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Click here or on the graphic to the right to view a pdf of this month’s newsletter.

In This Issue

A Look Behind the OIG’s Work Plan – Each year the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services releases a work plan saying what it intends to focus on in its effort to detect fraud, abuse, and waste in federal health care spending. This year’s plan came out on January 31, four months after it usually appears. It has a mix of old and new concerns, covering all types of providers. We will look at many of them, but first let’s have some perspective.

Do You Need an Estate Plan? – With the new federal estate and gift tax laws, and the repeal of North Carolina’s estate and gift tax system, you do not need an estate plan, right? WRONG! It is true that the now “permanent” estate tax law provides for a much higher exemption than ever before: $5,340,000 for 2014, indexed for inflation. But there are still many non-estate tax planning issues that should be addressed in this time of increased exemption levels.

Same-Gender Marriage Implications for Employee Benefit Plans – In the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and eliminating the requirement that federal law recognize only marriages between a man and a woman. Since then, the IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) have been busy issuing guidance on how the Windsor decision impacts employer-sponsored retirement, health and welfare benefit plans.

New Child Abuse Reporting Law Gets Tough – “Any person who has cause to suspect that any juvenile is abused, neglected, or dependent, …, or has died as the result of maltreatment, shall report the case of the juvenile to the director of the department of social services.”

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