Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – February 9, 2024

  1. Reinstatement of Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Act Takes Effect February 13

On March 24, 2023, Governor Whitmer signed into law a bill reinstituting Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Act (the “Act”). The new Act, which takes effect February 13, 2024, will require every contractor and subcontractor in Michigan to pay the prevailing wage and benefit rates to employees working on most state funded construction projects.

Why it Matters: Contractors that fail to pay prevailing wages may have their contract terminated, be required to pay any excess costs incurred by the state for contracting with a new employer, and be fined up to $5,000.

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  1. A Health Professional’s Guide to Navigating the Disciplinary Process: What to Expect if You Are Facing a Professional Licensing Investigation or Administrative Complaint

Health professionals are committed to caring for patients with expertise, compassion, and integrity. However, in the heavily regulated healthcare field, those professionals can sometimes find themselves navigating not just the medical challenges of their patients but licensing issues of their own as well. Licensing issues can arise unexpectedly, and, when they do, they can cause tremendous stress and uncertainty.

Why it Matters: As an attorney with years of experience handling professional licensing matters for health professionals, Robert J. Andretz has witnessed firsthand how professional licensing investigations and Administrative Complaints can disrupt health professionals’ careers and their ability to provide patient care. He will explore how to navigate the disciplinary process in Michigan so that you can know what to expect if you are ever faced with a threat to your license. Learn more.

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  1. Fraser Trebilcock Welcomes Robert J. Andretz to the Firm

We are pleased to announce the hiring of attorney ​Robert J. Andretz who will work primarily in the firm’s Lansing office.

Why it Matters: Helping clients for more than two decades, Rob is an experienced criminal defense and professional licensing attorney who has successfully represented clients in both state and federal courts in felony and misdemeanor cases in more than 50 counties across the state of Michigan. He is passionate about what he does, and, understanding the direct and collateral consequences that a criminal conviction or professional licensing sanction can bring, he compassionately works with his clients to focus on what matters most to them. Learn more.

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  1. Understanding How Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents Protect Your Business

Copyright is the exclusive legal protection that covers an original work of authorship. Copyrights vest upon creation of the work, which means placing the work onto a tangible medium.

Why it Matters: Similar to trademark law, it can be difficult to enforce your copyright if the work is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Learn more on this series about trademarks, copyrights, and patents from Fraser Trebilcock attorney Andrew Martin.

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  1. Client Alert/Reminder: Form W-2 Reporting Due for Employer-Provided Health Care / Disclosure Due to CMS for Medicare Part D

Unless subject to an exemption, employers must report the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored health coverage provided in 2023 on their employees’ Form W-2 (Code DD in Box 12) issued in January 2024. Please see IRS Notice 2012-09. Additionally, group health plans offering prescription drug coverage are required to disclose to all Part D-eligible individuals who are enrolled in or were seeking to enroll in the group health plan coverage whether such coverage was creditable.

Why it Matters: The filing deadline is 60 days following the first day of the plan year. If you operate a calendar year plan, the deadline is the end of February. If you operate a non-calendar year plan, please be sure to keep track of your deadline. Contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorney for any questions.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | David Houston
Professional Licensing | Robert Andretz
Intellectual Property | Andrew Martin
Employee Benefits | Bob Burgee
Employee Benefits | Sharon Goldzweig

Five Stories That Matter in Michigan This Week – January 12, 2024

  1. Cannabis Regulatory Agency Announces $1 Million Social Equity Grant Program

Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) announced a $1 million grant program to applicants who have a recreational marijuana license, have eligible Social Equity Program participants, and participate in the CRA’s “Social Equity All-Star Program.”

Why it Matters: The program is intended to encourage participation in the industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition and enforcement.

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  1. Fraser Trebilcock Welcomes Danielle Lofton to the Firm

We are pleased to announce the hiring of attorney Danielle Lofton who will work primarily in the firm’s Lansing office, focusing her practice on insurance defense.

Why it Matters: Ms. Lofton represents clients with personal injury claims including no-fault cases for several years. She has routinely secured early dismissals through successful motions and negotiated favorable settlements for her clients. Learn more.

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  1. Department of Labor Issues New Rule on Independent Contractors

This week, the US Department of Labor issued a new rule modifying its analysis for determining whether a worker is an employee, or an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The final rule is effective on March 11, 2024.

Why it Matters: We previously reported on the Department of Labor publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding classification of employee or independent contractor under the FLSA. Under this final rule effective on March 11, 2024, it will provide clearer guidance for employers and how they determine their workers’ classifications, and further protect employees from misclassification.

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  1. Fraser Trebilcock Attorney Andrew J. Moore Elected to Board of Directors of Catholic Bar Association

We are pleased to announce that attorney ​Andrew J. Moore has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Catholic Bar Association, a national bar association with members in all 50 states. “I am honored to be elected to the Board of Directors, and I look forward to continuing the mission of the Catholic Bar Association,” said Andrew Moore.

Why it Matters: Andrew focuses his practice on general litigation matters, insurance defense, estate and trust administration, real estate transactions, family law, and criminal defense. His experience covers a range of practice areas, from out of court matters such as assisting clients in estate planning and business and tax matters to representing clients at trial in insurance, divorce, and criminal defense proceedings. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lansing Catholic Lawyers Guild. Read more.

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  1. Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission Required to Redraw Seven House Districts

A three-judge panel ordered this week that the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission redraw seven state House districts by February 2nd, after it was ruled unconstitutional.

Why it Matters: Last year, a group of voters sued the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission alleging that the Commission had violated the federal Voting Rights Act by drawing maps that impacted black voters’ opportunity to elect their preferred candidates.

Related Practice Groups and Professionals

Cannabis Law | Sean Gallagher
Insurance Law | Danielle Lofton
Labor, Employment & Civil Rights | David Houston
Litigation | Andrew Moore
Election Law

Patient Advocate Designations During COVID-19

Issues not typically thought about or discussed are now at the forefront of many people’s minds. During Michigan’s COVID-19 Stay at Home Executive Orders, discussions about life and death are common with friends, family, and loved ones. I recently had this conversation with my husband, Jim:

Me: Do you remember that I designated you as my patient advocate?

Jim: Yes.

Me: If I get COVID-19 and need a ventilator, I want one.

Jim: Why are you telling me this?

Me: I just want you to be clear on what my Patient Advocate Designation means. It states that if there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery, then I don’t want certain things, including a ventilator.

Jim: So, you don’t want a ventilator?

Me: No, I do. Two things are important here. First, if I get COVID-19, I do want to be put on a ventilator if it will help me survive, and second, if I get COVID-19, I do have a reasonable expectation of my recovery so the statement in the Patient Advocate Designation that I don’t want a ventilator won’t even apply. I just wanted you to be very clear as to my wishes.

Jim: Ok, I get it. But to be sure my directions to doctors and hospitals are followed on this, don’t you need to redo your Patient Advocate Designation?

Me: No, the law says I can give you, as my patient advocate, both written and oral instructions, guidelines, and desires for my care, custody and healthcare treatment.

Jim: That’s surprising.

Does Your Patient Advocate Designation Reflect Your Wishes?

It’s a good time to look at your Patient Advocate Designation and be sure its terms are consistent with your current wishes. If not, it’s easy to update the document. However, if updating right now is not possible, you can instruct your patient advocate, orally, with your current instructions.

If your Patient Advocate Designation is like mine, and provides that no ventilator, or respirator, should be used if “there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery,” explain to your designated patient advocate and successors that this language does not mean you don’t want a ventilator if you get COVID-19. Inform them that you if you get COVID-19, you do expect to recover from it, as the odds of survival far surpass the chances of death, and that you want all treatment needed to enable your survival, including being placed on a ventilator.

Is the Right Person Named as Your Patient Advocate?

If the designated patient advocate and successors are not the individuals you want making your healthcare decisions, you should update the document. Changes should be made if those you previously designated have died, or are no longer in your life, or, if your children are old enough to be your patient advocate and you prefer them serving over a sibling or friend.

Talk with Your Patient Advocate About Your Wishes

Now is a good time to talk with your patient advocate and designated successors so they are aware of your current wishes. Knowing what you want will enable your patient advocate to confidently and effectively communicate your wishes to healthcare providers, family members and friends. Knowing your current wishes also reduces the emotional toll on your patient advocate as they implement your wishes.

Remote Witnessing and Signing Is Possible

Michigan Executive Order 2020-41 was very important for the execution of Patient Advocate Designations. Unlike other documents, Patient Advocate Designations must be witnessed by two individuals who are not your patient advocate, heirs, beneficiaries, or employees of a healthcare facility where you are a patient, among others. Remote signing gives you the ability to have two independent individuals as your witnesses so that your Patient Advocate Designation will be effective when needed.

Executive Order 2020-41 made remote witnessing of estate planning documents possible until 11:59 p.m. on May 6, 2020. Many effective dates in Executive Orders are being extended as “Stay at Home” orders are extended. Contact us to confirm availability of remote witnessing if needed after May 6th.

Zoom Meetings

Our office is currently conducting Zoom meetings to discuss and execute Patient Advocate Designations and other estate planning documents remotely. It’s free to use the Zoom meeting platform. Our client checklists make the process easy to understand and Zoom allows us to execute the documents without face-to-face contact.


We have created a response team to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and the law and guidance that follows, so we will continue to post any new developments. You can view our COVID-19 Response Page and additional resources by following the link here. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.


Teahan, Marlaine

Chair of Fraser Trebilcock’s Trusts and Estates Department and serving as Secretary/Treasurer of the firm, attorney Marlaine C. Teahan is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and is the past Chair of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan. For help with your estate planning needs, contact Marlaine  at 517-377-0869 or mteahan@fraserlawfirm.com.

Planning Strategies and Divestments in Medicaid Planning: A Workshop

Navigating through the many rules and regulations of Medicaid can often be a stressful time for families. The application process itself can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, as well as the post-planning that occurs after Medicaid eligibility is obtained. It’s with these difficulties in mind that Fraser Trebilcock attorney Melisa Mysliwiec recently shared key insights with other attorneys in Michigan on how to help families maneuver through the challenging aspects of Medicaid. The presentation, titled “Hands-On Medicaid Part II: Planning Strategies and Divestment”, a follow-up to last year’s workshop, was delivered following the Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s 4th Annual Elder Law Institute, on Friday, September 14.

The seminar provided attendees with a case study about a husband and wife, second marriage for both, navigating the post-planning that is required during the presumed asset eligibility period after the husband obtained Medicaid eligibility to help pay for his long-term nursing home care. Subsequently, attendees were face with a change in circumstances; the husband died and the wife requires long-term nursing home care. Sample income and financial statements were provided and the attendees worked through a sample spend down and completed a Medicaid Application.

ICLE 4th Annual Elder Law Institute

Melisa, along with attorneys Rosemary Howley Buhl, Howard H. Collens, Erin L. Majka, and Terrence G. Quinn, answered questions and provided thorough advice on each step in the process. The well over 100 attendees were able to walk away with a completed sample Medicaid Application and supporting documents.

In addition to presenting on this topic on Friday, Melisa also moderated the plenary sessions of ICLE’s 4th Annual Elder Law Institute on Thursday, September 13. These sessions covered a broad range of topics that allowed attendees to walk away with critical updates and detailed insights in the area of guardianships and conservatorships, government benefits, and use of protective orders in the realm of disabilities planning and elder law.


Attorney Melisa Mysliwiec

 

If you would like to talk with an attorney about putting legal plans in place, contact attorney Melisa M. W. Mysliwiec. Melisa focuses her work in the areas of Elder Law and Medicaid planning, estate planning, and trust and estate administration. She can be reached at mmysliwiec@fraserlawfirm.com or 616-301-0800.

Client Alert/Reminder: Form W-2 Reporting Due / Disclosure Due to CMS for Medicare Part D

FB - FinalTreeUPCOMING DEADLINES: (1) FORM W-2 REPORTING; AND

(2) MEDICARE PART D NOTICES TO CMS

Reminder:  Form W-2 Reporting on Aggregate Cost of Employer Sponsored Coverage

Unless subject to an exemption, employers must report the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored health coverage provided in 2016 on their employees’ Form W-2 (Code DD in Box 12) issued in January 2017. Please see IRS Notice 2012-9 and our previous e-mail alerts for more information.

The following IRS link is helpful and includes a chart setting forth various types of coverage and whether reporting is required: http://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Form-W-2-Reporting-of-Employer-Sponsored-Health-Coverage.  Please note this is a summary only and Notice 2012-9 should also be consulted.

If you have questions regarding whether you or your particular benefits are subject to reporting, please feel free to contact us.

Deadline Coming Up for Calendar Year Plans to Submit Medicare Part D Notice to CMS

As you know, group health plans offering prescription drug coverage are required to disclose to all Part D-eligible individuals who are enrolled in or were seeking to enroll in the group health plan coverage whether such coverage was “actuarially equivalent,” i.e., creditable. (Coverage is creditable if its actuarial value equals or exceeds the actuarial value of standard prescription drug coverage under Part D.) This notice is required to be provided to all Part D eligible persons, including active employees, retirees, spouses, dependents and COBRA qualified beneficiaries.

The regulations also require group health plan sponsors with Part D eligible individuals to submit a similar notice to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”).  Specifically, employers must electronically file these notices each year through the form supplied on the CMS website.

The filing deadline is 60 days following the first day of the plan year.  If you operate a calendar year plan, the deadline is the end of February.  If you operate a non-calendar year plan, please be sure to keep track of your deadline.

At a minimum, the Disclosure to CMS Form must be provided to CMS annually and upon the occurrence of certain other events including:

1) Within 60 days after the beginning date of the plan year for which disclosure is provided;
2) Within 30 days after termination of the prescription drug plan; and
3) Within 30 days after any change in creditable status of the prescription drug plan.

The Disclosure to CMS Form must be completed online at the CMS Creditable Coverage Disclosure to CMS Form web page at:

https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/CreditableCoverage/CCDisclosureForm.html

The online process is composed of the following three step process: (1) Enter the Disclosure Information; (2) Verify and Submit Disclosure Information; and (3) Receive Submission Confirmation.

The Disclosure to CMS Form requires employers to provide detailed information to CMS including but not limited to, the name of the entity offering coverage, whether the entity has any subsidiaries, the number of benefit options offered, the creditable coverage status of the options offered, the period covered by the Disclosure to CMS Form, the number of Part D eligible individuals, the date of the notice of creditable coverage, and any change in creditable coverage status.

For more information about this disclosure requirement (instructions for submitting the notice), please see the CMS website for updated guidance at:

https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/CreditableCoverage/CCDisclosure.html

As with the Part D Notices to Part D Medicare-eligible individuals, while nothing in the regulations prevents a third-party from submitting the notices (such as a TPA or insurer), ultimate responsibility falls on the plan sponsor.

 

This email serves solely as a general summary of the Form W-2 reporting requirements and CMS disclosure for Medicare Part D.

This correspondence is intended to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.

Questions? Contact us to learn more.


Elizabeth H. Latchana, Attorney Fraser TrebilcockElizabeth H. Latchana specializes in employee health and welfare benefits. Recognized for her outstanding legal work, in both 2018 and 2015, Beth was selected as “Lawyer of the Year” in Lansing for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law by Best Lawyers, and in 2017 as one of the Top 30 “Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Contact her for more information on this reminder or other matters at 517.377.0826 or elatchana@fraserlawfirm.com.

Click HERE to sign up to receive email updates and alerts on matters related to Employee Benefits.

Client Alert: Estate and Gift Tax Limits Announced for 2017

TTrusts & Estates - Fraser Trebilcockhe IRS has issued the estate and gift tax limits for 2017 (Rev. Proc. 2016-55). For an estate of a person dying in 2017, the basic exclusion amount is $5,490,000 for determining the credit against federal estate tax. This means that for a person dying in 2017, no federal estate tax will be imposed if his or her gross estate is less than $5,490,000. Therefore, with proper estate planning, an individual could transfer up to $5,490,000, or a married couple could transfer up to $10,980,000, to their children without paying federal estate tax.  The basic exclusion amount  for 2017 was adjusted for inflation up from the 2016 amount of $5,450,000.

In 2017, the first $14,000 of gifts of a present interest made to any person is not included in the total amount of taxable gifts. For example, a person can gift up to $14,000 of a present interest from January to December 2017 without reporting the gift to the IRS, without using any lifetime gift tax exemption, and without paying gift tax. However, if you are a married couple wanting to make a similar gift, slightly different rules apply.  Gifts to a spouse who is a United States citizen are not restricted by this $14,000 limitation. For gifts to a spouse who is not a United States citizen, the first $149,000 of gifts of a present interest are not included in the total amount of taxable gifts that must be reported to the IRS.

Other gifts not restricted by the $14,000 limitation include qualified gifts paid directly to institutions for educational or medical purposes. A qualified gift would include direct payment to a college or university for another person’s tuition or direct payment to a hospital for another person’s medical bills.  The annual exclusion amount for gifts is periodically adjusted for inflation but adjustments do not happen every year. For example, the $14,000 exclusion amount for gifts for 2017 is the same as it was in 2016.

Stay tuned for updates on what tax changes may come out of the 115th United States Congress. It is expected that tax reform, in one shape of another, will happen. We will keep you up-to-date on changes that may impact your income, estate and gift taxes.


Teahan, Marlaine

For help understanding these estate and gift tax limits, or for reviewing your will or trust under these new tax limits, contact Marlaine C. Teahan, chair of Fraser Trebilcock’s Trusts and Estates Department. Marlaine can be reached at 517-377-0869 or mteahan@fraserlawfirm.com.

Employers Take Note – IRS Extends Deadline for 2016 ACA Information Reporting For Individuals!

 

FB - FinalTreeThe Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has extended the deadline for 2016 Information Reporting by employers (and other entities) to individuals under Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 and 6056 by just over one month.  However, the deadline for these entities to file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remains the same.

IRS Notice 2016-70 extends the due dates for the following 2016 information reporting Forms from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017:

  • 2016 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage
  • 2016 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage

However, the due dates for filing these Forms and their Transmittals with the IRS remains unchanged.  Specifically, the due date for filing the following documents with the IRS is February 28, 2017; however, if filing electronically, the due date is March 31, 2017 (employers who are required to file 250 or more Forms must file electronically):

  • 2016 Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns, and the 2016 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage
  • 2016 Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns, and the 2016 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage

As a result of these extensions, individuals might not receive a Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they file their 2016 tax returns.  In such case, IRS Notice 2016-70 explains that individual taxpayers may instead rely on other information received from their employers or other coverage providers for purposes of filing their tax returns and do not need to wait to receive Forms 1095-B and 1095-C before filing.  Once they do receive their forms, the individuals should keep it with their tax records. You can find the full Notice here.

Please note that no further extension beyond the March 2, 2017 deadline is allowed.  Therefore, this deadline for furnishing the Forms to individuals must be met.  However, additional extensions may still be available for filing these Forms with the IRS.

Background

As provided in previous Client Alerts, information reporting requirements are applicable under two Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) sections as follows:

  • Section 6055 for insurers, self-insuring employers, and certain other providers of minimum essential coverage; and
  • Section 6056 for applicable large employers.

By way of background, the IRS requires applicable large employers and sponsors of self-insured health plans to report on the health coverage offered and/or provided to individuals beginning calendar year 2015.  Although the reporting requirements extend to other entities that provide “minimum essential coverage” (such as health insurance issuers), this Client Alert focuses on the requirements imposed on employers.

Employers who are deemed applicable large employers, as well as employers of any size who offer self-funded health coverage, must carefully review and study these instructions, which set forth numerous details, definitions and indicator codes which must be used to complete the requisite forms.  The instructions address the “when, where and how” to file, extensions and waivers that may be available, how to file corrected returns, and potential relief from penalties imposed for incorrect or incomplete filing.

The IRS utilizes information from these returns to determine which individuals were offered minimum essential coverage, whether individuals were eligible for premium tax credits in the Marketplace, as well as to determine penalties to be imposed on employers under Pay or Play (Code section 4890H; Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage, 26 CFR Parts 1, 54, and 301, 79 Fed. Reg. 8543 (Feb. 12, 2014)).   Due to the impact of proper reporting, a clear understanding of these forms and instructions is essential.

Code section 6056 applies to applicable large employers (generally employers with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees).  Information with respect to each full-time employee (whether or not offered coverage) must be reported on Form 1095-C.  Transmittal Form 1094-C must accompany the Forms 1095-C; all the Forms 1095-C together with the Transmittal Form 1094-C constitute the Code section 6056 information return that is required to be filed with the IRS.  For applicable large employers who self-insure, there is a separate box to complete which incorporates the information required under Code section 6055.

Code section 6055 applies to employers of any size who self-insure.  Non-applicable large employers with self-funded plans must report their information on Form 1095-B, as well as on transmittal Form 1094-B.  All of the Forms 1095-B together with the Transmittal Form 1094-B constitute the Code section 6055 information return that is required to be filed with the IRS.  Again, if the employer who self-insures is also an applicable large employer, the employer will instead use Forms 1095-C and 1094-C, which include a section for self-insured plans.

Employers subject to these requirements must report in early 2017 for the entire 2016 calendar year.

Additionally, employers must provide informational statements to the individuals for whom they are reporting.  Form 1095-C or Form 1095-B (as applicable) may be used as this informational statement.

The links to the Final Forms and Instructions are below:

2016 Forms for Applicable Large Employers (Code Section 6056)

2016 Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C: click here.

Form 1095-C, Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage: click here.

Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns: click here.

Additionally, the IRS has posted numerous Questions and Answers regarding Code section 6056 on its website, here.

2016 Forms for Employers who Self-Fund (Code Section 6055)

2016 Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B

Form 1095-B, Health Coverage

Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns

The IRS’ Questions and Answers regarding Code section 6055 can be found here.

Change in Forms for 2016

The changes to the 2016 forms are reflected in the above Instructions but are relatively minor in scope.  The most noteworthy changes are to Form 1094-C with the removal of the Line 22 box for “Qualifying Offer Method Transition Relief” as it was only applicable for 2015; as well as two new Line 14 codes (1J and 1K) added to Form 1095-C which are available to reflect conditional offers of coverage to an employee’s spouse. As explained in the instructions, a conditional offer of coverage to a spouse is “an offer of coverage that is subject to one or more reasonable, objective conditions (for example, an offer to cover an employee’s spouse only if the spouse is not eligible for coverage under Medicare or a group health plan sponsored by another employer).”  See 2016 Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

Penalties Imposed

Both sets of Instructions (for Forms 1094/1095-B and Forms 1094/1095-C) set forth the following penalty information for failure to comply with the information reporting requirements for 2016:

The penalty for failure to file a correct information return is $260 for each return for which the failure occurs, with the total penalty for a calendar year not to exceed $3,193,000.

The penalty for failure to provide a correct payee statement is $260 for each statement for which the failure occurs, with the total penalty for a calendar year not to exceed $3,193,000.

Special rules apply that increase the per-statement and total penalties if there is intentional disregard of the requirement to file the returns and furnish the required statements.

However, the IRS has continued the good faith transition relief from penalties for 2016.   Indeed, IRS Notice 2017-70 states:

Specifically, this notice extends transition relief from penalties under sections 6721 and 6722 to reporting entities that can show that they have made good-faith efforts to comply with the information-reporting requirements under sections 6055 and 6056 for 2016 (both for furnishing to individuals and for filing with the Service) for incorrect or incomplete information reported on the return or statement. This relief applies to missing and inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other information required on the return or statement. No relief is provided in the case of reporting entities that do not make a good-faith effort to comply with the regulations or that fail to file an information return or furnish a statement by the due dates (as extended under the rules described above).

Thus, it is imperative to timely distribute and file the forms; otherwise penalties may ensue.

This correspondence is intended to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.

 

Questions? Contact us to learn more.


Elizabeth H. Latchana specializes in employee health and welfare benefits. Recognized for her outstanding legal work, she was selected as the 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” in Lansing for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law by Best Lawyers. Contact her for more information on this reminder or other matters at 517.377.0826 or elatchana@fraserlawfirm.com.
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New Rules Make Preventative Care for Alzheimer’s, Diabetes More Accessible for Medicare Patients

Employee Benefits AlertNew rules for Medicare services are about to take effect that will give people greater access to preventative care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) decided that, beginning January 1, 2017, Medicare will pay more for cognitive and behavioral assessments, diabetes prevention programs, and to patient-centered care for people living with multiple chronic conditions and cognitive impairment conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

CMS says the new payment rules are part of a push by the Administration to create a health-care system that emphasizes prevention and results in better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. The additional funding will go toward care coordination and patient-centered care, mental and behavioral health care, and cognitive impairment care assessment and planning.

Clinicians will also have the opportunity to be paid more for spending more time with patients. That extra time with physicians could be critically important for patients who have multiple chronic conditions, as older adults sometimes do.

For more information from CMS about the new rules, visit its website here and blog here.

Questions? Contact us to learn more.


Mysliwiec, Melisa

Fraser Trebilcock provides counsel on all matters relating to the legal planning for care and support of those needing Medicare and Medicaid. Attorney Melisa M. W. Mysliwiec focuses her work in the areas of Elder Law and Medicaid planning, estate planning, and trust and estate administration. She can be reached at mmysliwiec@fraserlawfirm.com or 616-301-0800. You can also click here to learn more about our Trusts & Estates practice.

Attorney Douglas J. Austin Featured as a Best Lawyer For 25th Year in a Row

P-Austin, DougFraser Trebilcock Attorney Douglas J. Austin was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 in the field of Real Estate Law.

Mr. Austin was first listed in The Best Lawyers in America in 1989 in Real Estate Law. He has also achieved an AV© peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Best Lawyers©  is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly five million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas; Continue reading Attorney Douglas J. Austin Featured as a Best Lawyer For 25th Year in a Row

Employers Be Wary of Upcoming Health Plan Fees

Through the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Act”), the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (“Institute”) was created to promote research to advance the quality of evidence-based medicine.  The Institute is funded through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund, which is financed, in part, by fees paid by plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health plans and issuers of specified health insurance policies.  For the first year of applicability, the fee is $1 per covered life and increases for later years.

The first deadline for payment of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee is this July 31, 2013.

Continue reading Employers Be Wary of Upcoming Health Plan Fees