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Mark Brault

Compliance Advisor/Benefits Attorney at HNI

Recent Posts by Mark Brault:

What Is Insurance Fraud?

You’ve probably seen a movie or two where the big reveal at the end is that the bad guy was committing some sort of fraud for a big payout. Maybe they were orchestrating a giant scheme to swindle people or faking some sort of injury for a big healthcare payout. Either way, the root of their devious plot was probably some kind of insurance fraud. But insurance fraud isn’t just something from the fictional media—there are real forms of insurance fraud that are punishable by law and that do occur in real life. 


So what is insurance fraud really? Insurance fraud is a deliberate action to deceive done by either the buyer or seller of an insurance policy. Insurance fraud is illegal and punishable by law. Insurance fraud perpetrated by the seller could include selling fake policies, churning policies for higher commissions, or failing to submit premiums. Buyers or third-party claimants can commit fraud by exaggerating or padding claims, falsifying history or claims, or faking payout events like a kidnapping. While those may sound like a movie plot, these types of fraud can happen and can have very serious consequences. The most common type of fraud is a policyholder exaggerating a claim while faking a dramatic kidnapping is rare.


Topics: Transportation Safety / Compliance HR / Employee Benefits

New Tax Law Eliminates Tax Breaks for Several Fringe Benefits

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the new tax law signed into effect by President Trump in late December) impacts several employer/employee fringe benefits. Some of the law's most significant changes include:
  • eliminating tax breaks
  • creating a new tax credit for employers offering paid family and medical leave
  • repealing the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

That being said, the impact on the fringe benefit programs is less drastic that what was contained in earlier drafts of proposed tax bills that were being considered.

Topics: HR / Employee Benefits

Say Goodbye to the Individual Mandate Penalty Under the ACA

It was recently announced that the Trump Administration may no longer enforce a rule requiring individual Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty if they do not.

If you were one of the millions of people who decided to waive health insurance from your employer yet still did not enroll for insurance in the federal marketplace exchange, you were to be assessed an individual mandate penalty by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for 2016. 

Modified ACA Reporting Extension & Overtime Update

The IRS recently announced it will be extending the ACA reporting deadline to provide employee statements from its original date of January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. This means that you will no longer need to apply for a 30-day extension - here's what you need to know.

Compliance Alert- FSA & HSA Increases

Within the past week the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2016-55 indicating there will be a $50 increase in the health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) salary reduction contribution limit for 2017 to $2,600. But - what does this mean for employees and employers?

OSHA's Reporting Rule Effective Date Delayed... Again

The rule was originally scheduled to take effect on August 10, but OSHA extended the enforcement deadline to November 1 due to the fact that employer groups filed a lawsuit in July seeking to block the rule.

In mid-October the judge in this case asked the employer groups and the government to agree to delay the effective date for one more month so that the parties would have time to fully brief the issues. OSHA has now delayed for a second time the enforcement date of this reporting rule to December 1. 

Topics: Manufacturing HR / Employee Benefits

REMINDER: ACA Electronic Filing Deadline is June 30, 2016

With the deadline to electronically file ACA information returns with the IRS fast approaching, employers are reminded that failure to comply with the law's information reporting requirements may result in significant penalties. 

EEOC Increases Fines 150% for Violating Notice Posting Requirements

Is your company covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ADA, or GINA? If yes, you may want to pay attention to the recent EEOC announcement regarding the penalty for violating the notice posting requirements under these three laws. If ignored, big fines could be headed your way.

DOL Announces New Salary Threshold, Now What?

On May 18, 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final rule on the minimum salary threshold that white-collar employees must be paid to qualify as "exempt" from the overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new salary level has now increased to $47,476 ($913 per week) from $23,660 ($455 per week) annually and takes effect December 1, 2016. According to the DOL, these new rules will extend new overtime protections to 4.2 million workers in the U.S.

Approval of New SBC Forms: What Employers Need to Know


The Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued the final revised template and related materials for the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). Use of the new materials will be required starting on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after April 1, 2017 with respect to coverage for plan years beginning on or after that date. Here is a summary of the SBC along with what employers need to know to remain compliant.