Author: Arwyn Robinson

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Hands Down a Big Win for ERISA Preemption

3 minute read After several failed attempts by pharmacy benefit managers (“PBM”) to challenge state laws regulating PBMs, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (in Pharmaceutical Care Management Association v. Mulready) handed down a big win for PBMs and, by extension, self-funded ERISA plans, when it held that provisions under an Oklahoma insurance law that established strict network adequacy standards and over-broad “any willing provider”...
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IRS Issues Affordability Percentage Adjustment for 2024

3 minute read The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Rev. Proc. 2023-29, which contains the inflation-adjusted amounts for 2024 used to determine whether employer-sponsored coverage is “affordable” for purposes of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer-shared responsibility provisions and premium tax credit program. As shown in the table below, for plan years beginning in 2024, the affordability percentage for employer mandate...
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Agencies Release Proposed Regulations on Fixed Indemnity Insurance, Seek Comments on Level Funded Plans

8 minute read On July 12, 2023, the IRS, DOL and HHS (collectively, “the Agencies”) released proposed regulations that modify the conditions for hospital indemnity and other fixed indemnity insurance to be considered an “excepted benefit.” Maintaining “excepted benefit” status is important for fixed indemnity plans, as it exempts them from having to comply with the ACA’s insurance mandates and market reforms, which is not feasible...
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PCORI Filing for 2023?

Hey there, HR superheroes! Today, let's shed some light on those pesky PCORI fees and make the process a breeze for you. PCORI stands for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the fees are a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement. If your company offers a self-insured health plan, these fees help fund research that compares different medical treatments to improve patient outcomes. But don't worry, we're here to answer your...
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FICA Reduction Redux – IRS Issues Guidance on Wellness Indemnity Payments

5 minute read On June 9, 2023, the IRS released OCC Memo 202323006, which advises that wellness indemnity payments under a fixed indemnity insurance policy are wages for purposes of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) taxes, and federal income tax withholding (FITW) (collectively, “employment taxes”) if the employee has no unreimbursed medical expenses related to the payment. The memo,...
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REMINDER: PCORI Fees Due By July 31, 2023

5 minute read Employers that sponsor self-insured group health plans, including health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) should keep in mind the upcoming July 31, 2023 deadline for paying fees that fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) via Form 720, which was recently updated and released by the IRS. As background, the PCORI was established as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to conduct research to evaluate the...
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IRS Releases 2024 HSA Contribution Limits and HDHP Deductible and Out-of-Pocket Limits

3 minute read In Rev. Proc. 2023-23, the IRS released the inflation adjusted amounts for 2024 relevant to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs). The table below summarizes those adjustments and other applicable limits. 2024 2023 Change Annual HSA Contribution Limit (employer and employee) Self-only: $4,150 Family: $8,300 Self-only: $3,850 Family: $7,750 Self-only: +$300 Family: +$550 HSA...
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DOL Issues Guidance on Preventive Care Court Order

6 minute read On March 30, 2023, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an order in Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra (“Braidwood”), vacating any and all actions taken by the DOL and other federal agencies (in the past and in the future) to implement or enforce provisions of the ACA that require group health plans and health insurance issuers (“plans and issuers”) to cover certain preventive care...
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Agencies Informally Indicate that the Outbreak Period Tied to the COVID-19 National Emergency Ends July 10, 2023

1 minute read On April 10, 2023, the President signed H.J.Res. 7, which ended the COVID-19 national emergency on April 10, 2023, approximately one month earlier than anticipated. However, prior to the passage of H.J. Res. 7, the DOL and other federal agencies issued guidance in the form of FAQs that indicate an end date of May 11, 2023 for the national emergency and public health emergency. Based on informal statements by officials at the DOL and...
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Agencies Issue Guidance on the End of the COVID-19 Emergencies

*Please refer to the updated legal alert posted on 4/20/23 for more information on recent developments of the agencies on this topic. 8 minute read On January 30, 2023, President Biden issued a Statement of Administration Policy announcing his intent to end the COVID-19 national and public health emergencies on May 11, 2023. However, on April 10, 2023, the President signed H.J.Res. 7, which ends the COVID-19 national emergency approximately one...
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