July 2018 Focus

Final Rule on Association Health Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) established a final ruling on June 19, 2018, which allows small businesses to band together to purchase group health insurance and avoid regulatory requirements the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and some individual states impose on small businesses. The definition of “employer” under the Employer Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was modified with regards to certain entities, such as associations, which could sponsor group health coverage. Now, associations can be formed for the sole purpose of offering an association health plan (AHP) to its members, ultimately giving small businesses more affordable and better coverage for their employees.

Form 5500 Series – Calendar Year Plans due July 31, 2018

The Form 5500 series of forms were created by the Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to make it easier for employee benefit plans to satisfy annual reporting requirements under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Plans under ERISA are required to provide participants with information about plan features, such as vesting, benefit accrual and funding, fiduciary responsibilities, and many more requirements.

For more information about ERISA compliance, please feel free to contact MWG Employer Services directly for guidance.

Current FMLA Forms Expiring July 31, 2018

The Department of Labor is in the process of renewing current FMLA forms. These forms are used to verify that an employee is eligible to take FMLA leave and notify him or her of their leave rights under the law. Since the last update in 2015, which was made to conform with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), there has not been many substantive changes to FMLA or its regulations. It is likely the expiration date will be the only modification made, once released.