The HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), which is the agency responsible for enforcement of the HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification rules (“HIPAA Rules”), announced a recent $2.175 million settlement with a covered entity under HIPAA (the “Covered Entity”) for the Covered Entity’s failure to properly notify HHS of a breach of unsecured protected health information (“PHI”) as required by the HIPAA Rules, and other potential violations. Background OCR had investigated the Covered Entity in response to an individual complaint it received that alleged the Covered Entity had sent correspondence to the individual containing another person’s PHI. OCR’s investigation determined that the Covered Entity had mailed correspondence containing the PHI of 577 individuals to the wrong addresses. In some of the correspondence, the PHI consisted of the names and account numbers of the individuals and their dates of medical service. The Covered Entity had reported this incident to HHS… Continue Reading
When the book is closed on 2019, it will be remembered by many risk managers as the “hardest” insurance market in years. While the effects of a hardening market have been more pronounced in some sectors and magnified for specific coverages, policyholders across the board have experienced increases in premiums, reduced capacity, and more restrictive terms in all lines. These adverse market conditions have appropriately prompted many insureds to develop new strategies for renewals in 2019 and in the year ahead. Equal attention should be paid to the pursuit of outstanding claims. Effective claims management can not only increase recovery for the policyholder in the short run but may also influence future underwriting and the impact of continued hardening in markets over the coming year. Here are five tips for policyholders to increase recovery of claims in the current hard insurance market. Provide Timely Notice Of Claims & Continue To… Continue Reading
In Notice 2019-64, the IRS published the Required Amendments List for 2019, which lists statutory and administrative changes in plan qualification requirements that (i) are first effective in the plan year in which the list is published and (ii) may require a plan amendment. This year’s list contains two items related to the final regulations for (x) hardship distributions, which implement legislative changes enacted in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, and (y) certain collectively bargained cash balance/hybrid defined benefit plans maintained pursuant to one or more collective bargaining agreements ratified on or before November 13, 2015. The deadline for adopting any required amendments described in this year’s list is December 31, 2021. In addition, any required amendments that were listed in the 2017 Required Amendments List must be adopted (if applicable to an employer’s plan) by December 31, 2019. The 2017 list included three items that relate to (i)… Continue Reading
In Notice 2019-63, the IRS extended the due date, from January 31, 2020 to March 2, 2020, for furnishing to individuals the 2019 Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C. This notice does not, however, extend the due date to file Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C with the IRS, which are due by February 28, 2020 (paper filing) or March 31, 2020 (filing electronically), although certain other extensions may be available. This notice also extends the IRS’s good faith transition relief from penalties that could apply for incorrect or incomplete information reported on such forms furnished to individuals or filed with the IRS. This relief does not apply if the forms were not filed or furnished by the applicable due date. Notice 2019-63 is available here.
First Circuit Reverses Lower Court Ruling that Private Equity Funds are Liable for a Portfolio Company’s Pension Liability
On November 22, 2019, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s finding that Sun Capital Partners III and Sun Capital Partners IV (collectively, the “Funds”) formed a “partnership-in-fact” in connection with the Funds’ investment in a bankrupt portfolio company (Scott Brass) that incurred pension plan withdrawal liability. Our prior review of the district court’s ruling is available on our blog here. ERISA imposes joint and several liability on each member of a controlled group for certain liabilities, including pension plan withdrawal liabilities. A “controlled group” includes trades or businesses that are under common control, which typically means 80% common ownership. Notwithstanding the fact that Sun Capital Partners III and Sun Capital Partners IV owned 30% and 70% of Scott Brass, respectively, the district court previously determined that by the Funds’ co-investment in the portfolio company, the two formed a “partnership-in-fact” that owned 100% of Scott Brass… Continue Reading