Treasury, IRS Now Allow $500 Rollovers on FSAs

The Department of the Treasury and the IRS today issued a notice modifying the longstanding “use-or-lose” rule for health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs). To make health FSAs more consumer-friendly and provide added flexibility, the updated guidance permits employers to allow plan participants to carry over up to $500 of their unused health FSA balances remaining […]

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USCIS Launches Redesigned Website

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the launch of the agency’s redesigned website available in both English and Spanish. The redesigned website provides customers with a simplified and more user-friendly experience, according to USCIS officials. “This redesign demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving the quality of service we provide,” said USCIS Director Alejandro […]

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NLRB Chairman Welcomes Griffin as New General Counsel

The Senate yesterday confirmed Richard F. Griffin Jr. as General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Griffin will replace Lafe E. Solomon, who has been acting general counsel since 2010. NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce immediately issued a statement, saying in part: “Having served as a staff attorney and as a member of […]

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Expiring Individual Health Plans Going Bye-Bye Under Obamacare

Bloomberg and other news sources are reporting that private health insurance plans carried by hundreds of thousands of Americans are being canceled prior to the start of the New Year, thrusting most of these policyholders onto the Marketplaces to find new insurance. Cancelation notices have already begun arriving in the mail for some of the […]

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Sunday Blackout Hits Obamacare Online Marketplaces Nationwide

A data center serving the Obamacare Marketplace websites in 14 state-operated exchanges as well as the nationwide HealthCare.gov site went down Sunday, blocking all online health insurance sign-up operations throughout the country. The data center, operated by Verizon's Terramark division, experienced a connectivity problem early Sunday that severed access to the federal databases needed for […]

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IRS Health Insurance Penalty Deadline Extended Six Weeks

Due to a conflict between the date that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said individuals must have health insurance or face a tax penalty and the date that the Marketplaces will cease selling coverage, the administration has pushed back the penalty date by six weeks. Both dates have now been set at March 31, 2014, […]

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Oklahoma Workplace Tobacco Laws Take Effect Nov. 1

Two laws coming into force on Nov. 1 in Oklahoma affect and clarify existing laws governing tobacco use in the workplace. New 21 Okla. Stat. § 1247 prohibits lighted tobacco products in any form in indoor workplaces. It does allow employers to establish smoking rooms that are fully enclosed and exhausted directly to the outside, […]

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Employees See No ‘Free Lunch’ in Obamacare, Survey Finds

A National Business Group on Health (NBGH) survey released yesterday shows that more than half of the employees questioned believe health care costs will rise this year and in succeeding years under Obamacare, while almost a third of those surveyed also think the quality of health care will decline. “There is some realism and the […]

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Snowden Out, Verizon In as HHS Seeks Fixes to HealthCare.Gov

Over the weekend, NSA secrets-leaker Edward Snowden claimed to have hacked into HeathCare.gov, the federal Obamacare Marketplace site, and said he could fix it in exchange for immunity against prosecution for stealing government files. Though Snowden was spurned, telecom giant Verizon evidently was called in to help fix things. "Our team is bringing in some […]

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NLRB Tacks on 16 Days to Filing Deadlines Because of Shutdown

As previously discussed here, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) counted days closed because of the government shutdown over funding issues as "holidays," and thus it announced it would extend any filing deadlines by the length of the shutdown. It's now official: 16 days have been added to any filing deadlines (October 1 shutdown through […]

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