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February 21, 2017

The 21st Century Cures Act, passed and signed into law in December, includes a provision creating what is called a "Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement" (QSEHRA). A QSEHRA allows small (non-ALE) employers who do not offer group health insurance to their employees to provide money to employees on a tax-free basis. The money can be used to pay for individual health policies and to reimburse employees for certain medical expenses.

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February 21, 2017

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel has issued a memorandum clarifying the tax treatment of certain types of fixed indemnity plans offered by employers. The memorandum states that the benefits provided by a fixed indemnity health plan must be treated as taxable income to an employee if the plan is employer-paid or if the employee can purchase the coverage on a pre-tax basis through a cafeteria plan.

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February 21, 2017

As mentioned in many previous communications, all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) and/or sponsors of self-funded health plans are required to file their 2016 1095-series forms and accompanying 1094 transmittal form(s) to the IRS, postmarked no later than February 28, 2017 (or if filing electronically, transmitted to the IRS no later than March 31, 2017). Note that those filing 250 or more 1095 forms for the year must file electronically. Regardless of the method of filing, the deadline fir distributing 1095 forms to employees and other plan participants is March 2, 2017.

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January 27, 2017

The State of Missouri has taken the lead on preventing incidents related to the use of dicamba resistant seeds. Kevin Bradley, a weed specialist at the University of Missouri hopes other farmers around the country can learn from the "dicamba debacle" that occurred last year in his state. 

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December 14, 2016

Physical abilities testing (PAT) is a useful tool many employers use for selecting the right person for a particular position. Ms Deborah Lechner of ErgoScience, Inc. has penned a very informative article discussing how a pre-employment PAT can help mitigate risk for both the employer and employee.

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December 9, 2016

A December 1st deadline remains in effect for OSHA's enforcement of anti-retaliation provisions in its injury tracking rule, after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied a motion that challenged the new provisions. Read more...

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December 9, 2016

The final rule includes new and revised provisions addressing fixed ladders, rope descent systems, fall protection systems and criteria, and training. Read more about the new rule and find the OSHA produced FactSheet.

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December 8, 2016

A few weeks ago, the IRS Issued Notice 2016-70 delaying the due date for employers and insurers to provide the 2016 Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to employees and plan participants. This notice extends the deadline 30 days from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. Read more about IRS forms and important deadlines.

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September 27, 2016

It took a truly team effort to save the life of Central Nebraska man trapped inside a grain bin. The Emergency Response Team of Central Valley Ag Cooperative was called into assist the Neligh, Nebraska volunteer fire department in the successful extraction of the trapped man. 

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August 5, 2016

OSHA and the Department of Justice have teamed up to target worker endangerment violations in an attempt to encourage employers to provide a safer working environment for their employees. 

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