News & Events

Friday, March 24th

Healthcare Reform Dies in Congress

On Friday March 24, 2017, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, announced that the American Health Care Act has been pulled from consideration on the House floor. Republicans were not able to garner a sufficient number of votes amongst conservative and some moderate members in order to secure passage in the House. The bill, had it passed, would have begun the process of reforming major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) including the employer and individual mandates. With this legislative defeat, Speaker Ryan acknowledged that, “we will be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

Speaker Ryan further announced that the Republicans will be moving on to other items in their legislative agenda including tax reform and infrastructure spending. This in effect kills heath care reform for at least 2017. In fact, there may not be another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act until after the mid-term elections in 2018.

Please contact Morris & Garritano Director of Compliance Keith Dunlop at kdunlop@morrisgarritano.com or 805.597.6378 for questions regarding this or any other ACA-related issue.


Thursday, January 5th

2017 Benefit Advisors Webinar Series

The Morris & Garritano employee benefit webinar series is designed to provide our clients with the latest updates on employee health and welfare best practices, compliance strategies, and regulatory updates.

All webinars are eligible for HRCI, SHRM and CEBS credits unless noted otherwise.

An Overview of the ACA Reporting Requirements
(Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C)

Join Stacy Barrow, Esq. for an informative webinar answering common questions  and discussing best practices, including “limited non-assessment periods”.

Participants will come away with an understanding of how to address opt-out payments, non-union employees, and conditional offers of coverage to spouses.

This webinar is ideal for Applicable Large Employers with 50 or more full time employees.

To register for this webinar:
CLICK HERE
Password:ACA0111

January 11, 2017

9:00 am – 10:00 am PST

Legal Disclaimer: Benefit Advisors Network is not a legal entity and nothing herein should be construed as legal advice. Always consult an attorney on all legal and compliance matters. Benefit Advisors Network is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained herein. © Copyright 2017 Benefit Advisors Network. Smart Partners. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, November 16th

Post-Election Returns: What Now for Obamacare?

The votes have been counted and Donald Trump is the president-elect and Republicans control Congress. Among the many questions around the proverbial watercooler is what now for “Obamacare”? While it is impossible for anyone to predict the future, we undertake to make a short, best guess about the future of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

legal-alert_post-election-returns-what-now-for-obamacare


Tuesday, September 27th

Medicare Part D Advisory

Medicare Part D: Plan Sponsors Must Provide Notices to Participants by October 15, 2016 

DISCLOSURE TO INDIVIDUALS – Group health plan sponsors must provide Medicare Part D creditable coverage notices prior to October 15th, the start date of the Medicare annual enrollment period for Part D, Prescription Drug coverage. The enrollment period is October 15th – December 7th. The October 15th deadline applies to all group health plan sponsors that offer prescription drug benefits, regardless of plan year, plan size, employer size, grandfather status, or whether the plan is insured or self-funded.

The purpose of the disclosure is to inform Medicare beneficiaries of whether the employer’s drug coverage is expected to provide coverage comparable to the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Medicare-eligible employees should keep the creditable coverage notice for future reference. If a Medicare-eligible employee or dependent becomes eligible for Part D and decides not to enroll because he or she has employer-sponsored coverage, a creditable coverage notice allows them to enroll in Part D later without being charged a higher premium. For individuals enrolled in a non-creditable drug plan, failure to enroll in Part D when first eligible will result in higher premium if they enroll in Part D later.

The Notice of Creditable Coverage must be distributed to all individuals enrolled in an employer’s group health plan that fall within one of the following categories:

  1. Active employees or COBRA participants over age 65 entitled to Medicare (Part A and/or B)
  2. Spouses of active employees over age 65 entitled to Medicare (Part A and/or B)
  3. Dependent children of active employees entitled to Medicare (Part A and/or B) regardless of age
  4. Retirees over age 65 entitled to Medicare (Part A and/or B)
  5. Spouses of active employees and/or retirees entitled to Medicare Part A and/or B
  6. Dependent children of a retiree entitled to Medicare (Part A and/or B) regardless of age

Because employers may not know if spouses and/or dependents of employees or retirees are Medicare-eligible, the recommendation is to provide the notice to all covered employees.

MODEL NOTICES – CMS provides model creditable coverage notices in their website here. Model notices are available in both English and Spanish. Many plan sponsors customize the Model Medicare Part D Notices provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to notify affected plan participants.

ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTION – Employers can distribute these notices electronically to participants who have the ability to access electronic documents at their regular place of work as long as those participants have access to the electronic information system on a daily basis as part of their work duties. Employers can distribute electronically under these circumstances without the participant’s consent. Participants must be informed, however, that they are responsible for providing a copy of the electronic notice to their Medicare-eligible dependents covered under the group health plan.

DISCLOSURE TO CMS – Employers are also required to notify CMS online annually that they have sent out these Part D notices. The notice to CMS is due within 60 days after the start of the plan year, or no later than March 1 for calendar year plans.

Contact Morris & Garritano Director of Compliance Keith Dunlop for further information regarding this or any other ACA-related issue.


Wednesday, August 17th

Anthem Temporarily Adjusts Medical & Pharmacy Guidlines

In an effort to help alleviate some of the stress related to the Clayton and Chimney fires, Anthem Blue Cross is making some temporary adjustments to their medical and pharmacy guidelines. Please click here to read Anthem’s full press release for more detailed information.

Stay safe out there!

 


Tuesday, July 19th

M&G Teams Up with Benefits Advisors Network

As your trusted advisor, we deliver thoughtful solutions in employee benefit plan design and administration.  We have a long history of consistently investing in resources and capabilities that provide meaningful value to our clients. Reflecting a core value that we build collaborative relationships, we are proud to announce that our agency was recently selected for membership in the Benefit Advisors Network (BAN). BAN is a national team of premier, independent employee benefit firms.

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