On November 19, 2019, at 11 a.m. PT, I will be co-presenting a webinar with HMA’s Senior Manager, Compliance Services, Jessica Rothe, in which we will outline legislative efforts being made at the state and federal levels to protect patients from surprise balance billing by out-of-network providers. We will also discuss how health plan out-of-network
Howard Bye-Torre focuses his practice on assisting clients with employee benefit matters relating to cafeteria, health and other welfare plans. Howard advises clients on ERISA, federal health care reform (ACA), HIPAA, COBRA, HITECH, USERRA, Medicare Part D, Medicare Secondary Payer, wellness programs, same-sex marriage and domestic partner issues, mental health parity law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, nondiscrimination rules, federal tax issues, and other state and federal law benefit topics. In addition to his work with ERISA plans, he has extensive experience with governmental and church plans.
Click here for Howard Bye-Torre's full bio.
“Who will be hurt if gays and lesbians have a little more job protection?” Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals posed this question a few months ago during oral argument in a case involving a teacher who alleged she was fired because she is lesbian. On Tuesday, the en banc Seventh Circuit answered Judge Posner’s rhetorical question in a landmark decision holding that Title VII protects employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. The court is the first court of appeals in the country to apply Title VII’s job protections to employees on the basis of their sexual orientation, interpreting the definition of “sex” under Title VII to include “sexual orientation.”
To casual followers of the law, this decision may seem unremarkable after the Supreme Court ruled nearly two years ago that same-sex marriage enjoys constitutional protection. (See our blog on the Obergefell decision here, and our blog on the decision’s impact on employee benefits here.) But it is a watershed decision with ripple effects far beyond the three states within the Seventh Circuit.
Continue Reading Landmark Seventh Circuit Decision Interprets Title VII Protections To Prohibit Sexual Orientation Discrimination
In the wake of the election results, the question on everyone’s mind now is: What impact will President-Elect Trump have on employers? Trump has thus far given few details on his thoughts on labor and employment. But with Republicans maintaining control of Congress, employers could see a lot of changes in the next couple of years. Our experts weighed in with their thoughts on how different areas of labor and employment law may be affected.
Continue Reading Labor & Employment Law Under President-Elect Trump
A number of recent legal changes will have a notable impact on employee benefits law both now and in the future. Some of the most significant of those changes are the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, and the expansion of Title VII’s discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) individuals by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and some federal courts.
Same-Sex Marriage: Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges
In the 2013 Windsor decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages for purposes of federal law. After Windsor, the federal government issued guidance that it would look to the law of the state where the same-sex couple was married (state of celebration), rather than to the state law where the couple lived (state of residence), in most instances under federal law to determine if the same-sex couple was validly married. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in a 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, that state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, and mandated that states both permit same-sex couples to marry and recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other states. As a result of Obergefell, the “state of celebration” test for determining whether to recognize a same-sex couple’s marriage is no longer relevant under federal law.
Continue Reading Developments in Employee Benefits Law: Same-Sex Marriage and Title VII’s Protection for LGBT Employees
The IRS issued Notice 2013-45 recently, the official guidance document explaining the one-year delay in the implementation of the employer pay-or-play penalties under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) health care reform.
As announced in a Treasury blog, the IRS has delayed for one year the information reporting requirements (found in sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code) that apply to insurers, self-funded plans, government agencies and large employers regarding health plan coverage. This purpose of this delay is to allow the IRS addition time “for dialogue with stakeholders in an effort to simplify the reporting requirements” and for employers and other reporting entities to “develop their systems for assembling and reporting the needed data.” Since the collection of this information crucial for the IRS’ determination of an employer’s liability for pay-or-play penalties will not occur in 2014, the IRS has announced that it will not impose pay-or-play penalties for 2014. In the Notice, the IRS states that it expects that proposed regulations on the information reporting requirements will be issued later this summer.Continue Reading IRS Guidance On Delay in Implementing Pay-or-Play Penalties of ACA Health Care Reform Law