Bulletins

Social Security payroll tax increases in 2020

The Social Security Administration announced that the 2020 maximum earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $137,700. Currently, workers are required to pay Social Security taxes on the first $132,900 of earnings. The increase takes effect January 1, 2020.

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DOL announces possible FMLA form changes

The Department of Labor (DOL) is proposing adjustments to simplify forms employers use to administer the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The proposed changes are summarized below.

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Final rule raises overtime salary threshold

The Department of Labor issued a final rule stating employees who earn less than $35,568 per year are now eligible for overtime pay. The current threshold is $23,660, which was last adjusted in 2004. The rule takes effect January 1, 2020.

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4% ACA premium tax returns in 2020

Self funded plans exempt from tax

After a suspension in 2019, the health insurance tax, spawned by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will be reinstated in 2020. That tax affects fully insured medical, dental and vision coverage. (See a more complete list of affected coverages below.) 

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Creditable Coverage notice is an annual CMS requirement

Employers have an annual obligation to issue a Creditable Coverage notification to all plan participants who are Medicare eligible, including dependents and retirees. The notice informs Medicare-eligible participants whether their prescription coverage is at least as good as Medicare’s.The...

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Employers must follow guidelines when issuing MLR rebates

Area insurers are beginning to issue 2018 plan year medical loss ratio (MLR) rebates. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to meet MLR requirements each year. If an insurer doesn’t meet the minimum MLR (spend 80 to 85 percent of its premium dollars on health care or activities that improve...

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IRS to lower 2020 affordability rate

The IRS recently lowered the affordability threshold for the 2020 calendar year to 9.78% of household income from the 2019 threshold of 9.86%. This percentage is used to determine an individual’s eligibility for a premium tax credit and the affordability of employer-sponsored coverage. 

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Colorado bans the box

Beginning in September 2019, Colorado employers can no longer ask about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial job application. The legislation applies to all public and private sector employers, however, employers with fewer than 11 employees have until September 2021 to comply. The act...

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DOL issues update on joint-employer relationship

A lot has changed in the workplace since the Department of Labor issued its 1958 rule on joint-employer relationships under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In April 2019, the DOL announced a proposed rule to clarify the responsibilities of employers and joint employers regarding minimum...

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KCMO bans salary-history inquiries

Beginning October 31, 2019, employers in Kansas City, Missouri, will be prohibited from requesting salary history information from job applicants. This change is an attempt to address pay inequalities in the workplace. The ban is applicable to employers with six or more employees.

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