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The Biggest Benefits Rulings of 2020: Midyear Report

The US Supreme Court took up several Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) cases this term, handing down both a major loss and a substantial win to employees looking to sue their employers over retirement plan mismanagement. In a recent Law360 article, McDermott Partner Chris Nemeth discusses these decisions. "It's going to be really interesting to see how this plays out," said Nemeth. Access the article.

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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal to a Michigan Tax on Health Insurance Plans

The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear the Self-Insurance Institute of America Inc.'s ERISA preemption challenge to a Michigan tax on health insurance plans. As we previously reported last year, the Sixth Circuit, had decided, on remand from the Supreme Court, that the Michigan Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act (Act) was not preempted by ERISA. The Act imposes a 1 percent tax on all paid claims by insurers or third-party administrators (TPAs) for health services rendered in Michigan to Michigan residents. The case was brought by the Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA), a trade association representing the sponsors of self-insured health plans and their TPAs, alleging the Act was preempted by ERISA. The trial court dismissed the case, concluding that the law was not preempted by ERISA. The Sixth Circuit also held that the Act was not preempted. After granting certiorari, the Supreme Court vacated this judgment and remanded the...

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IRS Guidance on Employee Benefits Implications of Supreme Court Obergefell Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2015-86, which provides some additional clarification, in the form of questions and answers, on the treatment of same-sex spouses under tax-qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans, including cafeteria plans, as a result of the June 26, 2015, decision from the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v. Hodges. Read the full article.

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Will You Marry Me? The Future of Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses and Partners

The United States Supreme Court’s recent landmark rulings on same-sex marriage have significantly changed employers’ options and obligations with respect to benefit coverage for employees’ same-sex spouses and partners. Until recently, some employers voluntarily extended benefits to same-sex partners in recognition of the fact that same-sex couples had limited ability to marry. However, now that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states and recognized under federal law, employers must extend certain spousal benefits to same-sex spouses and can do so without additional administrative complexity. In addition, some employers are phasing out unmarried partner benefits by requiring partners to marry in order to be eligible for spousal benefit coverage. Click to read the full article from Pension & Benefits Daily. (c)2015 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., reprinted with permission.

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WEBCAST: The Future of Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses and Partners

Thursday, July 30, 2015 12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that it is unconstitutional for a state to ban same-sex couples from exercising the fundamental right to marry. All states are now required to permit same-sex couples to marry and to recognize same-sex marriages validly entered into in other jurisdictions. McDermott Will & Emery invites you to a live webcast to discuss the impact of this landmark decision on employee benefit plan sponsors and to address key considerations for employer-provided plans, including: An up-to-date description of federal and state taxation of health and welfare benefits A summary of steps employers must take in light of the Supreme Court's decision The future of employee benefits for unmarried same-sex and opposite-sex partners Click here to view the event listing.  

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King v. Burwell Decision Upholds Subsidies in Federal Exchanges

On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in King v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires premium tax credits to be made available in states that use a federal exchange. The case challenged an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation allowing tax credits in federal exchanges. The Supreme Court upheld the regulation as consistent with the statute. Our On the Subject provides a discussion on the issue. Click here to read the full article.

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Supreme Court Rejects Latest Challenge to Affordable Care Act: What Are Employers’ Obligations Going Forward?

On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld one of the main pillars of the Affordable Care Act (ACA): the tax credits that allow millions of Americans to afford health care insurance on the public exchanges. In King v. Burwell, Chief Justice Roberts, writing for a 6–3 majority, held that middle- and low-income individuals who purchase health care insurance through a federally facilitated health care exchange are entitled to the same tax credits that are available to purchasers through state-run health care exchanges. The ruling puts to rest one of the remaining challenges to the general framework of the ACA. Accordingly, our On the Subject discusses how employers should continue to plan for compliance with the current and upcoming obligations required under the ACA. Read the full article.

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Supreme Court Decision

by Christopher M. Jedrey, Joel L. Michaels, Susan M. Nash, Paul W. Radensky and Eric Zimmerman While the Supreme Court of the United States has in large part resolved questions regarding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, participants in the health care industry should prepare for ongoing uncertainty in the manner and degree to which states will participate in the expansion of Medicaid. To read the full article, click here.

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