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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – STAY PREPARED

In light of the November election results, we can expect major changes in 2017 in health care plan regulations. Be sure to keep up with the latest news, but in the meantime, be prepared to address regulations that apply to your plans now.

  • ACA Overview: Highlights for 2017 Compliance     #131225
  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: Final 2018 Notice of Benefit Payment Parameters     #131224
  • Benefits Buzz, January 2017:     #146330
    • ACA Reporting Deadline Delayed
  • Benefits Bulletin: January 2017     #416319
    • 2017 Health Care Compliance Highlights
    • The Presidential Election’s Impact on Health Care

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DISABILITY BENEFIT CLAIMS PROCEDURES

On December 16, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the final rule on the handling of claims submitted to employee disability plans. These requirements are similar to those demanded of health care plans.  These are effective for claims submitted on or after January 1, 2018, so plan sponsors have time to adjust their procedures and revise their employee communications materials, especially the summary plan descriptions and plan documents.

  • Compliance Bulletin: DOL Strengthens Rules for Disability Benefit Claims   #146957

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STAND-ALONE HRAs FOR SMALL EMPLOYERS

The 21st Century Cures Act became law on December 13, 2016, permitting small employers to offer health reimbursement arrangements even though they do not otherwise offer their employees a health plan.  This law defines “qualified small employer HRAs” that are permitted as of January 1, 2017.  Give Touchstone a call if you’d like us to help you quickly set up an HRA that is appropriate for your employees.

  • Compliance Bulletin: New Law Allows Stand-alone HRAs for Small Employers     #146792

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WELLNESS INFORMATION

These short articles can enhance your employee communications.

  • Live Well, Work Well – January 2017:     #146265
    • The New Year and How It May Affect Your Benefits
    • New Year’s Resolutions: Lifestyle Changes vs. Quick Changes
    • National Blood Donor Month
  • Infographic: Road to Wellness     #146710

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HIPAA AUDIT OR SCAM?

The Department of Health and Human Services is warning covered entities and business associates to be wary of fake emails that appear to be from the Office of Civil Rights. The scammers are using an e-mail address that is very similar to the one used by DHHS to notify entities of HIPAA audit procedures.  Read the details in the article below to be able to discern the fake emails from true OCR officials.

  • Compliance Bulletin: HHS Warns HIPAA Entities about Phishing Email     #146629

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HUMAN RESOURCES UPDATES

The delay on implementation of the rule on overtime pay is the highlight of news for HR professionals this month. Other articles cover a variety of topics that may be of interest.

  • Compliance Bulletin: New EEO-1 Reporting Requirements     #146678
  • Compliance Overview: Employee Leave-sharing and Donation Programs     #146900
  • HR Brief: January 2017     #146365
    • DOL Overtime Rule Blocked
    • Handling Election Tension in the Office
  • Benefits Bulletin: January 2017     #416319
    • DOL Overtime Rule Update
  • Benefits Buzz, January 2017:     #146330
    • Overtime Rule Delayed Until Further Notice

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STATE EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATES

Washington state’s paid sick leave law will be effective January 1, 2018. This 4-page explanation of the law’s requirements is the only new article in our state law library this month.

  • Compliance Bulletin: Washington Enacts Paid Sick Leave     #147152

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MID-YEAR CHANGES TO PLAN ELECTIONS

This infographic explains the meaning of ‘qualified life event’ under Internal Revenue Code Section 125. You may want to use this in your employee newsletter or as a poster, if your cafeteria plan allows all IRS-defined qualified life events.

  • Infographic: What Is a Qualified Life Event?      #146347

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