Understanding Employee Benefits and key developments in the employee benefits field and items of interest to our clients. MORE

The Office for Civil Rights, which is the arm of the Department of Health and Human Services that enforces HIPAA privacy and security rules, recently announced the settlement of an enforcement action against a small cardiothoracic surgery practice. The practice reportedly posted protected health information (PHI) on an internet-based publically accessible calendar and transmitted PHI

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (“Blue Cross”) insured New Life Homecare, Inc. (“New Life”) under a group health insurance contract. The insurance contract required New Life to enroll at least 75% of its eligible participants in the plan and provided that no more than 15% of the eligible employees could reside more than 20 miles

As noted in my two earlier blogs here and here, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) imposes a new fee to fund a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute that will research effective medical treatments. The fee is paid by insurance companies for fully insured plans and by plan sponsors for self-funded plans. The

Last week I received copies of the first new fiduciary fee disclosures required by final Department of Labor Regulations under ERISA Section 408(b) (2).  Fee disclosures were received from Fidelity Investments and Prudential Financial, providers to two client retirement plans.  The details of the required disclosures are described in my earlier July 26, 2011 and

This is the second blog post discussing the recently proposed regulations (on which taxpayers can rely) on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund fee. The first post is here. This new fee, required to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, is imposed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on most health

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) issuers of certain health insurance policies and plan sponsors of certain self-funded health plans must pay a fee to fund a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund. This trust fund will be used to allow the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to conduct research on the clinical effectiveness

On Monday March 26th, almost exactly two years after its enactment on March 23, 2010, the United States Supreme Court will begin the first of three days of oral arguments relating to the health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”). The Supreme Court agreed to hear six hours

Most employers are aware that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal law purposes, including federal tax and benefits law. For benefits governed by ERISA, this means that state laws that recognize same sex marriages are preempted. Although for some benefits (e.g.,