYOND

This month we have a variety of articles to assist you in planning for the year ahead.  The Compliance Overview has a clear list of the required minimums, maximums, and other federal law limits placed on health plans for 2017.  The HR Brief provides the limitations and COLA changes imposed on retirement plans.

The two articles on the impact of the 2016 election reminds us that nothing changes immediately, but we should consider the possible revisions that might be made after January.

Two additional articles note the sharp rise in premiums for 2017 in health plans provided through the ACA Marketplace.

The final two articles offer information that you may want to consider in reviewing your health plan coverage.

  • Compliance Overview: Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2017     #131229
  • HR Brief: December 2016  IRS Issues Retirement Updates     #131180
  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: 2016 Election – Impact on Compliance Issues     #145326
  • Benefits Buzz, December 2016:     #131154
    • 2017 Marketplace Plan Premiums Rise 25%
    • 2016 Election and Compliance Issues
  • Know Your Insurance: 2017 Marketplace Cost Trends     #145038
  • HealthLeaders Media FactFile: Shifts in ALOS for Certain Surgical Procedures     #145441
  • Compliance Bulletin: Marijuana Use Legalized in Eight States     #145448

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COURT HALTS DECEMBER 1st OVERTIME RULE

Were you prepared for the December 1st change to overtime exemptions for white-collar employees?  Well, that is on hold now as a federal district court judge has issued an injunction against the enforcement of that rule until further notice. Stay tuned!

  • Compliance Bulletin: Overtime Rule Blocked by Federal Court     #144539
  • Know Your Benefits: Changes regarding the New Overtime Rule     #146026

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WELLNESS AND WORK/LIFE ASSISTANCE

The library offers a few new articles this month that may be used as handouts for employees or included in your own newsletter.

  • Live Well, Work Well – December 2016:     #131078
    • The Connection between Office Camaraderie and Your Health
    • AAP Releases Updated Safe Sleep Guidelines
    • Reduce Your Holiday Stress
    • Recipe: Squash Soup
  • Know Your Benefits: Avoid Health Care-related IRS Scams     #145171

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HUMAN RESOURCES TOOLS AND UPDATES

We provide two helpful procedural documents for professionals with HR responsibilities, as well as some important updates on compliance concerns.

The HR Toolkits on Succession Planning (24 pages) and on Terminations (14 pages) are offered as detailed templates for procedural manuals that you should tailor to your organization’s specific needs. The HR Insights article on PTO likewise provides guidance on what should be considered in putting together policies and procedures on paid time off.

The three Compliance Bulletins highlight important concerns regarding OSHA’s anti-retaliation provisions, updated Form I-9s, and the legalization of marijuana in eight states (including four where it is limited to medicinal use).

  • HR Toolkit: Succession Planning     #145835
  • HR Toolkit: Terminations     #145060
  • HR Insights: Monitoring PTO Amounts     #145721
  • Compliance Bulletin: OSHA Anti-Retaliation Rules Delayed until Dec. 1st      #142010
  • Compliance Bulletin: Marijuana Use Legalized in Eight States      #145448
  • Compliance Bulletin: Updated Form I-9 Released      #145694