June 2016
Stay Current Newsletter
Art1What Employers Need to Know about the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match Program

We have been asked about the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match Program - what do all these acronyms mean, and what should you do if you receive a letter? 

Beginning in early 2016, many employers received letters from the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match program. These letters are addressed to the employer and begin by stating that "Medicare needs your cooperation." Employers are directed to report information on the IRS/SSA/CMS Data Match Secure Web Site ( https://www.cob.cms.hhs.gov/DataMatch/). The data being requested is often extensive, and can cover a number of years. The questionnaire might include years that an employer did not sponsor a group health plan. The letters typically have a return address of a P.O. Box in New York. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a lengthy instruction guide for completing the questionnaire.
Employers who receive a letter from the IRS-CMS-Data Match program should immediately apply for an extension for their response, and then dedicate the resources to ensure they submit their response in a timely manner. Consulting with legal counsel is recommended if the employer has any questions or concerns about the process or information.
The uptick in the IRS-SSA-CMS Data Match letters is due to additional funding CMS has received. The Data Match Project has saved the Medicare Trust Fund more than $3.5 billion to date.
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Art2Final Rules for Wellness Programs under ADA

In May 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued two final rules, one to amend regulations and provide guidance on implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it relates to employer wellness programs, and one to amend the regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) as they relate to employer wellness programs that are part of group health plans. Wellness programs are regulated by a plethora of federal regulations, and compliance with one set of regulations does not mean a wellness program is compliant with all regulations. Employers should use caution with plan design changes to ensure compliance across all regulations.
Both rules go into effect on July 18, 2016, and employers must comply as of the first date of the plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2017.
Art3 Nondiscrimination Regulations Under ACA

On May 13, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will take effect on July 18, 2016. If entities need to make changes to health insurance or group health plan benefit design as a result of this final rule, such provisions have an applicability date of the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2017.
New Laws Expand Coverage of Workplace Smoking Prohibitions 
E-Cigarettes Included in Workplace Smoking Prohibitions
Several recent pieces of legislation, generally effective on June 9, 2016, expand coverage of California's workplace smoking prohibitions.
Electronic Cigarettes
  • A new law recasts and broadens the definition of "tobacco product" under state law to include electronic cigarettes. By broadening the definition of "tobacco products," the new measure extends existing laws that relate to tobacco products (e.g., workplace smoking laws) to electronic cigarettes.
    • Note: The law also states that certain retailers of tobacco products (including electronic cigarettes), which are not subject to a tobacco tax, must apply for a license and pay an annual license fee of $265, beginning January 1, 2017. Additional details and obligations are described in the law.
Workplace Smoking Prohibitions Expanded
  • An additional measure amends the state's workplace smoking law to cover additional places. Key changes include the following:
    • Owner-Operated Businesses. The law extends the workplace smoking prohibition to include owner-operated businesses in which the owner-operator is the only worker and there are no employees, independent contractors, or volunteers.
    • Covered Parking Lots. The law expands the definition of "enclosed space" where smoking is prohibited to include covered parking lots.
    • Guestroom Accommodations. The law reduces to 20% (from 65%) the amount of guestroom accommodations in a hotel, motel, or similar transient lodging establishment in which smoking is allowed.
    • Additional Smoke-Free Locations. The measure eliminates several exemptions in the law which (until June 9, 2016) allow the smoking of tobacco products in certain work environments. As such, the smoking of tobacco products is prohibited at the following locations:
      • Hotel or motel lobbies;
      • Meeting and banquet rooms in a hotel or motel;
      • Warehouse facilities;
      • Gaming clubs;
      • Bars and taverns;
      • Employee break rooms; and
      • Businesses with a total of 5 or fewer employees.
Article reprinted with permission from HR360.com
HR Done Right Fun Fact - Heat Illness Awareness 

Employers should provide enough water so each employee can drink at least four 8 ounce glasses of water per hour!  

To learn more about Heat Illness Awareness and how you can be prepared as an employer, read the blog on our HR Done Right site.
A free, fast & friendly summer camp for your money 

"Financial Fitness" is a term you will begin hearing more frequently. Many people have never been educated on how to save money, balance a checking account, and only spend within their means. How can we help people help themselves?

As employers, we can make a difference in the educational growth of our employees by sharing resources they may not be aware of.

Stacey Powell, a "Finance Guru", has take a personal challenge to educate individuals in her community. She is changing lives by putting people back in control of their finances. 

Piggybanks in the Park, a book tour like no other, begins June 18 in Sacramento. Stacey's goal? To gather like-minded people who are ready to take charge of their finances and hang out in the park for an hour of learning and talking about simple ways to manage their money. She will be teaching attendees to have more fun working on their money, bring ease to knowing how to assess their financial fitness, and share ways to become a savings rock-star. 

Interested in attending one of these events? Click here to find a Piggybanks in the Park near you!
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