On Nov. 14, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, issued an updated version of Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form). Under federal law, every employer that recruits, refers for a fee or hires an individual for employment in the United States must complete an I-9 Form.
After hard-fought campaigns by both candidates, Republican candidate Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States. Trump’s victory in the election, along with Republican majorities retained in both the Senate and House of Representatives, will likely have a significant impact on a number of compliance issues over the next four years.
During his campaign, Trump called for a repeal of President Barack Obama’s hallmark health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, Trump’s victory raises uncertainty over the future of other policies enacted under President Obama, including the new overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently released final versions of the 2016 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and
associated instructions. These forms will be used in early 2017 by Applicable Large Employers (“ALEs”) to report whether
the ALE offered (or did not offer) a full-time employee (“FTE”) health insurance coverage during the calendar year.
Additionally, for ALEs with self-insured plans, these Forms reflect coverage provided under a self-insured group health
plan to individuals (FTEs and non-FTEs) during calendar year 2016. Generally, the forms and instructions are substantially
similar to their draft versions and the 2015 forms, with the exception of two new reporting codes, removal of certain
transition relief that is no longer available and additional clarifications contained in the instructions.
On July 8, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations that, among other things, address
affordability determinations for individuals who are eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage. This proposed rule
builds on earlier guidance, Notice 2015-87, describing the effect an opt-out payment has on affordability. This latest
guidance likely signals the direction the IRS will take in their final rule with respect to the affordability of employer sponsored
health plans.Opt-Out Bonuses May Affect Affordability
Each year, Medicare Part D requires group health plan sponsors to disclose to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable. Plan sponsors must provide the annual disclosure notice to Medicare-eligible individuals before Oct. 15, 2016—the start date of the annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D. CMS has provided model disclosure notices for employers to use.
This notice is important because Medicare beneficiaries who are not covered by creditable prescription drug coverage and who choose not to enroll in Medicare Part D when first eligible will likely pay higher premiums if they enroll at a later date. Thus, although there are no specific penalties associated with this notice requirement, failing to provide the notice may trigger adverse employee relations issues.