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Providing quality health care benefits is a top priority for ABC and its member companies. Throughout the health care reform debate, ABC advocated for policies that reduce the cost of health care for employers and their employees. ABC called on Congress to advance common-sense proposals that would address the skyrocketing costs of health insurance, especially for employer-sponsored plans and the rapidly rising number of uninsured Americans. ABC believes true reform should provide greater choice and affordability and allow private insurers to compete for business.

New Fact Sheets Available on Hazards Related to Scaffolds, Marine Terminals and Confined Spaces

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released three new fact sheets that are free to download from OSHA's Publications webpage. A ladder jack scaffolds fact sheet* illustrates how to prevent injuries from falls when using work platforms supported by portable ladders. A confined spaces fact sheet* emphasizes the OSHA requirement for employers to develop and implement procedures for summoning rescue or emergency services in permit-required confined spaces. Lastly, a fact sheet on longshoring in marine terminals* describes how to prevent semi-tractor driver injuries during container lifting operations. 

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EEOC Issues Fact Sheet for Small Businesses

March 8 (BNA) -- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued a simplified one-page fact sheet to help small businesses better understand their responsibilities under federal anti-discrimination laws, the agency announced March 3. The fact sheet, which is available in 30 different languages and links to other EEOC resources available to small businesses, is a product of the agency's small business task force led by Commissioner Constance Barker (R).

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IRS Extends Deadlines for ACA’s 2015 Information Reporting Requirements

A recent Newsline article discussed the upcoming deadlines for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 2015 information reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) sections 6055 and 6056. On Dec. 28, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-4, which extends the deadlines for the 2015 information reporting requirements, both furnishing to individuals and filing with the IRS.

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Deadlines Looming for ACA Employer Mandate and Reporting Requirements

Effective Jan. 1, 2016, under the employer mandate provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers with 50-99 full-time employees and full-time equivalent employees (applicable large employers) must offer full-time employees (and dependents) minimum essential coverage that is affordable and provides minimum value or be subject to heavy penalties. Note: effective for the 2015 calendar year, such employers are subject to reporting requirements (refer to Reporting Requirements section below).

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Compliance Alert –ACA Employer Reporting Requirements – Deadlines Approaching

Are you in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements? To learn about the reporting requirements and important upcoming deadlines, a webinar presented by ABC’s general counsel, Littler Mendelson is available for ABC members to view, which can be found. A login is required to view the webinar titled “Compliance Alert—Learn
About the Affordable Care Act’s New Reporting Requirements for 2015” and a PowerPoint is also available.  

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Read More About Employer Provisions

HHS Delays SHOP Online Enrollment for Small Employers

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Nov. 27 announced that online enrollment for small businesses in the federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace will be delayed one year until November 2014.  

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Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchanges) Enrollment Began Oct. 1

Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace (or Exchanges) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) began on Oct. 1. ABC’s Insurance Trust advises that it may be prudent for ABC members to hold off on taking any action.

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Employers Must Provide Employees Notice of Exchange Coverage Options

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, individuals and employees of small businesses will have access to health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (or Exchange). Open enrollment for coverage through the Marketplace begins Oct. 1, 2013. Section 18B of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as added by section 1512 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), requires employers to provide all new hires and current employees with a written notice about the Marketplace. 

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ABC Offers Feedback on D.C.'s Health Insurance Exchange Proposal

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states will be required to operate health insurance exchanges – marketplaces where individuals and small businesses can purchase private health insurance – beginning in 2014. Over the last several months, ABC has provided suggestions on how the exchanges can best be implemented.

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Guidance Issued on Health Insurance Exchanges and Summary of Benefits

The Department of Health and Human Services on May 16 issued new guidance for states on health insurance exchanges. In addition, HHS in conjunction with the Departments of Labor and Treasury, released an additional set of frequently asked questions regarding implementation of the summary of benefits and coverage provisions included in the health care law.

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ABC Urges Congressional Task Force to Advance Common-sense Health Care Solutions

On April 28, ABC submitted a letter to the chairmen of the congressional Task Force on Health Care Reform urging them to take action on common-sense health care solutions.  In the letter, ABC expressed its strong support for the task force’s mission to “modernize American health care with a patient-centered system that gives patients more choice and control, increases quality, and reduces costs.”

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ABC Joins Letter Urging Action on Small Business Healthcare Bill

On April 12, ABC joined more than 60 national and multi-state organizations across the country in sending a letter  to members of the House Committee on Ways and Means urging them to take action on the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (H.R. 2911 ).  The bill would allow small businesses that have fewer than 50 employees to offer employer payment plans and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to employees for the payment of premiums or qualified medical expenses associated with insurance coverage.

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President Obama Vetoes Legislation to Rollback Harmful ACA Provisions

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amended version of the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3762) Jan. 6, which would repeal several, job-killing provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The same version of the bill passed the Senate 52-47 in Dec. 2015.

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IRS Extends Deadlines for ACA’s 2015 Information Reporting Requirements

A recent Newsline article discussed the upcoming deadlines for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 2015 information reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) sections 6055 and 6056. On Dec. 28, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-4, which extends the deadlines for the 2015 information reporting requirements, both furnishing to individuals and filing with the IRS.

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February Updated Summary of Employer Requirements Contained in PPACA

An updated summary of employer requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is available for ABC members in a reference document provided by Washington Council Ernst & Young. The document is available on the health care law employer tool kit (login required) on ABC’s website.

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Read More About Health Care Taxes

Amendment to Exempt DOD, NNSA from ‘Blacklisting' Proposal Passes House Committee

An amendment which would exempt the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) from the controversial “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order 13673, proposed rule and guidance, commonly referred to as “blacklisting,” passed the House Armed Services Committee on April 28.

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New Fact Sheets Available on Hazards Related to Scaffolds, Marine Terminals and Confined Spaces

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released three new fact sheets that are free to download from OSHA's Publications webpage. A ladder jack scaffolds fact sheet* illustrates how to prevent injuries from falls when using work platforms supported by portable ladders. A confined spaces fact sheet* emphasizes the OSHA requirement for employers to develop and implement procedures for summoning rescue or emergency services in permit-required confined spaces. Lastly, a fact sheet on longshoring in marine terminals* describes how to prevent semi-tractor driver injuries during container lifting operations. 

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ABC Urges Congressional Task Force to Advance Common-sense Health Care Solutions

On April 28, ABC submitted a letter to the chairmen of the congressional Task Force on Health Care Reform urging them to take action on common-sense health care solutions.  In the letter, ABC expressed its strong support for the task force’s mission to “modernize American health care with a patient-centered system that gives patients more choice and control, increases quality, and reduces costs.”

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House Committee Holds Hearing on DOL’s Final Persuader Rule

ABC reiterated its opposition to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “persuader rule” ahead of the April 27 U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing on how the newly finalized regulation limits employers’ rights and undermines the right of workers to make informed decisions in union elections. The final rule, issued March 23, redefines “persuader” activity under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and triggers expanded reporting requirements for employers and their attorneys. 

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ABC Continues to Push Back Against Controversial WOTUS Rule

The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship continued its oversight of the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) regulation April 27, holding a hearing on how small businesses were left out of the rulemaking process as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). At the hearing, members of the committee heard from stakeholders, who expressed concern about the onslaught of new regulations from the Obama administration and the detrimental impact they have on small businesses.

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