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HR and Tax Newsletter - January 2003

Privacy Regulations

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued final Privacy Regulations that are generally effective April 14, 2003. Almost all employers that offer health coverage will be affected by the new regulations. Many will be significantly affected. Violations can result in criminal sanctions, including jail time.

The new regulations restrict the flow of personal health information.

The new regulations will require employers to:

We can help by:

Blackout Periods

Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 employers must ensure that notice is given of blackout periods for individual account plans such as 401(k) plans. A blackout period under the Act is a three day or more period in which a plan participant cannot remove or diversify his or her plan assets. The Act is effective January 26, 2003.