Landry Harris & Co. News


Compliance Observer Alert: IRS Begins Large Employer ACA Reporting Penalty Process

​The IRS is currently issuing notices to large employers to disclose whether they complied with the ACA reporting duties or not.
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The 2017 Hurricane Season Is Here

June is the beginning of hurricane season and our first storm is already here. As of this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center has upgraded the storm in the Gulf of Mexico to Tropical Storm Cindy which is expected to reach the coast later today. Alerts with “severe weather on the way” typically include heavy rain, frequent lightning, damaging winds and localized flash flooding.
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Compliance Observer Alert: IRS Increases HSA Limits for 2018

With IRS Rev. Proc. 2017-37, the IRS provided several new increases to various categories that individuals and families may elect into a Health Savings Account (HSA) if they have a compatible High Deductible Health Plan.
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AssuredPartners Compliance Observer Newsletter - 1st Quarter 2017

AssuredPartners has released its Compliance Observer Newsletter for the first quarter of 2017. This newsletter contains information on many employee benefits compliance issues. The following articles, information, and important reminders are contained in this newsletter:
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AssuredPartners Webinar: Violence in the Workplace in 2017 - Are You Protected?

Join Crawford Advisors' (an AssuredPartners Company) Director of Crawford HR Services, Cindy Wagner, for this HRCI* and SHRM** pre-approved, complimentary, one-hour webinar as she discusses the current state of workplace violence.
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Compliance Observer Alert: The American Health Care Act

On Monday evening House Republicans released the “American Health Care Act,” draft legislation intended to repeal and replace Obamacare (the ACA). Committee mark-ups are scheduled for March 8th and although revisions may occur, it is expected to advance to the House and Senate before eventually being presented to President Trump for signature, possibly as early as April.
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Minimum Wage Rate Increases for 2017

The current federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour. However, many states have adopted minimum wage rates higher than the federal rate.
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Wellness Initiatives to Promote Nutrition

As the adage goes, “You are what you eat.”—which means unhealthy food leads to unhealthy people.
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Compliance Observer Newsletter - 4th Quarter 2016

AssuredPartners has released its Compliance Observer Newsletter for the fourth quarter of 2016. This newsletter contains information on many employee benefits compliance issues.
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Protect yourself and your business with Flood Insurance

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in America today. In the last five years, floods have affected businesses and residents in all 50 states. Approximately 20% of all flood claims come from areas that are considered “low risk”.
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Year End Compliance Requirements & Deadlines

Employers that provide group health plan coverage to their employees are subject to numerous compliance requirements throughout the year
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AssuredPartners Webinar: Understanding the Basics of the Health and Welfare Form 5500

Join us for a webinar on Understanding the Basics of the Health and Welfare Form 5500
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More Louisiana Survivors Now Eligible for Federal Disaster Assistance, Urged to Register

Survivors in 20 Louisiana parishes may now be eligible for federal disaster assistance.
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12 Parishes Declared Disaster

FEMA has declared disaster areas for Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, Tangipahoa, and Vermilion.
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Louisiana Residents Urged to Register with FEMA

Residents and business owners should apply as quickly as they can, even if they have insurance. FEMA cannot duplicate insurance payments but underinsured applicants may receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.
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Louisiana Flood Recovery

This weekend, Louisiana received record breaking flooding. Many homes & businesses have been affected. If you have had a flood event and have insurance, contact us immediately to begin your claims process.
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Flu Shot Poster

This poster provides information on flu shots for employees.
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Health Care Reform: Q&As on Employer Reporting of Health Coverage (Section 6056)

The ACA created new reporting rules under Code Section 6056, which require applicable large employers subject to the employer shared responsibility rules to report information on the health coverage offered to full-time employees, using Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. This Legislative Brief contains the IRS' questions and answers on the Code Section 6056 reporting requirements.
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HR Brief - March 2016

This month's HR Brief provides a general overview of recent guidance issused by the DOL on joint employment relationships and liability under the FLSA, addressing political discussions in the workplace and a note regarding the EEOC's new proposed rule that would require certain employers to report employee pay data to the federal government.
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Live Well, Work Well Newsletter - March 2016

The Live Well, Work Well Newsletter is an employee newsletter that is produced monthly and covers topics like health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and personal finances. This month's issue includes information on lead poisoning in water, the Zika virus, new FDA food guidelines and a gluten-free pizza recipe.
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Preventing Narcotics Abuse in Recovering Workers

Workers who become addicted to narcotics during injury recovery prolong the length and increase the cost of a workers' comp claim. Learn the risks and how you can help prevent narcotics abuse.
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Summary of the 2015 Employer Health Benefits Annual Survey

This article briefly summarizes some of the main takeaways from the 2015 survey of employer-sponsored health benefits from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (Kaiser/HRET).
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HIPAA Special Enrollment Rights

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires group health plans to provide special enrollment opportunities outside of their regular enrollment periods in certain situations. This Legislative Brief summarizes HIPAA’s special enrollment events.
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Form 1095-C: What You Need to Know

This Know Your Benefits article discusses the purpose of Form 1095-C and what to do with this form at tax time.
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HR Q&A: Dental Benefits

This HR Q&A summarizes why dental benefits are important and how offering them could save you money in the long run.
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Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notices

This Legislative Brief provides an overview of the requirements plan sponsors must meet for providing Creditable/Non-Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notices to Medicare Part D eligible individuals and to CMS.
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Medicare Part D Disclosure Notice to CMS

This Legislative Brief provides a summary of the requirements plan sponsors must meet for providing the Medicare Part D disclosure notice to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
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Disaster Recovery: Never To Early to Prepare for Spring

Last month, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow - prompting the chatter that an early spring is in the forecast.
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2016 National Health Observances Calendar

This calendar contains a summary of popular national health and wellness observances for 2016.
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Forms 1095-B and 1095-C: What you need to know

This Know Your Benefits article outlines the importance of Forms 1095-B and 1095-C and why you should save these two forms for tax time.
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HR Q&A: Overtime

This HR Q&A summarizes who should be paid overtime and when.
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ACA Reporting Deadlines Delays

On Dec. 28, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2016-4, which extended the deadlines for 2015 ACA reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056. This ACA Bulletin outlines the new due dates and additional guidance in this notice.
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Get in the Game!

Encourage employees to be more physically active by hanging this poster in a highly visible area.
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Medicare Part D Disclosures due by Feb. 29, 2016

Each year, employers whose health plans include prescription drug coverage must disclose to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) whether that coverage is creditable.
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Workplace Wellness: Disease Management Guide

This Workplace Wellness guide examines some of the top health concerns facing employees today and outlines what employers can do to improve employee well being and reduce health care costs.
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2016 Federal Budget Delay's ACA's Cadillac Tax & Suspends Two Other Taxes

On Dec. 18, 2015, President Obama signed a federal budget bill for 2016 into law,
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IRS Clarification on ACA Safe Harbors

As we addressed in our January 7, 2016 Newsletter, at the very end of 2015 the IRS jolted into high gear.
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Take the Stairs...The Numbers That Count

Use this poster to encourage employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
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Benefit Trends

Most companies want to lower their rising health care costs as well as improve their employees' overall health in the coming year. This article discusses benefit trends for 2015.
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Beware of e-mail scam

OSHA has learned that some businesses are receiving fraudulent emails from an entity that claims to be the Department of Labor.
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DOL Proposes Updates for Registered Apprenticeship Programs

On Nov. 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule to increase the participation of women and minorities in registered apprenticeship programs. The DOL seeks to do this by updating the scope of a sponsor’s EEO and affirmative action obligations and improving the efficiency of the registered program administrative system.
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Employers must post 300A injury/illness summary form February through April

OSHA is reminding covered employers to post OSHA's Form 300A which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses logged during 2015.
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OSHA renews alliance to protect construction workers from electrical hazards

OSHA recently renewed an alliance with Independent Electrical Contractors Inc., a national trade association for electrical and systems contractors.
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OSHA renews alliance to protect roadway construction workers

OSHA has renewed an alliance with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Partners to protect workers in roadway construction
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OSHA's free On-Site Consultation Program helps nearly 300,000 employers create safer workplaces in 2015

OSHA's On-site Consultation Program provided free and confidential safety and occupational health advice to 27,871 small and medium-sized businesses across the country in 2015.
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Risk Insights: OSHA's Personal Protective Equipment Standard

This Risk Insights article provides an overview of OSHA's PPE standard, employer responsibilities and exceptions to the rule.
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Take the Pledge (Cellphone Safety While Driving) Poster

Distracted driving is a rapidly growing problem and cellphone use is the number one source of driver distraction.
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The Importance of Prompt Claims Reporting

Reporting claims promptly can help avoid unnecessary conflict with insurance companies, ensure a proper investigation, preserve employee morale and maintain compliance.
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Employee Benefits Year-End Recap

As it seems to be its usual modus operandi around any holiday, the government was busy during this past holiday season issuing employee benefits related guidance, regulations, and updates.
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The Hits Just Keep on Comping: ACA Delays, Deadline Extension, and Difficulties Counting "Defined Contribution" Amounts

If you were left with questions after the extensions, guidance and updates recently issued related to the ACA, this webinar will help answer them.
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IRS Delays 2015 Due Dates for ACA Reporting

On Monday, December 28, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-4 extending the due dates for information reporting by insurers and self-insured employers as required by the Affordable Care Act and Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code.
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Cadillac Tax Delayed Until 2020

On Friday, December 18, 2015, Congress passed and the President signed into law the $1.1 trillion “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016” (also referred to as the “Omnibus Spending Bill” or the “Bill”).
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Annual Compliance Deadlines for Health Plans

Employers that provide group health plan coverage are subject to numerous compliance requirements throughout the year, such as requirements for reporting, participant disclosure and certain fee payments. This Legislative Brief provides a high-level overview of the various compliance requirements and associated deadlines that health plan sponsors should be aware of throughout the year.
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COBRA - Covered Employers and Health Plans

Most employer-sponsored group health plans are subject to COBRA’s continuation coverage requirements. However, some employers, such as churches and small employers, are exempt from COBRA. In addition, certain welfare benefit plans, such as long-term and short-term disability plans, are not subject to COBRA because they do not provide medical care. This Legislative Brief explains which employers and health plans are subject to COBRA.
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EEOC Proposes Rule on GINA's Impact on Wellness Programs

On Oct. 30, 2015, the EEOC issued a proposed rule under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) regarding employer wellness programs that are part of group health plans. The proposed rule would allow an employer to offer limited incentives for an employee's spouse to provide current or past health status information as part of a wellness program. This Compliance Bulletin summarizes the proposed rule’s requirements.
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Work Comp Insights: Benefits of an Actuarial Consultant

Learn about the benefits of using an actuarial consultant, which can give your business a better idea of potential financial situations and allow for increased preparedness through an analysis of historical data.
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Workplace Wellness: Results-Oriented Wellness Programs

This article provides information about the advantages of a results-based wellness program and tips for successfully designing and implementing one.
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Benefits Buzz - December 2015

This month's Benefits Buzz covers the repeal of the ACA's automatic enrollment requirement, 2016 FSA contributions and the Supreme Court hearing on contraceptive coverage for religious groups.
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EEOC Investigations - What Employers Need to Know

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has authority to receive, initiate and investigate charges of discrimination filed against employers who have a statutory minimum number of employees. This article provides employers with what they need to know about EEOC investigations.
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Work Comp Insights: The Obesity Epidemic and WC - What Is Their Connection?

Obesity is bad not only for the individual and his or her health, but also to the employer because of the financial burden that obesity has on workers' compensation claims. Obesity also drives up the severity of claims, increases the time that workers must be away from work, decreases productivity and increases absenteeism. Learn more about curbing obesity costs with this document.
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DOL Proposes to Strengthen Claims Procedures for Disability Benefits

On Nov. 18, 2015, the DOL issued a proposed rule that would revise and strengthen existing claims procedures for disability benefits to make them more consistent with the ACA’s requirements for health benefits. This Compliance Bulletin summarizes the proposed rule, which is expected to take effect 60 days after it is issued in final form.
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Paying Employees' Medicare Premiums

Employers that sponsor group health plans and have employees who are Medicare-eligible may be interested in reimbursing their employees’ Medicare premiums. While a Medicare premium reimbursement program may be permissible in some circumstances, there are two main legal obstacles that prevent many employers from being able to reimburse employees’ Medicare premiums.
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Personal Protective Equipment Presentation

This training presentation outlines the uses and types of personal protective equipment (PPE) that workers can utilize to stay safe and protected on the job.
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Safe Sleeping for Infants Poster

This poster discusses the danger of sudden unexpected infant death and provides safe sleeping techniques to reduce an infant's level of risk.
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Wellness Programs for Smaller Companies

Not every employer has the ability to provide a lavish wellness program. This article lists ways smaller companies with minimal resources can still implement a successful wellness program.
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HR Brief - December 2015

This month's HR Brief gives an overview of the EEOC's proposed rule on GINA affecting wellness programs, the IRS' clarification on federal tax regulations for same-sex spouses and fantasy sports impact on employee productivity.
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Take a Stand Against Workplace Bullying

Fight bullying in your workplace with this employee-facing poster.
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Workplace Wellness: Health Risk Assessments

A health risk assessment is a technique for determining the presence of disease and estimating the risk that someone with certain characteristics will develop disease within a given time span. It can be used by employers and their employees to identify people at risk and target specific strategies that will keep them well and also reduce health care costs.
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"Ban the Box" Laws

This Legislative Brief provides an overview of "Ban the Box" laws, which limit an employer's ability to ask job applicants about their criminal records.
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Inpatient Safety and Adverse Outcomes

This Fact File looks at information on the potential for inpatient hospital complications and adverse events following surgeries, procedures and childbirth.
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Special Enrollment Periods for the Marketplace

This Know Your Benefits article discusses qualifying life events and how to enroll through the Marketplace during a special enrollment period.
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Workplace Wellness Plan Design - Legal Issues

Wellness plans must be carefully structured to comply with federal laws. This Legislative Brief provides an overview of the requirements for wellness plans under HIPAA (as amended by the ACA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). It also includes a chart that compares key wellness plan requirements under these three laws.
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An Apple A Day Poster

Use this poster to educate employees about the health benefits of apples.
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Annual Compliance Deadlines for Health Plans

Employers that provide group health plan coverage are subject to numerous compliance requirements throughout the year, such as requirements for reporting, participant disclosure and certain fee payments. This Legislative Brief provides a high-level overview of the various compliance requirements and associated deadlines that health plan sponsors should be aware of throughout the year.
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Choosing the Right Wellness Program

Wellness programs are a popular way to promote healthy choices among employees. This article discusses the different types of wellness programs and how to choose the right one for your company.
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Individual Mandate Penalties

This Know Your Benefits poster highlights the individual mandate penalties for individuals without health insurance.
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Q&A: Conduct Discrimination

This HR Q&A summarizes prohibited types of employer conduct.
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Filing ACA Returns (1094/1095s) with the IRS

November 24, 2015 FILING ACA RETURNS (1094/1095s) WITH THE IRS REMINDER, if you are required to file 250 or more ACA returns (Forms 1095-B or 1095-C), with the IRS, you must file these returns electronically using “AIR” (Affordable Care Act Information Return System).
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Annual Open Enrollment Checklist

This article provides a helpful checklist of important steps for employers to use as a guide during their pre-enrollment, enrollment and post-enrollment time period.
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Choose Water Poster

Educate employees on the reasons to choose water over soft drinks with this poster.
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Cobra Guidelines

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances.
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IRS Clarifies Federal Tax Regulations for Same-Sex Spouses

On Oct. 21, 2015, the IRS released proposed regulations implementing the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decisions for federal tax purposes.
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PCORI Fee Amount Adjusted for 2015

On Oct. 9, 2015, the IRS published Notice 2015-60, which provides the adjusted PCORI fee amount for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2015, and before Oct. 1, 2016 (that is, 2015 for calendar year plans). As this Health Care Reform Bulletin notes
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Safety and Health Assistance for Small Businesses

OSHA created the Office of Small Business Assistance to help small business employers understand their safety and health obligations, access compliance information, provide guidance on regulatory standards and to educate them about cost-effective means for workplace safety and health.
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Workplace Wellness: Healthy Food Options for Work Events

Since people spend most of their waking hours at work, it is wise to serve healthy food options at meetings, seminars, events and banquets to further assist in the prevention of many dietary-related conditions.
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Accommodating Permanent Work Restrictions

Prior to offering vocational rehabilitation benefits, first review your options in accommodating a worker's permanent work restrictions.
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Benefits of Whole Grains Poster

Educate employees on the importance of whole grains with this workplace poster.
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EEOC Proposes Rule on GINA's Impact on Wellness Programs

On Oct. 30, 2015, the EEOC issued a proposed rule under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) regarding employer wellness programs that are part of group health plans.
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HR Q&A: COBRA Termination

This HR Q&A summarizes reasons that COBRA continuation coverage may be terminated early.
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New fact sheets show how to protect agriculture and maritime workers from hazards

In OSHA's continued efforts to protect workers from industry-specific hazards, the agency has developed two new fact sheets for agriculture and maritime workers.
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Open Enrollment Education Opportunities

This article provides various methods for employers to educate employees about their benefits during open enrollment.
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Retailers reminded to keep workers safe during major sales events

As the holiday season approaches, OSHA is encouraging retail employers to implement safety measures to prevent workplace injuries during major sales events, including Black Friday.
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Video stresses the importance of protecting temporary worker safety and health

In a new video, OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels emphasizes the shared responsibility of staffing firms and host employers to ensure the safety and health of temporary workers.
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Workplace Wellness: Reducing Worksite Injuries

This article talks about work-related musculoskeletal disorders, their impact and how to prevent them in your workplace.
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ACA Small Group Market Rule Repealed

On Oct. 7, 2015, the President Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act into law. The PACE Act eliminates the ACA's new definition of "small employer" and, instead, gives states the choice of whether to expand their small group markets to include businesses with up to 100 employees. This Health Care Reform Bulletin provides an overview of the impact of repealing the ACA's small group market expansion.
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Benefits Buzz - November 2015

This month’s Benefits Buzz covers the repeal of the ACA small group market rule, preparations for the Cadillac Tax and information on telemedicine programs.
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FMLA and Workers' Compensation

Provides answers to frequently asked questions about a worker's benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act and workers' compensation laws.
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Go Nuts! Poster

This poster is perfect to hang near the vending machine to encourage employees to choose nuts over high-fat, high-calorie snacks.
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HR Brief - November 2015

This month's HR Brief gives an overview on steps you can take to prevent workplace violence, discusses the ADA after 25 years and highlights a recent survey that indicates even happy employees may be looking for new employment opportunities.
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Workplace Wellness: Disease Management - Diabetes

This article discusses the many ways that employers can help their employees prevent and manage diabetes.
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Health FSA Limit is Unchanged for 2016

The ACA imposes a maximum dollar limit on employees' salary reduction contributions to a health FSA.
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Met Life Study of Employee Benefits Trends

MetLife’s 13th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study delivers timely and reliable research results that explore important benefits issues and evolving trends.
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Cobra Qualifying Events

An employer must offer COBRA coverage when group health plan coverage ends (or would end) due to a qualifying event.
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HIPAA Privacy Rules - Who They Apply To.

This HR Q&A discusses who is affected and who is exempt from HIPAA privacy rules.
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Open Enrollment Glossary of Terms

Open enrollment is the time of year reserved for you to make changes to your benefit elections. To help you navigate your benefits options, this Know Your Benefits piece outlines definitions of common open enrollment terms.
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Workers' Compensation and the Aging Workforce

The number of older workers is estimated to increase to 18 percent of the labor force by 2020. This increase introduces a need to understand the risks associated with this age group, and effectively manage their potentially costly workers' compensation claims.
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Workplace Wellness: Disease Management - Cancer

This article discusses cancer screenings and other wellness initiatives to address cancer in the workplace.
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Creating a Strong Safety Culture

According to OSHA, developing a strong safety culture has the single greatest impact on accident reduction of any workplace practice. Learn more about supporting a culture of safety at your organization.
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Health Savings Accounts - Distribution Rules

This Legislative Brief provides a general overview of the rules and potential tax consequences for distributions from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
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Obesity Prevention Poster: Obesity Risks

Encourage employees to get moving and fight obesity with this workplace poster.
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Health Care Reform - Small Group Market Expansion

Beginning in 2016, the ACA called for the definition of a "small employer" to be expanded to include those that employed up to 100 employees.
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HR Toolkit - Interviewing

This Interviewing Toolkit gives an overview of the hiring process and best practices, and it explains each step of preparing for and conducting an interview.
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Open Enrollment Tips

This Know Your Benefits article provides tips to help employees navigate through open enrollment with ease.
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Winter Weather Reality Check

A chilly reality check is coming this weekend to much of the country who has otherwise enjoyed abnormally warm temperatures this season.
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Workplace Wellness: Wellness Initiatives to Promote Nutrition

Use these activities to encourage employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
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Health Care Reform: Reinsurance Fees - Examples of Counting Methods

On Aug. 18, 2015, CMS published a bulletin that provides operational guidance and examples for contributing entities on how to calculate their annual enrollment counts for purposes of the reinsurance fees.
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HIPAA Privacy Rules - The Right to Sue

This HR Q&A discusses legal options when privacy rights are violated.
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Open Enrollment Education Opportunities

This article provides various methods for employers to educate employees about their benefits plans.
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Section 6055 and 6056 Filing Extensions & Electronic Reporting Waiver Available

On Sept. 17, 2015, the IRS released final 2015 forms and instructions that employers will use to report under Sections 6055 and 6056.
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Workplace Wellness: Designing the Healthy Vending Machine

Learn how to steer employees toward healthier choices when it comes to vending machine snacks.
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Your Experience Modification Factor Presentation

As your experience mod factor increases, so does your premium. Plus, the amount that your organization pays for insurance directly impacts your bottom line.
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Fall Back

Daylight savings time ends Sunday, Nov 1.
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IRS Annual Contribution and Benefit Limits for 2016

The IRS recently released the annual contribution and benefit limits for pension plan and other retirement-related items for the 2016 tax year.
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Open Enrollment Education Opportunities

This article provides various methods for employers to educate employees about their benefits plans.
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Benefits Buzz - October 2015

This month's Benefits Buzz covers the finalized guidelines for electronic reporting under Internal Revenue Code Sections 6055 and 6056, student loan repayment assistance benefits and separate Section 6055 reporting requirements for HRAs.
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Benefits Plan Poster

Promote your open enrollment period with this poster.
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HR Brief - October 2015

This month's HR Brief gives an overview of how employers can accommodate transgender workers, highlights the importance of proper worker classification and discusses the popularity of telecommuting among workers.
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IRS Clarifies that Separate Section 6055 Reporting Not Required for Most HRAs

Issued on Sept. 17, 2015, the IRS' 2015 final instructions for Form 1094-B and 1095-B include a key clarification providing relief from separate Section 6055 reporting for many HRAs.
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Workplace Wellness: Disease Management - Mental Health

Depression can be very costly in the workplace. This article talks about initiatives to identify and manage this complex condition among employees.
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2015 Boot Camp Bash

Landry Harris Team runs in Boot Camp Bash to help raise money for the D.R.E.A.M.S. foundation of Acadiana.
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Cyber Risk: Small Businesses Under Attack

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the impact of cyber attacks on small businesses is sobering...
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Upcoming Deadlines for Transitional Reinsurance Fees

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established the transitional reinsurance program to help stabilize premiums for coverage in the individual market during the first three years of Exchange operation (2014, 2015 and 2016) when individuals with higher-cost medical needs gain coverage.
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Fighting Fraud with Special Investigation Units

You can't fight fraud on your own. Learn when it may be time to contact your insurer's Special Investigation Unit.
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Health Care Reform: Employer Reporting of Health Coverage - Code Section 6056

Effective in 2015, the ACA created new reporting requirements under Code Section 6056. Under these rules, applicable large employers subject to the employer shared responsibility rules must provide information on Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to the IRS about the health coverage they offer to their full-time employees.
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Open Enrollment Employee Video

This video is part of the Know Your Benefits series and can be used to promote and clarify the Open Enrollment process at your organization.
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Reduce Stress Poster

This poster lists common work-related stressors and how to avoid them.
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Wellness Initiatives to Promote an Active Lifestyle

This article provides activities and incentives to help employees become more active.
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Guidelines Finalized for Electronic Reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056

On Aug. 18, the IRS finalized several pieces of guidance for reporting electronically under Internal Revenue Code Sections 6055 and 6056. Electronic filing will be done using the ACA Information Returns (AIR) Program.
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State and Federal Labor Laws

This HR Q&A summarizes how the FLSA affects you and what aspects of it you should pay special attention to.
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Trouble Sleeping? Poster

Learn some tips on how to get a good night's sleep with this employee poster.
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What Happens if an Employee Misses Open Enrollment?

This Benefits Insights article provides information about what employers need to do in the event that an employee misses the open enrollment deadline.
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Health Care Reform: Provider Reporting of Health Coverage - Code Section 6055

Effective in 2015, the ACA created new reporting requirements under Code Section 6055. Under these rules, providers of minimum essential coverage must provide information to the IRS about the health coverage they provide, generally using Forms 1094-B and 1095-B.
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Choking Poster

This poster tells you what to do to assist someone who is choking.
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Intermittent FMLA Leave

This HR Q&A summarizes the option for employees to take intermittent FMLA leave when necessary.
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Maximizing Open Enrollment for Employees

Employees must take more responsibility when selecting their benefits and securing their future, and often require more help from their employers when making these decisions. This article discusses ways to streamline open enrollment.
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Section 6055 and 6056 Filing Extensions & Electronic Reporting Waiver Available

On Sept. 17, 2015, the IRS released final 2015 forms and instructions that employers will use to report under Sections 6055 and 6056.
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Wellness Initiatives to Promote Healthy Weight

Help employees reach and maintain a healthy weight with these activity and incentive ideas.
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Accomodating Transgender Workers

This HR Insights article describes best practices in accommodating transgender workers.
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Benefits Buzz - September 2015

This month's Benefits Buzz covers the final rule on religious exemptions to contraceptive coverage, the recently released FAQs on the PCORI fee and the 2015 draft instructions for reporting under Code Sections 6055 and 6056.
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Final IRS Forms and Instructions for 2015 Section 6055 and 6056 Reporting Issued

The IRS has released final 2015 forms and instructions for ACA reporting under Code Sections 6055 and 6056.
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Pay or Play: Employers can Exclude Some Veterans from ALE Calculation

Signed into law on July 31, 2015, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act adds a new exclusion for purposes of determining an employer's status as an applicable large employer (ALE) subject to the ACA's pay or play rules.
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We're Going Smoke Free! Poster

Use this poster to inform employees about when and how the workplace is going smoke-free.
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Health System Achievers (July/August)

This Fact File looks at the U.S. health systems that have achieved better patient results and lower costs.
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HR Brief - September 2015

This month's HR Brief provides an overview of the DOL's recent administrative interpretation of worker classification, cyber security prevention tips and a recent lawsuit regarding reducing worker's hours to below 30 hours per week.
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Live Well, Work Well Newsletter - September 2015

This month's issue includes the USDA's MyPlate guidelines, information on blood pressure readings, understanding food expiration dates, food storage timelines and a baked chicken with veggies recipe.
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On-Site Medical Clinics

Learn the pros and cons of implementing an on-site, employer-sponsored medical clinic.
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Worker Misclassification: Contractor or Employee?

Join us for a webinar on September 30, 2015 at 1:00 PM CST.
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Benefits Buzz - September 2015

This month's Benefits Buzz covers the final rule on religious exemptions to contraceptive coverage, the recently released FAQs on the PCORI fee and the 2015 draft instructions for reporting under Code Sections 6055 and 6056.
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Early Renewals Offered to Employers

Under the ACA, beginning in 2016, the small group market in all states will be expanded to include employers that employ up to 100 employees. To help mitigate the ACA's impact on health insurance premiums, some health insurance issuers have been encouraging employers to renew their coverage early for 2016.
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Understanding Voluntary Benefits

This article explains to employees the advantages of purchasing voluntary benefits through your company, along with definitions of the most common voluntary benefits. You may want to customize based on your plan offerings.
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2016 Health Care Reform Compliance Checklist

Although many key reforms under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became effective in 2014 and 2015, additional reforms will become effective in 2016 for employers sponsoring group health plans. To prepare for 2016, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy. This Legislative Brief provides a health care reform compliance checklist for 2016.
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Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation Nondiscriminiation Laws by State

This chart provides information on gender identity and sexual orientation nondiscrimination laws by state.
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Jessie Romano Earns PPACA Designation

Congratulations to Jessie Romano for earning her Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Professional accreditation.
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Wellness Environment Assessment

Employers who are implementing a wellness program should assess their wellness needs as one of the first steps. This article discusses the "why" and "how" behind a wellness environment assessment.
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September is National Preparedness Month

If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you be ready?
September is National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by FEMA, National Preparedness Month aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
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Counting Calories?

This poster provides a useful online tool for managing calories.
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Employee Letter for Form 1095-B & 1095-C

Sample letter to employees to help explain the use of Form 1095-B & 1095-C.
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Understanding Health Benefits Poster

Make sure your employees understand their health benefits - promote your benefits meeting and open enrollment period with this poster.
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DOL Clarifies Worker Classification Test

On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an administrative interpretation to clarify how to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
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Employing Cigarette Smokers

In an effort to curb the high costs associated with employing cigarette smokers, many companies are choosing to ban employees from smoking and refuse to hire smokers. However, there are legal risks associated with this practice - learn the details in this article.
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Just Walk Poster

Did you know walking just 30 minutes a day can prevent weight gain and even produce weight loss? This poster provides numerous facts on the health benefits of walking.
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Stephen Stefanski earns CMIP Designation

Congratulations to Stephen A. Stefanski, Jr. for earning his CMIP (Certified Marine Insurance Professional) designation and joining this prestigious group of insurance professionals!
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Wellness Initiatives to Promote Nutrition

Use these activities and incentives to encourage employees to eat a healthy diet.
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Creating a Workers' Compensation Process

Workers’ compensation costs can be directly influenced by employers. This piece explains the value of becoming actively involved in the management of WC related issues.
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IRS Issues Notice 2015-52 on Cadillac Tax Implementation

On July 30, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2015-52 to continue the process of developing guidance to implement the Cadillac tax. Notice 2015-52 addresses additional issues under the Cadillac tax, including who is liable, employer aggregation and notice and payment of the tax. Proposed or final regulations have not been issued. This Health Care Reform Bulletin provides an overview of Notice 2015-52.
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Penalties Increased for Section 6055 and Section 6056 Reporting Violations

On June 29, 2015, President Obama signed the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 into law, which increases penalties for the failure to file correct information returns or to provide individual statements under either Section 6055 or Section 6056. These changes are effective for information returns and individual statements required to be filed or provided after Dec. 31, 2015. This Health Care Reform Bulletin provides the increased penalty amounts, as well as action items for employers.
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Reporting Social Security Numbers to Your Health Insurance Company

FAQ's regarding new reporting requirements to health insurance companies.
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2015 Draft Instructions for 6055 and 6056 Reporting Include Filing Extensions

On August 7, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released 2015 draft instructions.
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Top 15 Must-Do's for 2016 Renewals to Ensure Compliance and Avoid Penalties

In preparation for renewal season, this webinar will review the “Top 15 Must-Do’s for Your 2016 Renewal” to ensure compliance and avoid penalties.
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HR Audits

This article discusses the importance of an HR audit and what is involved in conducting one.
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Telemedicine Basics

This Know Your Benefits article describes telemedicine: what it is, how it works and how to prepare for a telemedicine appointment.
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Workplace Wellness Programs to Reduce WC Costs

By implementing workplace health initiatives, companies are taking proactive measures to aid in decreasing health issues affecting their employees. Also, non-work-related health issues directly increase the risk of work-related injuries.
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Updated Comprehensive Guide to OSHA Training Requirements Now Available

OSHA has posted a fully updated version of its guide to all agency training requirements to help employers, safety and health professionals, training directors and others comply with the law and keep workers safe.
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CPR Poster - Save a Life

Hang this poster in a well-trafficked area to educate employees about the basics of CPR.
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HSA Employee Video

This HSA video is part of the Know Your Benefits series and can be used in conjunction with the HSA Guide. This video explains and promotes health savings accounts.
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Impact of Return to Work Programs Presentation

This presentation highlights the benefits of establishing a formal Return to Work program.
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Standing and Treadmill Desks

Standing and treadmill desks have been a rising trend in business settings across the country.
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Cancer Screening Poster

Early detection can save lives. This poster educates employees on vital cancer screening tests.
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Health Savings Accounts: "What If" Scenarios

This Know Your Benefits article explains health savings accounts (HSAs) and what happens in various scenarios.
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Interview Toolkit

This Interviewing Toolkit gives an overview of the hiring process and best practices, and it explains each step of preparing for and conducting an interview.
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Workplace Wellness: Sourcing Data to Enhance Your Wellness Program

This article explains the three main sources of information that are pivotal to an effective wellness program: employee health risk appraisals, health culture audits and personal interest surveys.
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Florida Meeting of the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health Schedulded for Sept. 1-2

OSHA has scheduled a meeting of the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health for Sept. 1-2, in Tampa, Fla.
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Illinois Metal Processor Earns SHARP Recognition Through OSHA's On-site Consultation Program

Becker Iron and Metal Inc., in Venice, Ill., is one of the leading scrap metal recyclers in the Midwest and beyond. In 2011, the company contacted OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program
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New Video Highlights Heat Illness Prevention

As temperatures rise across the country this summer, outdoor workers may find themselves at risk of serious heat illness.
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OSHA Decision Upheld in the 2012 Fatal Stabbing of Healthcare Worker by Client with a History of Violent Behavior

In June, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission affirmed that a Florida healthcare service company failed to protect their worker from violence in the workplace which ultimately led to the worker’s death.
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OSHA directive updates inspection procedures for protecting workers from tuberculosis in healthcare settings

OSHA has updated instructions* for conducting inspections and issuing citations related to worker exposures to tuberculosis in healthcare settings.
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OSHA Issues Temporary Enforcement Policy for Confined Spaces in Construction

OSHA is instituting a 60-day temporary enforcement policy of its Confined Spaces in Construction standard. Full enforcement...
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Third Filing of PCORI Fees

Deadline is July 31st
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Eating Breakfast Poster

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and keeps employees productive. Hang this poster in a common work area, perhaps accompanied by a bowl of fruit.
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FMLA Administration Outsourcing

This article provides an overview of FMLA Administration Outsourcing: What it is, how it works and when to consider it.
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Gain Senior Management Support for Wellness Programs

This article identifies the five different attitudes that management may have toward the idea of a wellness program. Learn how to move past their negativity and successfully implement your ideas.
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HSA Employee Eligibility Video

This HSA Eligibility video highlights key information regarding employee eligibility for contributing to a health savings account (HSA).
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Minimum Wage Rate Increases, Summer 2015

This Compliance Bulletin provides the new minimum wage rates that will become effective in four U.S. jurisdictions during the Summer of 2015. Employers can use this information to review their payroll and payment practices.
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An Employer's Guide to Promoting Wellness at the Workplace

There are many different types of wellness programs. The purpose of these programs is to promote healthy lifestyle
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Benefits Buzz - July 2015

This month's Benefits Buzz provides information on embedded out-of-pocket limits, the latest update on the Cadillac tax and a new Q&A on Section 6056.
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Diabetes Poster

This poster highlights diabetes screenings.
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HR Brief - July 2015

This month's HR Brief gives an overview of the U.S. Supreme Court's religious discrimination ruling, the expiration dates for the FMLA certification forms and the DOL's proposed FLSA regulations.
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IRS Releases 2015 Draft Forms for Employer Reporting of Health Coverage

On June 16, 2015, the IRS released 2015 draft versions of Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C,
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies in Federal Exchanges

On June 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a final ruling in a lawsuit challenging the availability of health insurance Exchange subsidies
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Happy 4th of July from Landry Harris & Co.

This Fourth of July weekend, many people will be traveling, firing up the backyard grill or enjoying fireworks. The American Red Cross offers a series of steps to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.
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Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

The Supreme Court has issued another landmark decision this week, ruling that same-sex marriages are legal nationwide.
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Supreme Court Upholds Susidies

The Affordable Care Act survived its second Supreme Court test in three years.
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IRS Releases Draft 2015 ACA Reporting Forms

Last week the IRS released draft 2015 versions of Forms 1094 and 1095 that will be used to report the information that is needed to administer both the individual and employer shared responsibility provisions and individuals’ eligibility for premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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10 Most Expensive Data Breaches To Date

2014 might be remembered as the year of compromise. According to data publishing platform Silk, nearly 290.5 million records were compromised in the top 11 breaches of all time.
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COBRA - Length of Entitlement

How long are Qualified Beneficiaries entitled to COBRA?
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HIPAA Special Enrollment Rights

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires group health plans to provide special enrollment opportunities outside of their regular enrollment periods in certain situations.
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How to be a Wise Health Care Consumer

With health care costs continuing to rise, it’s more important than ever to take responsibility for your medical care choices.
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Map it Out - Walking and Running Routes Poster

This poster shows how to use an online tool that will help employees map out a path to walk or run. A great way to highlight workplace wellness.
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Protecting Employee Information

Employers may come across sensitive employee information when they conduct health screenings in the workplace.
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The First 24 Hours After an Injury

This Work Comp Insights stresses the importance of the first 24 hours when responding to a workplace injury.
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Wellness Programs for Smaller Companies

N​ot every employer has the ability to provide a lavish wellness program. This article lists ways smaller companies with minimal resources can still implement a successful wellness program.
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Disaster Recovery: Flash Flood Threat Targets Flood-Weary South

A tropical disturbance in the western Gulf of Mexico is expected to deliver more torrential rain and flash flooding to parts of the flood-weary South.
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Webinar Invite: Preparing for the Cadillac Tax Before 2018

What You Don’t Know May Hurt You: Preparing for the Cadillac Tax Before 2018
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Affordable Care Act - Reporting Requirements for Applicable Large Employers (Section 6056)

The IRS issued this publication to help applicable large employers understand reporting requirements under the ACA.
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Affordable Care Act - Responsibilities for Health Coverage Providers (Section 6055)

The Internal Revenue Service issued this publication (Publication 5215) on April 15, 2015, to help health coverage providers understand their reporting requirements under the ACA in Section 6055.
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Disaster Recovery: Why You Should Care About Hurricane Season

Hurricane season started Monday, June 1st. And while the 2014 Hurricane season produced the fewest tropical cyclones and named storms since 1997, that doesn't mean you should let down your guard.
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Keep Your Food Safe Poster

This poster offers teaching points for kitchen safety and avoiding foodborne illness while cooking.
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Q&A: Exempt Employees

This Q&A summarizes how to determine that an employee is considered exempt.
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Recordkeeping and Your HSA

This article discusses the importance of keeping records relative to eligible medical expenses.
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Why You Should Care About the 2015 Hurricane Season No Matter Where You Live

If you know as much about hurricanes as southerner’s do about snow fall, this article is for you. Being prepared for the approaching hurricane season is just as important to you as it is for many organizations in the direct path of potential storms and here’s why…
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As the weather heats up, OSHA and NOAA promote Summer Safety Campaign

​Summer is almost here! This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are joining forces to promote a Summer Safety Campaign.
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OSHA renews alliance to protect workers in automotive repair industry

OSHA has renewed its alliance with the Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair to provide training and resources to help protect workers in the car repair industry
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OSHA's revised Hazard Communication requirements in effect as of June 1

Starting June 1st, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers are required to provide a common approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.
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Composite Rating for Small Group Employers

Many employers want to know whether they can determine their own composite rating. However, their authority to do this is unclear at this time, as official guidance from the federal government has yet to be issued.
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Do You Have High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can cause heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and even lead to death. Luckily, high blood pressure is easy to identify through screening, and relatively easy to treat.

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Documenting Method for Identifying Full-time Employees

Beginning in 2015, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a penalty on applicable large employers (ALEs) that do not offer health insurance coverage to substantially all full-time employees and dependents.
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Q&A: Document Retention

How long do I need to retain documents and records in case of litigation?
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ERISA Compliance FAQs: Fiduciary Responsibilities

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for employee benefit plans maintained by private-sector employers. ERISA includes standards of conduct for those who manage an employee benefit plan and its assets, who are called “fiduciaries.” This Legislative Brief includes a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help employers understand the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to group health plans under ERISA.
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How to Read Your Medical Bill

This Know Your Benefits article outlines ways to save money by reviewing your medical bills with a careful eye.
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HR Q&A: FMLA - Maintaining Health Benefits

This HR Q&A summarizes employer responsibilities for maintaining employees' health benefits while they are on FMLA leave.
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Pay or Play Penalty - Indentifying Full-time Employees: The Monthly Measurement Method

On Feb. 12, 2014, the IRS published final regulations on the ACA's employer shared responsibility rules, which include measurement methods for employers to use to identify full-time employees. Under the ACA, applicable large employers may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer health coverage to their full-time employees. This Legislative Brief provides an overview of the monthly measurement method for identifying full-time employees.
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Work Comp Insights: The First 24 Hours After an Injury

This Work Comp Insights stresses the importance of the first 24 hours when responding to a workplace injury.
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Workplace Wellness: Wellness Initiatives to Promote Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and also a common factor in disabilities. Fortunately, the risk of heart disease can be reduced—but many individuals don’t know how. Use your wellness program as a means to help employees learn about heart health and how to reduce their risk of future heart disease.
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Benefits 101: Introduction to Insurance Payments Video

Educate your employees about health insurance payments, including premiums, deductibles and copays.
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Health Benefits Poster

Promote your health plan open enrollment period with this poster.
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Health Care Reform: Certifications of Employee Eligibility for Subsidies

The ACA requires Exchanges to send a notice to employers regarding employees who purchase coverage through an Exchange and qualify for a health insurance subsidy. These notices are also called “Section 1411 Certifications.”
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HR Q&A: COBRA Eligibility

How do I know who is eligible for COBRA and When?
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Work Comp Insights: Reporting Workers' Compensation Claims

This article explains the process of reporting a workers' compensation claim and the importance of taking necessary steps immediately following the incident.
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April 28 is Workers' Memorial Day

Every year, nearly four million workers are injured or made sick at work, and more than four thousand die from preventable work-related injuries or illnesses.
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New National Safety Stand-Down Video Unveiled

The 2015 National Safety Stand-Down is nearly here! From May 4 to 15 companies across the country will stop their work, provide focused talks on fall prevention, and re-commit themselves to on-the-job safety.
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OSHA and National Safety Council urge employers to protect workers from dangers of distracted driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and an excellent time to review workplace transportation policies. Each year, more than 35,000 people are killed on America's roads and traffic collisions are the number one cause of workplace deaths.
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"Cadillac" Tax on High-cost Health Coverage

For taxable years beginning in 2018, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost group health coverage.
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10 States with the Most Expensive Car Insurance Rates in 2015

Listening to GEICO and Progressive tell it, consumers have a great deal of control over how much they pay for car insurance.
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Avoid WMSD Injuries

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) are inujuries caused by job tasks that cause stress on the body.
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HR Q&A: Termination and Employment-at-Will

The employment at-will doctrine means that the employment relationship can be ended by either party (employer or employee), at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all, and with or without notice. Most private-sector employers subscribe to this doctrine.
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IRS Invites Comments on Cadillac Tax Implementation for 2018

On Feb. 23, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2015-16 to begin the process of developing guidance to implement the Cadillac tax.
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Why Your Eligibility for Employer Health Coverage Can Change

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that applicable large employers offer health insurance coverage to full-time employees and dependents.
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2015 National Safety Stand-Down in construction launches soon!

​OSHA and its partners hope to reach 3 million workers during the 2015 National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction, and you can help!
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April is National Workplace Violence Prevention Month: OSHA updates guidance for healthcare and social services

In 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 23,000 significant injuries due to assaults in the workplace.
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Ebola and Infectious Disease Symposium held in Dallas/Fort-Worth Area

The OSHA Education Center at The University of Texas at Arlington and OSHA Region VI co-sponsored an Ebola and Infectious Disease Symposium on March 12, 2015, to share best practices and lessons learned about the Ebola virus and other highly infectious diseases.
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Indiana project manager urges companies to think beyond compliance

An article in the 2015 issue of INReview, published by the Indiana Department of Labor, describes the importance of management commitment, employee involvement, and the need to focus beyond what is required by regulations to protect worker safety and health.
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2015 National Safety Stand-Down Materials Available

OSHA and its industry partners hope to reach workers and employers from many industries during the 2015 National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls.
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New Reporting Requirements: Employers Required to Report Fatalities and Severe Injuries and Illnesses

As of Jan. 1, 2015, employers covered by federal OSHA are now required to report work-related fatalities within 8 hours and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.
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OSHA to Hold Symposium on Protecting Healthcare Workers from Ebola

Representatives from OSHA, municipal service agencies and emergency responders will present information on protecting hospital workers and first responders from exposure to the Ebola virus at a free symposium on March 12 in Arlington, Texas.
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ERISA Compliance FAQs: Reporting and Disclosure Rules

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for employee benefit plans maintained by private-sector employers. This Legislative Brief includes a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help employers understand ERISA's requirements for reporting and disclosure.
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