As a business owner or human resource professional, you’ve been through two years of pandemic-related regulations, adaptations and frustrations. Over the past couple of months, you’ve managed open enrollment for employee benefits amid a resurgent wave of COVID-19 infections and HR legislation, all while assisting colleagues with their demands and stresses — pandemic-related and otherwise.
Now a new wave approaches: a torrent of reporting requirements and wellness regulations unlike anything we’ve seen since the repeal of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act five years ago.
It’s a lot. And we’re here to help.
Join Alera Group on Thursday, February 17, for our “Q1 Compliance Recap,” a one-hour webinar designed to help you understand recent legislative changes and prepare for the reporting challenges ahead in the next six to 12 months.
During the program, co-presenter Stacy Barrow of Marathas Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP will join me to discuss impending requirements and answer questions from the audience. Participants who attend the entire event will be eligible for one credit hour from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).
In case you missed it, here’s a review of major developments in employee benefits compliance during the past year. Among the highlights:
- After some whiplash-inducing regulatory back-and-forth amid the transition from the Trump to Biden administrations, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in February 2021 issued guidance on compliance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, including information on DCAPs, FSAs, HRAs and cafeteria plans.
- In May, the IRS announced 2022 parameters for HSA contributions, high-deductible plans and out-of-pocket expenditures, and released guidance on COBRA premium assistance provisions;
- In July, several federal departments jointly issued an Interim Final Rule implementing provisions of the No Surprises Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2022, to prohibit surprise medical billing;
- In August, the Department of Labor (DOL) encouraged group health plan sponsors to begin gathering 2020 and 2021 data for pharmacy reporting due in December 2022;
- In September, Alera Group reminded plan sponsors to issue the COBRA Subsidy Expiration Notice and summary annual reports (SARs) for calendar year plans subject to Form 5500 Series reporting, while the IRS released 2022 inflation-adjusted amounts for use in determining whether employer-sponsored coverage is affordable in relation to the ACA employer-shared responsibility provisions and premium credit tax program;
- In November, the IRS filed a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Proposed Rule”) which, among other things, provides for an automatic 30-day extension of the deadline for applicable large employers (“ALEs”) to furnish annual Forms 1095-C to individuals for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2021. Further, the Proposed Rule allows ALEs to voluntarily adopt this extension for calendar years beginning after December 31, 2020, which means this would apply to calendar year 2021 Forms 1095-C, which are due in 2022.
- Following all that, on January 13 of this year, the Supreme Court stayed OSHA’s November 5, 2021, Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccination or weekly testing for COVID-19 — excepting healthcare employers.
Catching up, preparing for the deadlines ahead
With so much information to gather and process, it’s understandable if you feel a bit like Gus the mouse scurrying to gather morsels of cheese in Disney’s “Cinderella.” (The Lucy-in-the-candy-factory metaphor works here too.) Our February webinar will enable you to pick up any important compliance items that may have fallen to the wayside and help you manage the conveyor belt of information that regulatory news has become.
To register, click on the link below.
About the Author
Vice President of Compliance, Employee Benefits