Tag: insurance

Stoel Rives Presents Webinar On Employer Group Health Plans After U.S. Supreme Court Decision Upholding “Obamacare”

As everyone who was not on Mars this summer knows, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a surprising and historic decision upholding key provisions of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act ("ACA").  To help employers navigate the requirements of the law now that it has the stamp of approval of the Supreme Court, and to provide other updates … Continue Reading

How Does the Heath Care Reform Package Impact Employers?

The health care reform legislation passed by Congress places significant new responsibilities on employers, group health plans, insurers, and individuals. The Stoel Rives Employee Benefits team has developed the following overview of the most significant issues affecting employers and group health plans, in order of effective date. (click on CONTINUE READING" for the full text of the overview). Effective … Continue Reading

President Obama to Sign Jobs Bill Today

President Obama is today expected to sign the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which in its final form passed The House of Representatives 217-201 on March 4 and the Senate 68-29  on March 17.  Click here to download the final version of the HIRE Act. Key provisions of the HIRE Act include: An exemption … Continue Reading

Senate Jobs Bill: Tax Incentives to Hire Unemployed, but no COBRA Subsidy Extension

Yesterday the U.S. Senate  voted 70-28 to approve the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, a $15 billion bill aimed at creating jobs, helping small businesses, and rebuilding public infrastructure.  However, the bill does not include a further extension of the current COBRA subsides for unemployed workers, nor does it increase funding for state … Continue Reading

COBRA Subsidy Extended Through February 28, 2010

As originally enacted as part of the 2009 stimulus package, the COBRA subsidy provided up to nine months of health insurance premium assistance for covered workers who were involuntarily terminated on or before December 31, 2009.  Last week, President Obama signed a bill that extends the COBRA subsidy for involuntarily terminated employees in two ways:  First, it extends the eligibility period … Continue Reading

Washington Domestic Partnership Law Impacts Employee Benefits and Family Leave

Washington voters recently approved Referendum 71, giving registered domestic partners all of the rights and responsibilities of married couples under Washington state law.   Prior domestic partnership laws gave registered domestic partners limited rights and responsibilities such as hospital visitation, health care decision making, inheritance and community property rights.  The new law includes all of the rights … Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court Allows Workers’ Comp Coverage for Gastric Bypass

This morning, in SAIF Corp. v. Sprague, the Oregon Supreme Court upheld the workers’ compensation claim of an employee who sought coverage for gastric bypass surgery, on the grounds that the surgery was necessary to treat a decades-old on-the-job knee injury.  Sprague injured his knee on the job in 1976, filed a workers’ comp claim, and sought … Continue Reading

Oregon Musicians No Longer Presumed Employees for Unemployment Purposes

Sine die!  The Oregon Legislature’s biennial session has come to a close, providing a perfect opportunity for the Stoel Rives World of Employment to take a look at what passed, what failed, and what flew under the radar. One helpful new statute fixes a problem for employers who operate music venues.  In late 2007, Mississippi Studios, a hip … Continue Reading

New Legislation Aims to End Taxation of Domestic Partner Health Benefits

Under the current tax code, employer-provided health care benefits for employees, their spouses and dependent children are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes; however, health care benefits provided to unmarried domestic partners are subject to both payroll tax (for the employee) and to income tax (for the domestic partner beneficiary).  But if passed, the proposed Tax Equity for Health Plan … Continue Reading

IRS, DOL Publish New Info on COBRA Subsidy

Today the Department of Labor expanded its FAQs on the COBRA subsidies included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  Click here to read the DOL’s new COBRA FAQs.  Wondering what the tax implications of the subsidy are, or whether the person asking for the subisidy is truly eligible?  Click here to read … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Declines to Reconsider Ruling on SF Health Care Ordinance

Back in October 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a San Francisco city ordinance that requires many employers to either contribute a specified amount toward their employees’ health care costs on a regular basis or pay into a city health care fund for San Francisco residents.  Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit denied a petition … Continue Reading

Stimulus Package Includes COBRA Subsidies

Among the provisions of the new stimulus package signed by President Obama are subsides for unemployed workers continuing their health care benefits through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).  The key points of the package are: Who is eligible?  Employees who have been involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009 with … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Upholds San Francisco Health Care Ordinance

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a San Francisco city ordinance that requires many employers to either contribute a specified amount toward their employees’ health care costs on a regular basis or pay into a city health care fund for San Francisco residents.  The San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance went into effect on … Continue Reading
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