News

How to Personalize Your Employee Benefits Offerings

07/01/2022

How to Personalize Your Employee Benefits Offerings

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Health Insurance Minimum Participation Requirements

06/28/2022

Many insurers require that a specific percentage of eligible employees at an organization participate in the company-sponsored health plan. This is known as the minimum participation requirement, or MPR. The MPR is typically 75%, but the amount of the premium the employer pays is often what determines the MPR.

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Employers See Increasing Numbers of Lawsuits Over Deficient COBRA Notices

06/09/2022

Employers are seeing an increase in lawsuits from former employees alleging deficient Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) election notices, with statutory penalties of up $110 per person per day. These lawsuits are generally class actions and can result in significant attorneys’ fee awards for successful ex-employees. The fact employers are struggling to comply with COBRA notice requirements means employers should brace for increased election notice litigation.

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Employee Quits Fall Slightly in April, Remain Near All-time High

06/03/2022

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released its April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary. This month’s reported number of employee quits fell from a record high of 4.5 million in March to around 4.4 million in April. April marks the eleventh consecutive month that more than four million workers left their jobs.

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CMS Highlights the COVID-19 Vaccines That Must Be Covered

05/18/2022

CMS has provided a chronological listing of FDA approvals and authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

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HSA/HDHP Limits Increase for 2023

05/09/2022

On April 29, 2022, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2022-24 to provide the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2023. The IRS is required to publish these limits by June 1 of each year.

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Positive Workforce Drug Tests Reach 20-year High

04/18/2022

Recent drug test rates show that positive workforce tests from 2021 climbed to the highest level since 2001, according to a new analysis released by Quest Diagnostics, a leading provider of preemployment and post-accident drug and alcohol testing.

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DOJ Issues Guidance on Opioid Addiction and the ADA

04/11/2022

On April 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can protect individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other drug addictions from discrimination.  

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House Passes “SECURE 2.0” Bill

04/07/2022

On March 29, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 with a bipartisan vote of 414-5. The act is often referred to as “SECURE 2.0” because it builds on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019.

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Community colleges can deliver a vibrant future for Pennsylvania | Opinion

03/30/2022

As Pennsylvania continues to grapple with disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the projected workforce shortage is alarming, especially in areas of critical need like education and health care. Pennsylvania lost 500,000 jobs in 2020. The state’s unemployment rate has been slow to recover. But, the leaders of Pennsylvania’s community colleges imagine a vibrant future for our state.

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DOJ Issues Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA

03/22/2022

On March 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidance on web accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The new guidance describes how businesses that are open to the public and state and local governments can ensure that their websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities. 

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EOC Guidance on COVID-19 and Caregiver Discrimination

03/16/2022

On March 14, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued 18 frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on employees’ work and personal obligations.

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HHS Highlights Federal Protections for Gender-affirming Care

03/04/2022

On March 2, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance on federal civil rights protections and health privacy laws that apply to gender-affirming care. HHS highlights protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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DOL to Hire 100 Investigators, Signaling Potential Enforcement Increase

02/11/2022

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced an initiative to add 100 investigators to its Wage and Hour Division (WHD)—a potential sign to employers that increased enforcement may be on the horizon.

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January Employment Report Shows Over 450,000 Jobs Added in U.S.

02/07/2022

On Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its January employment report. Notably, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 467,000.

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Agencies Issue Guidance on Coverage of OTC COVID-19 Tests

01/11/2022

On Jan. 10, 2022, the Depts. of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury issued FAQ guidance regarding the requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers to cover over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 diagnostic tests.

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New Rule Requires Reporting of Medical and Prescription Drug Costs

11/17/2021

On Nov. 17, 2021, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) released an interim final rule requiring health plans and issuers to report information regarding the cost of prescription drugs and certain medical expenses. This rule is a continuation of the Biden administration’s efforts to promote greater transparency in health care spending.

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Increased Civil Penalty Amounts for SBC, MSP and HIPAA Violations

11/15/2021

Effective Nov. 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has increased the following key penalties affecting group health plans:

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Summary of the 2021 Employer Health Benefits Annual Survey

11/10/2021

Each year, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducts a survey to examine employer-sponsored health benefits trends. This document summarizes the main points of the 2021 survey and suggests how they could affect employers.

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What Does the Broker Compensation Disclosure Rule Mean for Employers?

10/25/2021

Transparency and shared expectations are gold standards of any successful business relationship. When it comes to a broker, employers should look for someone who keeps them informed about important issues related to their interests.

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Proposal for Fiduciaries to Consider ESG Factors in Plan Management

10/19/2021

On Oct. 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule that would allow plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when they make investment decisions and exercise shareholder rights. Specifically, the rule clarifies the application of the fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) when selecting plan investments and exercising shareholder rights, including proxy voting.

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Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment Largest in Decades

10/14/2021

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Social Security recipients will see an increase in their monthly checks. Additionally, the cap on taxable income to help fund Social Security benefits will also be increasing.

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Impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on COVID-19 Vaccine Inquiries

10/04/2021

On Sept. 30, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the application of the Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule on COVID-19 vaccination and the workplace.

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Affordability Percentages Will Decrease for 2022

08/30/2021

On Aug. 30, 2021, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-36 to index the contribution percentages in 2022 for determining the affordability of an employer’s plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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A message from our COO

03/20/2020

To our PA Chamber Insurance Customers;

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