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Compliance Overview: Determining Whether Prescription Drug Coverage is Creditable

This “Compliance Bulletin” outlines methods for determining whether a group health plan’s prescription drug coverage is considered creditable. The coverage creditability must be reported to individuals eligible for Medicare Part D and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Links to, both, the model creditable coverage notices for individuals and the online disclosure form … Continued

Compliance Overview: ERISA Disclosures for Welfare Benefit Plans

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for welfare benefit plans maintained by private-sector employers. ERISA-covered welfare benefit plans must comply with certain ongoing reporting and disclosure requirements, such as Summary Plan Description (SPD), Summary of Material Modification (SMM), and Form 5500. Form descriptions along … Continued

Compliance Overview: HSA Limits for 2019

The following article outlines the Health Savings Account (HSA) limits that apply for 2019. It provides a table that compares the 2019 limits to those from 2018. It should be noted that the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) out-of-pocket maximums and IRS limits for HSA contributions will increase for 2019, while the limits for HDHP … Continued

Compliance Overview: Which Federal Employment Laws Apply to My Company?

There are a number of different state and federal employment laws that have their own rules defining which employers are covered. This Compliance Overview provides a high-level look at key federal employment laws and resources to help employers determine which laws apply to their company.Contact your Cowden representative for more information on this or other … Continued

Compliance Overview: DOL Health Plan Audits: Checklist of Requested Documents

The Department of Labor (DOL) has the authority to investigate or audit an employee benefit plan’s compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The attached compliance bulletin provides a checklist of documents that are commonly requested in a DOL audit. Contact your Cowden representative for more information on this or other compliance issues.Read Compliance … Continued

Compliance Overview: Key HSA Features - 2018 Compliance

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the adjusted limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) for 2018. These limits include: the maximum HSA contribution limit, the minimum deductible amount for HDHPs, and the maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs. The attached Compliance Bulletin provides an overview of these changes.Employers … Continued

Compliance Overview: Wrap Documents for Welfare Benefit Plans

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires welfare benefit plans to have a plan document and a Summary Plan Description (SPD). The insurance certificate or benefit booklet provided by an insurance carrier does not satisfy ERISA’s requirements for a plan document and SPD. An employer may use a wrap document, along with the insurance … Continued

Compliance Overview: Medicare Part D - Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notices

  Employers with group health plans that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D must comply with certain disclosure requirements. Group health plan sponsors must disclose to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether their prescription drug … Continued

Compliance Overview: 2018 Open Enrollment Checklist

  To prepare for open enrollment, group health plan sponsors should be aware of the legal changes affecting the design and administration of their plans for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2018. Employers should review their plan documents to confirm that they include these required changes. In addition, any changes to a health … Continued

Compliance Overview: Taxability of Wellness Program Rewards

  Employer-sponsored wellness programs often incorporate rewards or incentives to encourage employees to participate. Because there are numerous legal requirements for wellness program design, employers sometimes overlook the federal tax implications of a program’s rewards. As a general rule, wellness incentives are subject to the same federal tax rules as any other employee rewards or … Continued

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