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IRS Announces 2021 Limits for Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2021. Some of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2020 will change for 2021. Access a table comparing the applicable dollar limits.

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Recently Updated | COVID-19 FAQs for US Employers

How should US employers approach the Coronavirus? With rapid developments in local, state and federal guidance and law, the appropriate approach for each employer will vary depending on the nature of the work, industries served, location(s), size, amongst other considerations. We recently updated these FAQs to provide you with the latest developments and best practices for your business. Access the FAQ here.

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2019 Global Employment Law Year in Review

We are proud to introduce the first annual McDermott Global Employment Law Year in Review: 2019. The purpose of this publication is to provide you with concise summaries of many of the laws and court decisions from 2019 that significantly impact employers and employees all over the world. Many of the updates presented in this publication describe changes in the law that are well known to lawyers and Human Resource professionals from those countries. Others are less well known. Regardless, our aim is to provide you and your colleagues with a useful reference guide to significant changes in employment law all over the world. Furthermore, we hope this guide—and similar specially designed products we create for our clients—will serve as a tool to assist multi-national businesses in their ongoing struggle to maintain a consistent global corporate culture amidst an ever-changing landscape of local employment laws. Access the full report.

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HIPAA Boss Sees ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Ripe For Enforcement

Healthcare providers and insurers are still making tons of rookie mistakes on patient privacy, turning themselves into easy enforcement targets, according to Roger Severino, director of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Severino made headlines in 2017 for expressing interest in punishing a "big, juicy, egregious" privacy breach, and seemingly followed through with a $16 million settlement stemming from Anthem Inc.'s megabreach involving 79 million patients. But, an emphasis on smaller violations makes sense in light of the OCR's recent acknowledgement of limits on its penalty powers, said Edward G. Zacharias, a McDermott partner. Access the full article. Originally posted on Law360, February 2020

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What to Know Before Enforcing a Nicotine-Free Workplace

Certain employers might prefer to avoid hiring nicotine users: smokers, dippers and vapers alike. U-Haul International Inc. is doing so, with a policy that went into effect on February 1. Thus, this is an opportune moment to examine why employers might consider doing likewise, the legal ramifications of such policies and the alternatives for encouraging healthier workforces. McDermott’s Jacob M. Mattinson, Aaron Sayers and Erin Steele contribute to a Law360 article exploring the practical and legal considerations related to a workplace nicotine ban, the impact on healthcare costs, whether employers can use health plan information to fire nicotine users once hired, and how other employers are addressing the costs of nicotine usage in their workforces. Access the full article. Originally published on Law360, January 2020

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Vetting Relationships for Telemedicine Collaborations

As the telemedicine regulatory and reimbursement environment becomes more cohesive and providers and patients alike embrace technology, opportunities for telemedicine collaborations are likely to grow. Like any collaboration, finding the right partner is crucial for success, particularly at the highly scrutinized intersection of healthcare and technology. This post explores the factors to address when evaluating service providers and vendors for your next telemedicine collaboration. Access the full article.

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How Healthcare Employers Can Comply With OSHA’s Rules on Workplace Violence

OSHA's general duty clause now applies to workplace violence in healthcare Sec. of Labor v. Integra Health Mgmt., Inc., OSHRC Docket No. 13-1124 (March 2019), requiring healthcare employers to maintain workplaces “free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” Abigail M. Kagan authored a primer for healthcare employers on the clause. In an article originally published on Bloomberg Law, she discusses: The four criteria OSHA considers in determining whether a general duty violation has occurred Engineering controls and administrative controls healthcare employers should take to protect workplaces A checklist healthcare employers can utilize to begin protecting employees Reproduced with permission from Copyright 2019 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) www.bloombergindustry.com. Access the full article.

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Eye on ERISA: Q&A with McDermott’s Ted Becker

As presidential hopefuls bemoan the high cost of healthcare, McDermott’s Ted Becker imagines a stack of lawsuits pushed toward corporations and insurance companies. If workers can use the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to challenge 401(k) plans' fees and investments, why can't they use it to sue over how their health insurance plans are managed? In a Q&A recently published on Law360, Becker discusses his prediction that health and welfare plan management suits will be the next frontier for ERISA plaintiffs, and how McDermott is preparing clients. Access the full article.

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Trump Administration Takes First Steps to Support Exchanges, but Key Questions Remain

In an effort to stabilize the Exchanges and encourage issuer participation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently extended the federal Exchange application and rate filing deadlines and published a proposed rule affecting the individual health insurance market and the Exchanges. While issuers will likely see these actions as encouraging signs of the Trump administration’s willingness to support the Exchanges, these actions do not resolve the political uncertainty regarding the Affordable Care Act’s fate or whether cost-sharing reductions will be funded for 2018. These outstanding questions will likely be a key factor in Exchange stability going forward. Read the article.

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