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About Tina Bull

Tina Bull, VP of Compliance Services for the Employee Benefits practice, is responsible for managing and overseeing all activities of the Compliance Services Department. She advises and assists clients with respect to health/welfare plan design, administration and communication, with focus on current benefit laws and regulations. Tina’s areas of expertise include: Internal Revenue Code and ERISA requirements for health and welfare benefit plans; Internal Revenue Code Section 125 cafeteria plan implementation and administration; COBRA administrative requirements; HIPAA administrative simplification, privacy and security compliance and benefit taxation issues. In addition to conducting internal training for employee benefits staff, she has spoken at numerous seminars on regulatory compliance issues.

IRS Provides Short-Term Relief for HSA Eligibility in Maryland (Benefit Alert)

Tina Bull • Mar 6th, 2018

male contraception and sterilization procedures coverage

Current Maryland insurance law requires all policies issued or renewed in the state after January 1, 2018 to provide coverage for male contraception and sterilization procedures without being subject to any cost-sharing requirements (including the deductible).

This mandate created a question as to whether such plans could still be considered Qualified High Deductible Health Plans (QHDHP) under current IRS guidance and uncertainty regarding the eligibility of individuals covered by these plans to make Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions or receive employer HSA contributions on a tax favored basis.  As a reminder, only fully-insured plans issued in Maryland are impacted.

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Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (MHWFA)

Tina Bull • Feb 21st, 2018

Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (MHWFA)

On January 12, 2018, the Maryland legislature enacted the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (MHWFA) by overriding Governor Hogan’s veto from the prior legislative session. The MHWFA requires all Maryland employers to provide sick and safe leave to eligible employees.  Legislative attempts to delay the effective date of the Act have been unsuccessful, so it is in force as of February 11, 2018. Continue Reading

Federal Legislation Impacts Employee Benefit Plans (Benefit Minute)

Tina Bull • Jan 30th, 2018

This Benefit Minute provides an overview of benefit-related items in the new tax reform law and in the short-term continuing resolution that ended the partial federal government shutdown and funded the government through February 8th. Continue Reading

Benefit Alert: IRS Again Extends Deadline to Provide Forms 1095-B & 1095-C

Tina Bull • Jan 5th, 2018

On December 22, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service extended the deadline to provide 2017 Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C from January 31, 2018 to March 2, 2018.   This 30-day extension is automatic. Employers and insurers do not have to request it.  Employers and insurers are still encouraged to distribute the forms as soon as they are able.  There is no extension of the due dates to file with the IRS.  The due date is April 2, 2018 for electronic filing (or February 28, 2018 if filed on paper). Continue Reading

Benefit Plan and Payroll Limits for 2018 (Benefit Minute)

Tina Bull • Dec 22nd, 2017

Set forth below are the 2018 and 2017 limitations for qualified plans and other benefit related items. See the table of information.

IRS Employer Mandate Penalty Assessments Begin

Tina Bull • Nov 30th, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has begun assessing Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate penalties for 2015 by sending certain employers Letter 226J, the preliminary tax penalty notification letter. Continue Reading

Executive Branch Takes Action on the ACA (Benefit Minute)

Tina Bull • Oct 17th, 2017

Executive Order on ACA

In the last week, the Trump administration has taken action to make changes to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This action includes two new interim final regulations that scale back the ACA’s contraceptive coverage mandate, an Executive Order related to association health plans (AHP), health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) and short-term limited-duration insurance, and an announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that government payments to insurers for cost-sharing reductions will cease immediately.  The recent flurry of activity appears to be the administration’s response to the failure of repeal and replace legislation to move through Congress. Continue Reading

Recent Court Cases Impacting Employee Benefits (Benefit Minute)

Tina Bull • Sep 27th, 2017

This issue of the Benefit Minute summarizes recent judicial activity which may affect employers and their benefit plans. Continue Reading

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Drug Importation Program Risks (Benefit Minute)

Tina Bull • Aug 30th, 2017

The continuing increases in prescription drug costs has led some group health plan sponsors to consider arrangements whereby employees are provided with a referral to an international pharmacy or dispensing service to obtain drugs from outside the United States.  This referral program will generally be offered on a voluntary basis (in addition to other prescription drug benefits offered under the plan) and provide for purchase of brand name drugs at little or no cost to the employee or dependent. Promoters of these programs view them as an expansion of the FDA’s long-standing practice of allowing individuals to import prescription drugs for their own personal use.  Continue Reading