Articles

W-2 Reporting Requirement Delayed for Employers with Less than 250 Employees

On Tuesday March 29th the IRS released Notice 2011-28 which provides guidance on the reporting of the cost of employer sponsored health insurance on employee's W-2s. The notice contains 31 questions and answers designed to help employers understand the reporting requirements. The announcement, and a copy of Notice 2011-28, can be found at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0..id-237870,00.html

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Claims Appeal Process Rules Enforcement Delayed Again

The DOL, HHS, and the IRS (the Departments) have been issuing regulations in several phases related to provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) pertaining to standards for internal claims appeals and external review. These provisions apply to all non-grandfathered plans effective on plan years beginning after September 23, 2010.

The Departments published interim final regulations on July 23. On September 20, 2010, the DOL issued Technical Release 2010-02 (T.R. 2010-02), which delayed enforcement for compliance with certain provisions of the rules until July 1, 2011.

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Food Borne Illness Coverage for the Hospitality Industry

The Department of Agriculture estimates that 76 million Americans become ill each year from eating foods contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Although low reporting makes it difficult to truly gauge the number of incidents, it is certain that hospitality businesses are at risk for food contamination claims, which can be financially devastating to a company.

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Equipment Breakdown Coverage For Property Owners

Many property owners have the misconception that their property policies include coverage for equipment that is installed in their buildings. While the standard property policy can provide coverage for the structure, contents, and potential loss of revenue in the event of a loss, equipment breakdown is excluded. In order to avoid a coverage gap, property owners also need an Equipment Breakdown policy, which is tailored to cover the loss exposures for equipment and systems installed in their buildings.

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Planning for the Federal Estate Tax

Simply put, the U.S. federal estate tax is levied on the transfer of property when someone passes away. Similar to income tax, the estate tax is progressive with rates increasing as the value of the taxable estate increases. While the maximum rate has changed over the years, it has generally been 35%-55% of the taxable estate. This may seem to be high, but it is substantially lower than the 77% rate that was in effect from 1941 through 1976.

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What Your CGL Policy Won’t Pay For If a Builder’s Risk Policy Is In Place

In today’s competitive contracting environment, owners have a clear advantage when placing projects out to bid. As the economy continues to sputter, contractors know that they must provide very competitive pricing, as well as contractual terms that are favorable to the project owner. They are often concerned that any misstep at any stage of a project could cause the loss of future projects with an owner. One result of this competitive environment is that both general contractors and subcontractors are reluctant to submit a claim under the project Builder’s Risk policy because they don’t wish to upset the owner. Instead, they often look to their own Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy for claims payment even when a Builder’s Risk policy is in effect.

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Insuring Your Business Computers, Media, and Data

Virtually all businesses and organizations rely upon their computer and data management systems to conduct business efficiently and effectively. Technology is a substantial business investment and it is important that you are adequately insured against loss of hardware and essential data. Most property policies provide limited coverage for computer equipment and exclude losses that are specific to data, media, and losses caused by computer viruses or hacking.

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Absence Management: Controlling Costs and Improving Your Bottom Line

CFOs of both privately-held and nonprofit organizations are spending sleepless nights as they try to find ways to increase their bottom line in today’s business environment. Human Resources are being saturated with the requirements of Healthcare Reform and employer costs are increasing due to new federal benefits mandates, higher utilization, and medical trends. At the same time, stockholders of public companies are demanding tighter expense controls and higher dividends and investment returns.

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Happy Birthday to the PPACA!

Updated Statutes of Repose vs. Statutes of Limitation

Normally, a statute of repose is an expression by the state legislature as to how far back one may look from the date the cause of action arises to have a valid cause of action. To put it into the real property context, the statute will dictate how far back in time an entity that is involved with construction or design of improvements to real property will be liable for a construction defect causing a property loss.

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Spousal Carve-Outs and Surcharges

As health care costs continue to rise there has been an increasing number of employers considering the implementation of a spousal carve-out or spousal surcharge as a strategy to reduce costs. In its simplest form, an employer will either impose a surcharge for a spouse’s coverage, or make that spouse ineligible for the plan when the spouse is eligible for their own employer-sponsored coverage.

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Breast Feeding Expenses are Now Tax-Deductible

The IRS announced on Thursday that breast pumps and supplies that assist lactation are medical care and will now be considered tax-deductible medical expenses.

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