On June 19, 2018, the EBSA issued final regulations related to the creation and maintenance of association health plans (AHPs) under ERISA. After considering over 900 public comments, the EBSA largely finalized the proposed regulations (see the Jan. 9, 2018, edition of Compliance Corner) with some clarification and a few modifications.
IRS Provides Tax Relief for Victims of Hawaii Volcanic Eruptions and Earthquakes
The IRS recently published guidance containing certain relief for those individuals and businesses affected by the continuing Hawaii volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that started on May 3, 2018.
Stolen Laptop Leads to $4.3M HIPAA Breach Penalty
On June 18, 2018, HHS announced that a $4,348,000 penalty against The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) was affirmed by an administrative law judge (ALJ). The penalty resulted from HIPAA privacy and security rule violations and represents the fourth largest amount awarded to OCR for a HIPAA violation.
Federal District Court Dismisses State Law Claims Due to ERISA Preemption
On May 18, 2018, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss state law claims in Stolebarger v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, 2018 WL 2287672 (N.D. Cal. 2018). As background, Stolebarger brought this case after Prudential denied his claims for long-term disability (LTD), which he was claiming due to suffering from mental illness. His LTD policy was provided through his employment with the Bryan Cave law firm. In bringing this case, Stolebarger claimed that Prudential had violated portions of California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), amongst other claims of breach of contract. In the alternative, Stolebarger asserted that they violated ERISA.