The Affordable Care Act’s provisions on expatriate health insurance

July 30, 2015 Leave a comment

flagsOn June 30, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department issued Notice 2015-43. The notice provides transition relief and interim guidance based on the application of particular provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to expatriate health insurance issuers, expatriate health plans, and employers in their capacity as plan sponsors of expatriate health plans, as defined in the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (EHCCA).

The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services aim to publish proposed regulations on the requirements for expatriate health plans, plan sponsors, and health insurance issuers. The departments are welcoming comments on defining the terms “expatriate health plan” and “qualified expatriate,” in addition to the interaction of the EHCCA with existing relief for expatriate health plans. Read more…

Examining the rewards and risks of wearable tech

wearable_techThe important role of technology in our daily lives continues to grow and is now being fueled by the development of smaller more personal devices. Wearable technology are small, electronic devices designed to track and collect data for various purposes – ranging from smart watches and fitness monitors, to full desktop experiences offered by smart glasses. According to a PwC report entitled The Wearable Future, twenty percent of Americans already own a wearable device and this number is expected to rise, with most users utilizes these devices to record exercise efficiency (81%), track dietary and medical info (71%), and for notifications on deals on retail purchases (51%).

The market for wearable tech is expected to expand with a jump from $5 billion in 2014 to over an estimated $12 billion by 2018, according to Statista. There is no denying the significant influence these wearable devices have on how we live and work, however as is the case with many forward-thinking innovations, along with the rewards of advancement also comes some risksRead more…

July 1st signaled the beginning of paid sick leave for MA and CA employees

health-insurance-615cs073012Employees in California and Massachusetts who previously did not receive paid sick leave are now eligible for this benefit.  In Massachusetts, employers must now provide all employees with five days of sick leave per year, paid or unpaid depending on the employer’s size. California employers, on the other hand, must now provide employees at least three paid sick days per year. Employers that already provide paid time off, vacation, or other leave benefits can potentially use existing policies to meet their new compliance obligations as long as its meets the minimum requirements of the new law. Below is a high-level overview of some of the major provisions of each state’s sick leave law. Read more…

Marital affair website demonstrates new dimensions of personal data risk

man_computerCyber risk for most organizations has a focus on the personal data of customers.  Primarily this means social security numbers, date of birth, address, credit card numbers and the like.  All of that is bad enough when lost in connection with a data breach, but companies must now also be aware of growing threats of cyber extortion schemes.

The recent announcement that Ashley Madison, the marital-affair-promoting website, has been hacked and subject to extortion takes these problems to a new level.  Disapproving hackers have told Ashley Madison to shut down the site or the extortionists will release customer data.  Reports say that despite Ashley Madison’s policy that private data can be scrubbed from the site for $19, the data is still available to hackers.  The motives of the hackers are still unclear, but what is unusual is that it is not a demand for money. Read more…

Cooperation from companies is crucial in reducing burden of criminal investigation

flag_scale_gavelAccording to a spokeswoman from the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, a company’s willingness to investigate its own possible wrongdoing and to identify those responsible, counts tremendously in the agency’s prosecutorial decisions. Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell told the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at New York University’s Law School that cooperation can, “significantly affect the length of the investigation and the costs incurred by the company. To receive cooperation credit, we expect companies to conduct appropriately tailored investigations designed to root out misconduct, identify wrongdoers and provide all available facts.” Read more…

The New York Stock Exchange network crash — a false sense of (cyber) security?

stocksMost people were relieved when investigators determined that the recent electronic disruptions at the New York Stock Exchange and United Airlines were caused by internal glitches and not by hackers. The NYSE system crash, caused by a faulty software upgrade, and the United Airlines outage, caused by a faulty router, received great attention as pictures of (and tweets by) idle traders and travelers appeared seemingly everywhere.

Because they involved computers and networks, these outages were discussed by the media with the vocabulary normally used to describe “cyber” events. That’s not surprising, given the initial fear that the NYSE crash in particular was caused by hacking. Read more…

Social engineering fraud – are you prepared?

Social Engineering Fraud is not a new phenomenon.  Who hasn’t received an e-mail asking to voluntarily send personal information to another so we can receive some sort of a large reward?  Most are aware of it, perhaps not by that name.

It comes in the form of an email or a trusted site. Hackers have learned how to trick their targets into falling for their scheme by taking advantage of human nature. There are stages to the attacks that mimic abuse: information gathering, relationship development, exploitation and execution. This grooming of the victim can result in claims of up to 100,000 or more for just one attack. Read more…

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