More HH Legal Updates

Houston Harbaugh is a full service law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh and serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. This collection of blogs further highlights the firms capabilities in several practice areas.

Reminder of Annual QSEHRA Notice Requirement 2018

The law governing Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) requires that a written notice of the availability of the QSEHRA be provided to each eligible employee at least 90 days before the beginning of each year. While special rules for 2017 and 2018 allowed for later deadlines (since QSEHRAs were new and the rules were still being developed), no special deadline is available for a QSEHRA providing benefits in 2019. Therefore, an employer providing a QSEHRA for 2019 must provide the written notice no later than October 3, 2018.

New Employees
In the case of an employee who is not eligible to participate in the QSEHRA at the beginning of the year (e.g., an employee hired during the year), the notice must be provided no later than the date the employee becomes eligible to participate. Thus, an employer maintaining a QSEHRA should have procedures in place to ensure that timely delivery of the notice is accomplished with respect to all new employees.

The law imposes a penalty of $50 per employee (up to a maximum of $2,500 per employer per year) for failure to provide the notice in a timely manner. Therefore, any employer who maintains a QSEHRA should be sure to have reminders in place to ensure that the notice requirement is not overlooked for any year.

Electronic Delivery
IRS guidance confirms that electronic media (e.g., email) may be used to deliver the QSEHRA notice. (See Treasury Regulation Section 1.401(a)-21 for more details regarding electronic delivery of notices pertaining to employee benefit plans, including QSEHRAs.)

The information required to be provided via the annual QSEHRA notice includes (a) a statement of the amount of the benefit for which the employee is eligible, (b) a statement that the employee must inform any Marketplace (e.g., the federal Marketplace at to which the employee applies for advance payments of the premium tax credit of the amount of the available QSEHRA benefit, and (c) a statement that if the employee does not have “minimum essential coverage” for any month, reimbursements under the QSEHRA will be included in taxable income. (Since the individual shared responsibility payment under the Affordable Care Act was repealed for years after 2018, references to potential liability for that payment can be omitted from notices for 2019 and subsequent years.)

Adjusted Dollar Limits
The applicable QSEHRA dollar limits for a year are not expected to be published until mid-October of the prior year, and therefore will not be known until after the due date of the annual notice. For this reason (and subject to the terms of the QSEHRA plan document), an employer is permitted to use the limits for the prior year (e.g., $5,050 for single coverage and $10,250 for family coverage for 2018) to determine benefits for the new year. For a QSEHRA that uses the actual indexed limits for the year, it is suggested that the employer make reference to the prior year limits, and then issue a supplemental notice after the actual limits have been published.

About Us

Trusted and Cost-Effective Business Law, Business Litigation and Estate Planning Attorneys and Counselors; Building Client Confidence™ with Businesses and Individuals Since 1975

Our firm offers individualized solutions and the highest quality, client-driven and cost effective legal services. Houston Harbaugh, P.C., is a well-known law firm in Pittsburgh, serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. Our diverse practice areas include Business Law, Business Litigation, Estate and Succession Planning, Intellectual Property Litigation and Prosecution, Employment and Labor, Employee Benefits, Oil and Gas, Landowner and Property Dispute Counseling and Litigation, Health Care, Environmental, Real Estate, Construction, Complex Tort and Catastrophic Injury Litigation, Insurance coverage and Bad Faith Law, Mediation, Arbitration and Special Master appointment work. As one of the 20 largest law firms in Pittsburgh, our lawyers serve clients on a regional and national basis.

We regularly represent regional, national and international insurance carriers in defense, insurance coverage, unfair trade practices and bad faith matters, and we issue opinions letters and coverage analyses for insurers. We defend designers, manufacturers and sellers in pharmaceutical, products and medical products liability matters and we litigate and try cases involving catastrophic injuries, industrial accidents, toxic torts, professional, engineering and architectural negligence, and agent and broker claims and lawsuits.

Why Houston Harbaugh, P.C.? The Answer Is Clear.

We are accomplished litigators with a strong track record of success in the courtroom and in jury trials. We design and manage business transactions, succession planning, banking and regulatory issues. Our firm has regularly been featured in the U.S. News “Best Lawyers”® rankings of Pittsburgh’s “Best Law Firms.” Our attorneys are also regularly nominated as “Best Lawyers” in this publication. In addition, many of our attorneys are consistently recognized in the annual national Super Lawyers peer review rankings, and our corporate practice has been selected as the winner of The Legal Intelligencer’s Best Law Firm Corporate Practices contest for the Midsize Firm category. Our property and landowner counseling and litigation practice in Oil and Gas and Real Estate is ranked at the top on a regional basis. We help clients to apply for, prosecute, audit, manage and protect intellectual property rights in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets. We are admitted to the USPTO and have experience in the TTAB. Some of our firm’s shareholders are Adjunct Professors of Law at the Duquesne University School of Law in litigation and intellectual property courses.

Helping You Achieve Your Goals For Over 40 Years

Since our inception as a health care practice in 1975, our attorneys have represented clients in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and throughout the nation. We have grown into a multi-disciplinary practice with the ability to handle complex business transactional and litigation matters. We counsel on estate and succession planning and on trust and guardianship matters. We have a strong employment and labor practice. We represent clients in trade secret counseling and federal Defend Trade Secret Act (DTSA) counseling and litigation. Our DTSALaw® practice group is well versed in this federal body of trade secret law. We counsel, draft, litigate and defend claims involving employment non-compete, restrictive covenants, non-disclosure agreements and breach of contract matters. We service clients in the collection of debts and in bankruptcy creditor matters. Houston Harbaugh litigates in Orphans and Probate courts for matters involving estates and trusts. We also provide mediation and arbitration services to parties involved in litigation and our lawyers are currently serving as court appointed special masters in the Federal Courts.

Contact us and Learn How We Can Help You and Your Business

For more information on how we can help you, call our Pittsburgh office at 412-281-5060. You can also reach us online.

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