Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 10, 2017

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Employee Benefits Jobs


Webcasts and Conferences

What is Your Responsibility after Transmitting Your 1094-C Files to the IRS?
February 21, 2017 WEBCAST
UnifyHR

Proposed Section 457(f) Regulations and Their Impact on Compensation at Tax-Exempt Organizations
February 23, 2017 in DC
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Washington Metropolitan Chapter

ACA Reporting: Lessons Learned & What the Future Holds!
February 28, 2017 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

What Comes Next? Lessons Learned & Practical Implications of the Fiduciary Rule Under Review
March 1, 2017 WEBCAST
Trucker Huss

4th Annual Emerging Trends in Wellness Conference
April 5, 2017 in MA
Wellness Workdays

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[Guidance Overview]

HIPAA Small Breach Notification Due March 1
"HIPAA requires covered entities to provide breach notification to affected individuals without unreasonable delay -- and not later than 60 days after discovery. Covered entities also must report small breaches to OCR no later than 60 days after the calendar year in which the small breaches were discovered. For this year, notifications of small breaches are due no later than March 1, 2017."
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

[Advert.]

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[Guidance Overview]

New HRAs for Small Employers: Some Questions and Answers
"What employers can offer a Small Employer HRA? ... What expenses can be reimbursed by a Small Employer HRA? ... Are there limits on reimbursement? ... Do employees have to have health insurance coverage? ... Are Small Employer HRAs subject to [ERISA]? ... Are Small Employer HRAs subject to COBRA continuation coverage? ... Do employers have to provide any special notices to employees?"
Greensfelder

[Guidance Overview]

Payments Under Fixed Indemnity Health Plans May Be Taxable Under New IRS Memorandum
"[If] the premium for the employer-provided fixed indemnity health plan is paid for by the employer or is paid by the employee on a pre-tax basis, then any benefit payments are taxable. The question then becomes how to withhold and report when the benefits are paid by the insurance carrier rather than the employer. While there are rules on how to handle withholding and tax reporting in the case of insured disability benefits, no such rules yet exist for fixed indemnity benefits."
Miller Johnson

[Guidance Overview]

Supplemental and Wellness Benefits Received May be Taxable
"Many employers offer their employees various 'supplemental benefits,' such as accident insurance, cancer insurance, or critical disease insurance. [In CCM 201703013, the IRS] ruled that, to the extent the employer pays the cost of these benefits (or the employee contribution is made 'pre-tax" ' through a cafeteria plan), the benefits received are taxable income to the employee."
Barrett McNagny LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Employers Face a Trio of Sick Leave Laws: Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois
"Both the Chicago Ordinance and the Cook County Ordinance become effective on July 1, 2017. Unlike the Ordinances (which require employers to provide paid sick leave), the Illinois Act merely requires employers that already provide sick leave to employees to allow those employees to use at least half of that sick leave to care for their family members (in addition to the employees' own illnesses).... The Illinois Act became effective on January 1, 2017."
Epstein Becker Green

[Advert.]

2017 Health Savings Accounts Facts

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Turn to the new 2017 Health Savings Accounts Facts to obtain vital HSA questions and answers right at your fingertips. Use code BENLINK for 10% discount.


Older Workers and Retirees: Avoiding HSA Pitfalls
"Employers sponsoring HDHP/HSA programs for older workers need to be aware of the potential complications caused by Medicare Part A entitlement while those offering HDHP/HSA programs for retirees need to be concerned about the HSA comparability rules. Failure to address these issues can result in participant aggravation and potential excise taxes."
Conduent

IRS Releases 2016 Form 8889 and Instructions for HSA Reporting
"Although Form 8889 is filed by HSA holders as an attachment to Form 1040, employers and advisors working with HSAs should have a basic understanding of its scope. The similarity of this year's and last year's versions was expected, as the rules for HSAs have remained relatively stable since last year[.]"
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Return-To-Work Strategies for Employees with Mental Health Conditions (PDF)
"Compassion and support for employees aside, it is simply good business to protect the mental health and productivity of employees. This article describes existing challenges surrounding employees with mental disorders: the link between mental disorders, disability and an employee's ability to return to work; best practices for employers, employees and health care providers; and the role of the insurance company. Together, using proven strategies, everyone con ? tributes to the optimal solution of helping employees with mental disorders return to work."
Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS]

'Massive Confusion' Abounds for Insurers as GOP Wavers on Obamacare Redo
"Insurers have a hard enough time making the normal predictions of who will get sick and how much it will cost. Now the usual fog of rate setting is compounded by the possibility that basic rules of coverage could get overhauled or even disappear before anything takes their place. Consumers and patients could ultimately pay the price."
Kaiser Health News

[Opinion]

Fighting Pharmacy Inflation
"With aligned incentives, drug formularies, quantity limits, prior authorization and step therapy can all be effective. However, patients and their doctors are very vocal about any restrictions and as a result the pushback to employers is fervent -- and without these requirements the cards are stacked. In order to control costs, the system must be rebuilt to effectively address rising costs."
Frenkel Benefits

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Reconsider the Ratio: SEC Acting Chair Calls Pay Ratio Rule into Question
"[Dr. Piwowar] asked for companies to submit detailed comments to the SEC within the next 45 days [describing] challenges that they have faced when preparing to comply with the pay ratio rule, and he asked for suggestions as to how to remedy the situation.... Dr. Piwowar [also] directed the SEC staff to 'reconsider the implementation of the rule based on any comments submitted and to determine as promptly as possible whether additional guidance or relief may be appropriate.' "
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2017 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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