Department of Labor Audit

The Department of Labor (DOL) has the right to conduct an audit of any health plan, which is subject to ERISA. In recent years, DOL audit activity has increased substantially. The best thing you can do to avoid an audit is operate your plan with consistency and attention to key compliance requirements. Documenting this plan operation is the key to successfully getting through an audit should one occur.

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Market-Moving News: February 5, 2018

The major stock indexes tumbled around 4%, posting their biggest weekly declines in more than two years. The Dow sank nearly 1,100 points, dropping below the 26,000-point level that it had breached just a couple weeks earlier. A sharp rise in bond yields weighed on equities as investors adjusted to expectations of rising inflation and tighter monetary policy.

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Qualifying Events (Mid-Year Changes to Employee Benefit Elections)

Employees often request mid-year changes (outside of open enrollment) to their health benefit elections. Sometimes these changes correspond with a life event such as a marriage or birth, but other times the reasons may be less clear. Employers often wish to be as generous to their employees as possible, but there may be restrictions in place on when a plan participant is able to make changes to their plan elections.

When an employee wants to make a change to their health benefits outside of the plan’s open enrollment, an employer should consider what the law and accompanying regulations allow, what their health insurance carrier allows, and what their health plan documents allow.

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Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Many employees are looking for ways to maximize the dollars they spend on healthcare. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are tax-advantaged accounts that employers can sponsor which allow employees to set aside tax-free money to spend on health costs throughout the year. While FSAs do present some risk, they can be a good way to round out a company’s employee benefit offerings.

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