Numerous states—including Illinois, Hawaii, Tennessee, Montana, New Hampshire and Indiana—have been busy finalizing rulemaking and legislation impacting interstate compacts, professional practice standards and COVID-19 licensure flexibilities. What have these states been up to over the last month?
Update Future Financing Act – Focus on Employee Participation in Germany
On April 12, 2023, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Justice published the draft bill for a law on the financing of future-proof investments (Zukunftsfinanzierungsgesetz – ZuFinG-E).
This proposed legislation seeks to enhance the performance of the German capital market and bolster the appeal of Germany as a financial hub within the European financial center. It aims to achieve these goals by introducing numerous amendments to company, financial market and tax laws.
One significant aspect of the draft bill is the establishment of improved tax framework conditions to facilitate employee equity participation. This measure intends to make it easier for young companies to attract talented employees and maintain their competitiveness in the global talent market.
Addressing DOJ’s New Compliance Focus on Executive Compensation
The new compliance focus on executive compensation, as announced by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on March 3, 2023, has significant implications for how healthcare organizations address both corporate compliance and compensation programs for their executives. It also raises new issues for the board of directors’ oversight of compliance and compensation functions.
In a recent webinar, McDermott’s Ralph E. DeJong, Michael W. Peregrine, Sarah E. Walters and Eugene I. Goldman discussed the new policies, possible responses by management and boards, and potential strategies for responding to the policy goals of the DOJ and the Delaware Chancery Court.
Preparing for the End of the COVID-19 Emergency: Deadline Tolling
The Biden administration previously announced its intent to end the COVID-19 National Emergency (NE) and the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) on May 11, 2023 (read our series introduction for more information). On April 10, 2023, President Biden signed a resolution moving up the end of the NE to April 10, 2023 (the PHE ended on May 11). The US Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (the Departments) issued a set of FAQs (available here) on March 29, 2023 (FAQs), which anticipated that the NE would end on May 11, 2023 (see our prior article explaining the FAQs). Plan sponsors should continue to treat May 11 as the end of the NE consistent with the FAQs until the Departments say otherwise.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Departments provided relief from certain benefit plan deadlines, including:
- The minimum 60-day election period for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) continuation coverage.
- The date for making COBRA premium payments (45 days for the initial, then minimum 30-day grace periods).
- The date for individuals to notify the plan of certain qualifying events (divorce, dependent child aging out of plan coverage) or determination of disability as it relates to COBRA coverage.
- The date for providing a COBRA election notice (typically within 14 days after the plan receives notice of a qualifying event).
- The 30-day period (or 60-day period, if applicable) to request Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) special enrollment.
- The date within which individuals may file a benefit claim or an appeal of an adverse benefit determination under a plan’s claims procedures.
- The date within which claimants may file a request for an external review after receipt of an adverse benefit determination or final internal adverse benefit determination.
This article discusses how the affected tolled deadlines will be phased out and what actions employers may need to take.
EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, later extended by EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01, provided that the deadline by which action needs to be taken for the events described above was tolled until the earlier of: (i) one year from the date the deadline would have first started running for that individual or (ii) sixty (60) days from the end of the NE (the Outbreak Period). This guidance created a tolling deadline specific to each affected individual. Where the individual has not reached the one-year anniversary of the date of the initial deadline, timeframes will begin to run again sixty (60) days after the end of the NE (i.e., July 10, 2023).
The FAQs released by the Departments at the end of March provided much-needed clarification and various helpful examples for employers of how the outbreak period should be taken into consideration when calculating the tolled deadlines. For example, if an employee experiences a qualifying event under COBRA and loses coverage on April 1, 2023, the deadline for the individual to make a COBRA election is tolled until the earlier [...]
IRS Announces 2024 Limits for Health Savings Accounts, High-Deductible Health Plans and Excepted Benefit HRAs
Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced (See Revenue Procedure 2023-23) cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for health savings accounts (HSAs), high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and excepted benefit health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) for 2024. All of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2023 will change for 2024, with the exception of one limit. The HSA catch-up contribution for individuals ages 55 and older will not change as it is not subject to cost-of-living adjustments.