Beth Alcalde

Beth Alcalde

A noted employee benefits lawyer, author, and speaker, Beth Alcalde represents Fortune 500 companies and other public and private entities, including those in the hospitality, healthcare, and higher education sectors, throughout the United States. Beth provides counsel on employer-sponsored benefit plans, from compliance with ERISA, the Affordable Care Act, and other federal regulations, to internal audits and benefits-related implications of corporate transactions. She assists clients in defending and responding to audits conducted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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BOLO: Cyber Attacks Against Retirement Plan Accounts

Employer-sponsored retirement plans have long been targets for cybercriminals. Employers should be on the lookout as the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the types and likelihood of potential cyber attacks against retirement plan accounts. After all, with many more Americans working remotely, interfacing with the secure plan recordkeeping sites is occurring around the clock from a wide range of personal computing … Continue Reading

CARES Act Impacts to Employer-Sponsored Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

Health and welfare benefit plans and insurers are affected by various provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed on March 27, 2020. In addition to provisions impacting tax-qualified retirement plans and executive compensation (summarized here), the CARES Act affects coverage of diagnostic testing, preventive services, telehealth services, and drug reimbursement. Here are the … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Inquiries and Disclosures in the Workplace

Once an employee has been exposed to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, what do you do? Once an employee has tested positive, what do you say? How does an employer walk the fine line between protecting the privacy of affected individuals and ensuring the safety of others in the workplace?

Because a national public health emergency has been … Continue Reading

IRS Issues Helpful Coronavirus-Related Guidance for Employers with High Deductible Health Plans

Benefit plan sponsors are responding to participant questions about the coronavirus/COVID-19. In particular, employers’ HR departments are fielding questions about whether their health plan will pay for any necessary testing and/or treatment. Both full-insured and self-funded plans are widely announcing plans to waive the cost of physician-ordered tests. But until now, there was one huge open question. Could participants in … Continue Reading

New Year, New Wellness Program Rules

Employers with established wellness programs that collect health information and/or require a medical exam can no longer rely on the EEOC regulations to justify that incentives provided under their wellness programs are voluntary. On December 20, the EEOC published a final rule (83 Fed. Reg. 65296) vacating the rules that allowed employers to offer those financial incentives to … Continue Reading

Employee Wellness Developments: Keeping Your Finger on the Pulse

As we alluded in our “Preparing for the Unknown: Open Enrollment 2018” blog post, employers that are finalizing their employee benefit plan designs in advance of the 2018 plan year would be well-advised to monitor the developments concerning the future of health care reform, the employee wellness program regulations, and mental health benefit enforcement activity.… Continue Reading

Preparing for the Unknown: Open Enrollment 2017

With Open Enrollment season just around the corner, employers have been hoping for answers regarding the direction of health insurance under the Trump Administration. However, it’s looking like clarity is a long way off. Despite the lack of certainty, there are a handful of important issues employers should keep in mind:

Future of the Affordable Care Act

Although the Trump … Continue Reading

New Notice Requirements For Employer Wellness Programs

Employers who sponsor employee wellness programs must plan now to comply with a new notice requirement that takes effect soon. Beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2017, employers sponsoring wellness programs that collect employee health information (such as through a health risk assessment or biometric screening) must issue a notice to employees before employees provide … Continue Reading

Preparing for the Approaching ACA Reporting Deadlines

With ACA reporting deadlines quickly approaching, many employers should be preparing to address the various reporting requirements in order to avoid the significant fines and penalties associated with non-compliance. As of January 2016, employers with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees (Applicable Large Employers or ALEs) will be subject to several complex ACA reporting requirements.… Continue Reading

Limiting an Employee’s Hours to Avoid Offering Group Health Plan Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act: Evaluating the Risks Over Time

Business leaders and human resources and employee benefits professionals are well aware of potential minefields for employer group health plan sponsors under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Large employer plan sponsors are careful to invest significant time and resources to avoid triggering any number of employer tax penalties.   … Continue Reading

Professional Employer Organizations: New Tax Services Possible

Currently, Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) have no comprehensive federal framework under which to offer employment tax collection and remittance services to their clients. The Small Business Efficiency Act (“SBEA Act”) is set to change this effective as of January 1, 2016, following an interim deadline for the IRS to establish a federal certification program for interested PEOs by July 1, … Continue Reading

Health Care Reform – New Guidance for Employers and Relief for Mid-Size Employers

Employers in all industries are well aware of the complexities of the Affordable Care Act, and the seemingly constant barrage of guidance that interprets the health care reform requirements that apply to them.  We have a recent perfect example.  A lengthy final rule was issued on February 12, 2014, jointly by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue … Continue Reading

Are You Considering Conditioning a Job Offer on an Agreement that the Applicant’s Disabled Dependent Won’t Enroll in the Health Plan? Don’t.

Traditional employment laws often interact with traditional employee benefit laws. One such example is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)’s impact on employer-sponsored group health plans. As group health plan costs continue to rise, and as federal health care reform legislation focuses additional attention on health plan design and coverage issues, it is important for employers to remain vigilant of … Continue Reading

Health Care Reform – Should Employers Reduce Expected Health Costs in 2014 by Transitioning Some Full Time Employees to Part Time Status Now?

2013 is shaping up to be a very busy year for employers in all industries, with the continued implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Recognizing that in 2014, applicable large employers will avoid ACA-related penalty taxes by offering required affordable group health plan coverage just to full-time employees (i.e., those working an average of … Continue Reading

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