Welfare Benefit Plan ERISA News & Views
October 2011

 
Announcing ERISAPros' New Blog: ERISA Wonk

ERISAPros has just launched its new blog, ERISA Wonk. (The definition of wonk is: 1) an expert in a specialized and narrow field; 2) an excessively assiduous and thorough student of a subject or issue; 3) a person obsessively preoccupied with the arcane details of a field. Wonk is an anagram of "know.")

Subject experts from around the country will contribute articles focusing on ERISA issues related exclusively to Welfare Benefit Plans. The posts are moderated for originality, timeliness, and relevance. Subscribers may comment on the posts and on other comments. Please visit and subscribe!

Annual Notice Requirements for Group Health Plans
Most group health plans are operated on a calenday year, so this is a good time to review the Participant disclosure requirements for them. Many of these requirements may also be satisfied by reissuing a Summary Plan Description (SPD). The following notices are required annually:
  • Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) Notice
  • Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA)
  • Medicare Part D Notice of Creditable or Non-Creditable Coverage (must be provided before October 15)
  • Notice Regarding Grandfathered Plan Status
  • HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices

Several other notices are required, although not annually. Please consult our ERISA Compliance Guide for Welfare Benefit Plans for more information on Reporting and Disclosure requirements. You may download a printer-friendly PDF version.

Tax Consequences of Health Coverage
for Adult Children
In our June 2011 newsletter, "Understanding PPACA can be Very Taxing," we reported that "PPACA provides favorable federal income tax treatment on certain health benefits. However, [some states] do not conform to federal income tax law regarding dependent age limits." All states have now addressed this issue.

Except for Hawaii, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, all states now conform to federal rules related to the definition of income. Wisconsin passed legislation specifically declining to follow federal law. Hawaii and Kentucky will follow federal law beginning with the 2011 tax year.

It should also be noted that 10 states have enacted laws requiring coverage of dependents beyond age 26 in fully insured plans. Employers may need to impute income and withhold state taxes from employees covering adult dependents: 1) beyond age 26 in the 10 states that mandate such coverage, 2) prior to age 26 in Wisconsin, and 3) prior to age 26 during 2010 in Hawaii and Kentucky. Source

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© 2017 ERISAPros, LLC, All rights reserved. Information on ERISAPros' website, its newsletter, “News & Views,” and its blog, “ERISA Wonk,” is published as a general informational source. Information and articles are general in nature and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice in any particular matter. Blog posts and comments reflect the personal views of their respective authors - not those of ERISAPros. Transmission of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. ERISAPros, LLC is not a law firm and is not giving legal or tax advice. It does not warrant and is not responsible for errors or omissions in the content on its website or in its newsletters. ERISA is a complicated and confusing law. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Wrap Plan Documents, and Form 5500s require review and updating by qualified ERISA compliance professionals.

 

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