Under current law, health benefit plans issued, amended, or renewed in this state cannot require in-person health care delivery for a person covered under the plan who resides in a county with 150,000 or fewer residents if the care can be appropriately delivered through telemedicine and the county has the technology necessary for care delivery via telemedicine. Starting January 1, 2017, this Act removes the population restrictions and precludes a health benefit plan from requiring in-person care delivery when telehealth is appropriate, regardless of the geographic location of the health care provider and the recipient of care. A provider need not demonstrate that a barrier to in-person care exists for coverage of telehealth under a health benefit plan to apply. Additionally, the act specifies that delivery of care via telehealth is not required when a provider determines that telehealth is inappropriate or if the covered person chooses not to receive care through telehealth.
The act also specifies that carriers: (1) must reimburse a participating provider who delivers care through telehealth on the same basis that the carrier is responsible for reimbursing that provider for providing the same service in person; (2) cannot deny coverage of a health care service that is a covered benefit because the service is provided through telehealth if delivery of the service via telehealth is appropriate; (3) must include in the payment for telehealth interactions reasonable compensation for the transmission costs to the site where the covered person is receiving services, unless the covered person is located at a private residence when receiving services; (4) must charge the same deductible, copayment, or coinsurance amounts and durational benefit limitation or maximum benefits under the health benefit plan to the health care services delivered via telehealth that the carrier applies to the same health care services when performed through in-person care; and (5) cannot impose an annual or lifetime dollar maximum that applies separately to health care services delivered through telehealth. “Telehealth” is defined as a mode of delivery of health care services through telecommunications systems to facilitate the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, or self-management of a covered person’s health care while the covered person is located at one site and the health care provider is located at a distant site. The term excludes delivery of health care services via telephone, facsimile machine, or electronic mail systems.
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Businesses are often confronted with determining whether an individual they hire is an independent contractor or their employee. While businesses generally prefer to hire individuals as independent contractors, misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can result in the employer being liable for significant back taxes.
Pursuant to C.R.S. 8-70-115(1)(b), services performed by a worker for another is considered “employment” for unemployment tax liability purposes, unless the employer proves both that the individual “is free from control and direction in the performance of the service” and the individual “is customarily engaged in an independent trade, occupation, profession, or business related to the service performed” In order to protect themselves, businesses often have contractors sign Independent Contractor Agreements.
Recent Supreme Court decisions determined that a contractor’s outside employment should no longer be dispositive of whether a contractor is an employee/independent contractor. Instead, a court must look at the totality of the circumstances surrounding one’s employment when making this determination. This distinction, in addition to the appropriate language to include in an independent contractor agreement, is important to be aware of if you hire outside contractors.
As of January 1, 2014, HOA’s (Home Owner’s Associations) are required to comply with numerous new requirements relating to the collection and enforcement of debts and the utilization of liens. These requirements apply to CCIOA (Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act) communities, as well as preexisting communities which have not elected coverage under CCIOA. With these new statutory requirements, collection of unpaid assessments may not be pursued unless an HOA has policies outlining the due date, late fees and interest, returned check charges, notice of default, and payment plans, among other things. Additionally, the are specific requirements which must be satisfied in order to foreclose upon a lien. We can help HOA’s amend their Declarations and related governing documents to conform with these new standards.
In May, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law House Bill 14-1014. HB 14-1014 expands the number of companies that are eligible for job-growth tax incentive credits, which the Denver Business Journal remarks is “widely considered the top tool the state has to attract relocating or expanding businesses.”
HB 14-1014 led to amendments of C.R.S. § 39-22-531, the statute relating to job growth incentive tax credits. The amendments lower from 110 percent to 100 percent the amount of the average county salary that companies must pay to be eligible for the tax credits, extend from five to eight years the length of time businesses can claim the breaks, and require only that the income tax credit be a major reason that the company chose to grow in Colorado, not the sole reason.
House Bill 14-1001 went into effect in May of 2014. House Bill 14-1001 was created in response to the recent natural disasters that have occurred throughout the state. Beginning in the 2013 income tax year, HB 1001 establishes an income tax credit for a taxpayer that owns real or business personal property that was destroyed by a natural cause as determined by the county assessor of the county in which the property is located. The credit amount is an amount equal to the taxpayer’s property tax liability for the destroyed property in the property tax year in which the natural cause occurred, however the credit may only be taken in the income tax year the property was destroyed. Among other things, HB 1001 requires a taxpayer to request that the county assessor in the county in which the destroyed property is located complete and sign a certification form for the destroyed property, prior to claiming any income tax credit. Additional requirements can be found by reviewing C.R.S. § 39-1-123.
Similarly, House Bill 14-1279 involves income tax credits for business personal property.
HB 14-1279 creates a state income tax credit for businesses for the amount of business personal property tax paid in Colorado. The credit is equal to the amount of business personal property tax paid, less the value of the tax benefit received by the taxpayer from deducting these taxes from his/her federal taxable income. If you believe this Bill may be beneficial to you or your business, please review C.R.S. § 39-22-537 for additional information.
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