Industry Insight: The Mechanics of the Product Recall Claim Process

Despite recall frequency and the potential for extraordinary costs, most companies don’t adequately plan, prepare, practice for or buy insurance against product recall events. In addition to proper insurance coverage, careful planning is essential in managing the risk of a recall. Costs from a product recall can easily cascade into the millions. In addition to … Continued

Expert Tips: Cut Costs by Adding Safety to Your Strategic Initiatives

Where does the safety and well-being fit into a company’s goals and strategic initiatives? We often hear of companies promoting wellness to assist employees in pursuing healthier lifestyle goals. Step programs and healthy eating coaching are two example programs prevalent today in the workplace; employers assist employees in making healthy choices and gain, too, through … Continued

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act: What You Need to Know

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA or the Act), 35 Pa. C.S.A §10231.101, et seq., became effective May 17, 2016. The MMA introduces a new industry to Pennsylvania and establishes rules and procedures for how that industry is intended to operate, from growers to patients. Potential Impact For starters, federal law impacts how employers will comply … Continued

Pennsylvania Employers: Potential Changes to Your Workers’ Compensation Program

What You Need to Know On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) process was unconstitutional because the General Assembly is not permitted to delegate its authority to issue impairment rating guidelines to a non-legislative body, or in the Protz case, the American Medical Association (AMA).  See Protz … Continued

Fixed-Indemnity Benefits May be Taxable

By Shari Herrle, Director of Compliance A Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) memorandum issued by the IRS in January concludes that benefits provided under a Fixed Indemnity Plan may not be excluded from an employee’s gross income if premiums were pre-taxed through a Section 125 Cafeteria Plan or the premiums were paid by the employer.  Many … Continued

IRS Proposed Changes to Definition of Tax Dependent

The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed regulations that will redefine “dependent”.    The changes update existing regulations so that they reflect the IRS’s current position on the “tiebreaker” rules, Qualifying Child and Qualifying Relative.   The revised definition of dependent has implications on employee benefit plans as the federal definition of dependent determines whether a household … Continued

HHS Releases New Benefit Parameters

Health and Human Services (HHS) released its 2018 health benefit and payment parameters.  Employer plan sponsors planning for 2018 will want to take note of the new Annual Cost Sharing Limits for group health plan coverage: Health Plan Annual Cost-Sharing Limits: Limits 2017 2018 Individual Coverage $7,150 $7,350 Family Coverage $14,300 $14,700   We anticipate … Continued

DOL Announces Adjustments to Employee Benefit Plan Penalties

In January of this year the DOL issued its first annual adjustment of civil penalties for several benefit-related violations. The new penalties are effective for penalties assessed after January 13, 2017 for violations occurring after November 2, 2015.  We have included a chart below that summarizes the changes. If you have any questions regarding the … Continued

2017 Publication 15-B – Employers Guide to Fringe Benefits

For each new calendar year the IRS releases an updated Publication 15-B (Employers Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits) which provides important information many employers rely upon to determine the tax treatment of various fringe benefits, including accident and health coverage, Health Savings Accounts, transportation benefits, etc.  The 2017 publication has some noteworthy changes and clarity … Continued

New Policy Brief – The House GOP Leadership ACA Repeal and Replace Plan

On February 16, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan presented a new Policy Brief that contains many of the key reform elements House Republicans believe are essential to repeal and replace the ACA and overhaul the Medicaid system.  The plan includes provisions to modernize Medicaid, utilize State Innovation Grants, enhance Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and provide … Continued