On October 18, 2022, the IRS announced an increase to the medical flexible spending limit from $2,850 to $3,050 for 2023. If an employer allows the carryover of unused health FSA amounts, the maximum carryover amount will increase from $570 to $610.
The US Department of Labor announced that they are expanding the criteria for placement in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Severe Violator Enforcement Program in order to strengthen and improve compliance for safety standards.
Per OSHA's news release, the updated criteria will now include the following:
You can find the news release at US Department of Labor announces changes to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program to strengthen enforcement, improve compliance | Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
On September 15th, Safer Federal Workforce Task Force clarified that they will not implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees.
SFWTF_model agency safety principles_20220915.pdf (saferfederalworkforce.gov)
Employers that offer prescription drug coverage in 2023 must provide notices of coverage to Medicare eligible employees or covered dependents by October 14, 2022. This is before the annual Medicare Part D enrollment period begins which is from October 15th to December 7. The notice requirement applies to both fully insured and self-funded plans.
Model Notices are available at:
Credible: Important Notice to those Covered under Sponsor Plans (cms.gov)
Non-Credible: Important Notice to those Covered under Sponsor Plans (cms.gov)
Following President Biden's executive order on ensuring access to reproductive health care, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor issued guidance for birth control coverage protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most non-grandfathered health plans are required to provide contraceptives at no cost to members.
Read the new guidance at: FAQS ABOUT AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IMPLEMENTATION PART 54 (cms.gov)
The IRS announced the 2023 affordability threshold for group health plans which will be 9.12 percent down from 9.61 percent for 2022. The affordability threshold is adjusted annually and is used to determine if an employer's lowest premium health plan meets the affordability requirement which affects an employer's potential liability for penalties. The affordability threshold is applied on a plan year basis - not calendar year.
The US Department of Health and Human Services announced that they will be declaring a Public Health Emergency due to the ongoing spread of monkeypox. The US has reported more than 7,000 cases of monkeypox across 48 states. Monkeypox is most often spread through close, personal, and often skin to skin contact per the CDC.
HHS Release: Biden-Harris Administration Bolsters Monkeypox Response; HHS Secretary Becerra Declares Public Health Emergency | HHS.gov
CDC Website for Monkeypox: Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC
Due to high numbers of fatalities in the first six months of 2022, the US DOL plans to announce enhanced nationwide enforcement of trench safety. OSHA Compliance Officers plan to perform more than 1,000 trench inspections. More information can be found at: Alarming rise in trench-related fatalities spurs US Department of Labor to announce enhanced nationwide enforcement, additional oversight | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)
On 7/16/2022, the US transitioned the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from a 10-digit number to 988. The line also links to the Veterans Crisis Line. This initiative is part of President Biden's strategy to support American's mental health.
More information is available at: U.S. Transition to 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Begins Saturday | HHS.gov
Roe v. Wade was overturned on Friday, June 24th in a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court stating there is no longer a constitutional right to an abortion. The court’s ruling gives individual states the power to set their own abortion laws. The ruling may lead employers to review their employee’s healthcare benefits following the decision.
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