09 February 2017

Payments Under Fixed Indemnity Health Plans May Be Taxable Under New IRS Memorandum

A new IRS Memorandum finds that payments under many employer-provided fixed indemnity health plans may be taxable.  Fortunately, there is a work around to avoid this tax result. What is an employer-provided fixed indemnity health plan? An employer-provided fixed indemnity health plan is typically a voluntary, employee-pay-all benefit provided to employees through an insurance policy.  […]


08 February 2017

Two Minute Update: First of Many Trump-Era Reforms?

The well-known Confucius saying, “May you live in interesting times” is certainly true for federal contractors. Three important events happened last week. First, on January 31 OFCCP issued an updated self-ID form for contractors to use for the next 3 years with voluntary disclosure of disability status. This is a mandatory form that must be […]


30 January 2017

Buying Background Checks From a Vendor? Check Your Forms!

Many employers contract with third parties to obtain background checks on job applicants.  If you are one of those employers, heed the warning sounded by a new federal court decision:  Make sure your background check documents are in the legally-required form, or face severe liability. An employer’s procurement of background check reports from a third […]


19 January 2017

Two Minute Legal Update – 2017: What’s New for Federal Contractors?

Welcome as we kick off the Two Minute Update – 2017.  Although a Trump administration likely means big changes ahead, including the possible roll back of some Obama era Executive Orders, several requirements went into effect at the start of this calendar year. Fair Pay Transparency The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order and […]


10 January 2017

Priority Alert – Health Care Reform, January 11, 2017

In 2016, the Office of Civil Rights issued new regulations requiring certain employer group health plans to provide coverage for transgender surgery and other transgender health benefits. This requirement was scheduled to take effect the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2017. However, a federal district court blocked this requirement on December 31, 2016. The injunction applies nationwide. This article is a must read since the injunction only applies to portions of the regulations.


10 January 2017

Special Needs Fairness Act

Individuals with disabilities can now create their own Special Needs Trusts. The 21st Century Cures Act, sometimes called the Special Needs Fairness Act, amended the Social Security Act to allow a competent individual under age 65 to establish and fund their own self-settled (first party) special needs trust.  A first party special needs trust can […]


08 January 2017

Court Blocks Requirement to Provide Coverage of Transgender Health Benefits

In 2016, the Office of Civil Rights issued new regulations requiring certain employer group health plans to provide coverage for transgender surgery and other transgender health benefits. This requirement was scheduled to take effect the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2017. However, a federal district court blocked this requirement on December 31, 2016. The injunction applies nationwide. This article is a must read since the injunction only applies to portions of the regulations.


21 December 2016

New HIPAA Guidance: How to Comply With HIPAA and Support Public Health Initiatives

On December 8, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, which enforces HIPAA, released a new fact sheet. The fact sheet provides guidance to healthcare providers on when HIPAA permits disclosure of protected health information to public health agencies that are authorized by state or federal law to collect health information.


16 December 2016

Michigan Getting With the Times on Domestic Asset Protection Trusts: The New Qualified Dispositions in Trust Act

In addition to wealth management and tax planning, protecting assets from creditors and predators can be an important part of a holistic estate plan. Risks that warrant proper asset protection planning may include professional malpractice, business lawsuits, incapacity and susceptibility to exploitation, divorce, bankruptcy, property and casualty claims, civil judgments and overall vulnerability to legal […]