Friday, November 21, 2014

Maryland Parental Leave Law for Employers with 15-49 Employees

Beginning October 1, 2014, all Maryland businesses with 15-49 employees will be required to provide six weeks of unpaid leave to an employee upon the birth of their child or the placement of an adopted or foster care child. This new law requires that the employer hold the employee’s job and benefits for up to six weeks or return the employee to an “equivalent position” when the employee returns within the six week leave period. Premiums for benefits may be recovered by the employer if the employee fails to return to work after the leave ends 

This new Maryland law is geared to providing employees who work for smaller employers with a watered-down version of federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Under FMLA employers with 50 or more employees must offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a medical condition or to provide care for a family member with a medical condition.   .

Employers may want to draft policy and take necessary steps to comply with the new law.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Group Health Plans That Fail to Cover In-Patient Hospitalization Services

Health plans that are trying to offer a stripped down Minimal Value plan to save costs and avoid penalties need to be careful.  The Fed is cracking down on these types of plans by requiring in-patient hospitalization services as part of the coverage.  Please see below release via IRS Guidewire. 

Group Health Plans That Fail to Cover In-Patient Hospitalization Services

Notice 2014-69 advises employers and other taxpayers that employer-sponsored health plans that fail to provide substantial coverage for in-patient hospitalization services or for physician services do not provide minimum value within the meaning of § 36B and that the IRS, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expect shortly to propose regulations to this effect.  The notice also advises that IRS, Treasury, and HHS are considering whether the continuance tables underlying the Minimum Value Calculator produce valid actuarial results for plans with these designs. Employers offering plans that fail to cover in-patient hospitalization or physician services should exercise caution in relying on the Minimum Value Calculator to demonstrate that these plans provide minimum value for any portion of a taxable year after publication of final regulations.

Notice 2014-69 will appear in IRB 2014-48 dated Nov. 24, 2014.