The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) created new requirements for brokers and consultants, beginning on Dec. 27, 2021, to disclose to ERISA-covered group health plan sponsors any direct or indirect compensation they may receive for referral of services. On Dec. 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a temporary enforcement policy for these new requirements.
- Legal Alert- IRS Issues Affordability Percentage Adjustment for 2022 GalleryAffordable Care Act, Compliance, Disability, Employee Benefits, Employee Benefits Adviser, Employee Communications, Human Resources, IRS, Legislation, Medical, Private Health Care Exchange, U.S. Department of Labor, Wellness
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Rev. Proc. 2021-36, which contains the inflation adjusted amounts for 2022 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 2022, the affordability percentage for employer mandate purposes is indexed to 9.61%. Employer shared responsibility payments are also indexed.
|Description||Coverage not offered to 95% (or all but 5) of full-time employees.||Coverage offered, but unaffordable or is not minimum value.||Premium credits and affordability safe harbors.|
*Section 4980H(a) and (b) penalties 2022 are projected.
**No employer shared responsibility penalties were assessed for 2014.
Under the ACA, applicable large employers (ALEs) must offer affordable health insurance coverage to full-time employees. If the ALE does not offer affordable coverage, it may be subject to an employer shared responsibility payment. An ALE is an employer that employed 50 or more full-time equivalent employees on average in the prior calendar year. Coverage is considered affordable if the employee’s required contribution for self-only coverage on the employer’s lowest-cost, minimum value plan does not exceed 9.61% of the employee’s household income in 2022 (prior years shown above). An ALE may rely on one or more safe harbors in determining if coverage is affordable: W-2, Rate of Pay, and Federal Poverty Level.
If the employer’s coverage is not affordable under one of the safe harbors and a full-time …
- President Orders OSHA To Develop Mandatory Vaccine Requirement for Large Employers GalleryAffordable Care Act, Compliance, Employee Benefits, Employee Benefits Adviser, Employee Communications, Health Care Reform, Human Resources, Legislation, Medical, U.S. Department of Labor, Wellness
President Biden announced that he ordered OSHA to develop emergency temporary standards (ETSs) that would require employers with 100 or more employees to mandate that employees either receive one of the three available COVID-19 vaccines or submit to at least weekly COVID-19 testing. Employers who do not comply with these requirements could be fined approximately $13,650 per employee. The President also announced the OSHA ETSs will require employers to offer paid time off to employees to receive the vaccine, as well as any time necessary to recover from a reaction to the vaccine.
The President also issued executive orders requiring federal executive branch employees to be fully vaccinated (i.e., no weekly testing option) and federal contractor employees under new or newly extended/newly optioned contracts to comply with vaccine safety protocols. He also announced (1) health care workers at certain facilities that receive Medicaid or Medicare funding must be fully vaccinated, (2) that the Department of Transportation will double its fines for individuals who refuse to wear masks on public transportation, and (3) increased testing availability for individuals either at home (through certain, chosen retailers who will sell the kits at cost)  and at pharmacies.
The pending OSHA ETSs, and approaches large employers (i.e., 100 or more employees) and small employer (i.e., fewer than 100 employees) can take to incentivize vaccines are the focus of this alert.
On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, one of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States. Due to this approval and the rampant spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, employers recently began implementing different approaches to encourage individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Some implemented …