Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a “waiting period” is defined as the period that must pass before coverage for an individual who is otherwise eligible to enroll under the terms of a group health plan can become effective. The ACA prohibits group health plans and group health insurance issuers from imposing a waiting period that exceeds 90 days after an employee is otherwise eligible for health coverage. Generally, an individual is “eligible” to enroll in a health plan if he or she has met the plan’s substantive eligibility conditions, such as being in an eligible job classification, earning a certain level of commission, or satisfying a reasonable and bona fide employment-based orientation period. Once an individual is determined to be eligible for coverage under the terms of the health plan, the ACA’s final rule provides that a waiting period cannot exceed 90 days, including the enrollment date, weekends and holidays.
Articles Discussing California Employee Benefit Issues.
California has adopted a new law excluding from gross income, for state personal income tax purposes, any amount received by an employee from an employer to compensate for additional federal income taxes incurred by the employee from employer-provided health benefits because of the federal government’s failure to recognize same-sex spouses or domestic partners as the employee’s spouse for federal income tax purposes. This exclusion also includes any “grossed-up” amounts the employer provided to offset any taxes incurred by the employee on such reimbursement. The new law covers same-sex couples who are married or registered domestic partners whose employers reimburse them for federal taxes the couples pay on health care benefits for their partner and dependents. The exclusion applies to tax years 2013 to 2018.
Is the special salary continuation benefit payable only to public safety officers under California’s workers’ compensation law subject to the 104-week limit on payments for a temporary disability? The California Court of Appeal concluded that it is and has annulled an order directing Alameda County to pay additional benefits to an injured deputy sheriff. County of Alameda v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd., No. A135889 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2013).
The California Legislature has approved a pension reform bill endorsed by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill will impact retirement systems across the State, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), pension systems operating under the County Retirement Law of 1937 (“’37 Act”), and independent local agency systems. The only retirement systems that appear to have escaped pension reform are those that were created by an agency’s charter (e.g., the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System).