Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

The View from Proskauer on Developments in the World of Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation

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Peter Marathas

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SCOTUS to Review Subsidy Issue

On November 7, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it was going to review King v. Burwell.  At issue in the case is whether Fourth Circuit correctly determined that the IRS did not exceed its authority when it released a rule in 2012 providing that federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act are available in both … Continue Reading

New Agency FAQs Drive a Stake Further into the Heart of Premium Reimbursement Arrangements and Eliminate a Common Executive Perk

In clear and unambiguous terms, the U.S. Departments of Labor (“DOL”) and Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) (the “Agencies”) drove a stake into the heart of two suspect health insurance strategies that have been promoted to business owners across the country.    In addition, the guidance may spell trouble for a … Continue Reading

IRS to Amend Cafeteria Plan Regulations to Facilitate Enrollment in Marketplace Coverage

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Notice 2014-55, which expands the cafeteria plan “change in status” rules to allow plans to offer employees an option to revoke their elections for employer-sponsored health coverage to purchase a qualified health plan through a Health Insurance Marketplace (“Marketplace”).   The notice is effective immediately … Continue Reading

IRS Increases 9.5% Affordability Threshold—Or Did It?

On July 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released three Revenue Procedures (2014-46, 2014-37, and 2014-41), which provide guidance to individuals on their obligation to maintain minimum essential coverage (MEC) under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) so-called “individual mandate.” Most notably for employers is that, in Revenue Procedure 2014-37, the IRS increased the threshold … Continue Reading

Of Mice and Elephants: Halbig and King and The Struggle of Two Federal Appeals Courts to Find Meaning in Words That May or May Not Be There

At issue in Halbig v. Burwell and King v. Burwell is whether or not subsidies to buy insurance on an exchange are available in both state and federal exchanges.  On its face the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) provides for subsidies only in state exchanges.  The Treasury Department wrote regulations in 2012, however, confirming that subsidies … Continue Reading

Hobby Lobby: The Supreme Court’s View and Its Impact

For the second time in two years the United States Supreme Court (the “Court”) has ruled against the Obama Administration with respect to elements of the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”).  In a 5-4 decision announced today in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.  (“Hobby Lobby”) (f/k/a Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.), the Court … Continue Reading

Final Regulations on Orientation Periods Released

On June 20, the Federal regulatory agencies in charge of health care reform guidance (the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services) released final regulations (“Final Regulations”) clarifying the relationship between a group health plan’s eligibility criteria and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 90-day limit on waiting periods. Specifically, the Final Regulations (published … Continue Reading

Relief for Multiemployer Plans (and the Employers That Love Them)

As previously reported, on Monday, February 10, 2014, the IRS released final regulations on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer “shared responsibility” provisions, also known as the “pay-or-play” mandate. While the final regulations have (predictably) received mixed reviews, some employers – most notably those with 50 to 99 employees or those that covered almost but … Continue Reading

“Pay-or-Play” & Contingent Workers: Final Regulations Provide Clarity But Not Complete Relief

As previously reported, on February 10, 2014, the IRS issued final regulations on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility requirements—the so-called “pay-or-play” mandate. In the regulations, the IRS provides new and additional guidance on a wide range of issues relating to the implementation of the pay-or-play rules. Among them, the IRS has restated … Continue Reading

Recent Guidance on Fixed Indemnity Plans—FAQ’s Relax Standards

As previously reported, the federal agencies responsible for drafting the rules implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department (together, the “Departments”)) on January 9, 2014 issued FAQ Part XVIII, regarding implementation of the market reform provisions of the ACA. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Resolve Circuit Split in Health Care Reform Cases

The Supreme Court will review two of the numerous lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that group health plans and insurers cover, without cost-sharing, contraceptives and/or abortifacients (the “Contraceptive Mandate”). The plaintiffs in these suits are secular, for-profit corporations and their owners, and they assert that being forced to comply with the Contraceptive … Continue Reading
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