COBRA Small Employer Exception

Question:  When does the COBRA small employer exception apply? Short Answer:  The small employer exception from the federal COBRA requirements applies if the employer had fewer than 20 employees on at least 50% of its typical business days in the preceding calendar year. Small Employer Exception: General Rule The federal COBRA continuation coverage rules do […]

Group-Term Life Insurance §79 Nondiscrimination Rules

Question:  Are there nondiscrimination rules that apply to group-term life insurance benefits? Short Answer: Yes, Section 79 imposes nondiscrimination rules that generally require employers to offer non-key employees the same level of coverage as offered to key employees. Section 79 Nondiscrimination: General Rule The nondiscrimination rules that apply to group-term life insurance plans generally require […]

Potential ACA Employer Mandate Penalties for Late Offer of Coverage to New Full-Time Hire

Question:  What are the potential ACA employer mandate penalties for failure to timely offer coverage to a new full-time hire (including a full-time temp or intern)? Compliance Team Response:   Short Answer: The “B Penalty” ($312.50/month in 2019, $321.67/month in 2020) may apply for the failure to timely offer coverage to a new full-time hire. […]

Seattle Commuter Ordinance 2020

The City of Seattle recently passed a Commuter Benefits Ordinance that takes effect in 2020.  The ordinance is similar to other commuter benefits ordinances that we have seen in the Bay Area, New York City, and Washington D.C. Employers Subject to the Seattle Commuter Benefits Ordinance:  20+ Employees Effective January 1, 2020, the Seattle Commuter […]

Taxation of Wellness Program Gift Cards

Question:  Are gift card rewards from a wellness program always taxable income to the employee?  Are there any non-taxable alternatives? Short Answer:  Yes, gift cards are always taxable income to employees.  Alternatives include de minimis non-cash-equivalent items or health benefit rewards. General Rule: All Cash or Cash Equivalent Compensation is Taxable Any form of compensation […]

FAST Blog List by Category for Q3

Welcome to Compliance Friday Answers to the Service Team (FAST)!  Each Friday we publish our response to a question that the ABD Compliance Team received from a client or member of the EB Service Team.  These represent the most frequently asked (or interesting) questions we see. We post all of our FAST responses on the […]

Enrolling New Dependents and Changing Plan Options Under COBRA

Question:  When can COBRA qualified beneficiaries enroll new dependents or change plan options? Short Answer: COBRA qualified beneficiaries can make plan changes upon experiencing HIPAA special enrollment events, moving outside the plan’s regional service area, and during the plan’s open enrollment period. General Rule: Same Coverage as in Effect Upon the Qualifying Event The general […]