Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 3, 2016

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Webcasts and Conferences

Defining the Value of Wellness
February 9, 2016 WEBCAST
(myInertia LLC)

In-House Counsel Series: Seven Deadly Sins of 409A
February 10, 2016 in NY
(Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)

In-House Counsel Series: Seven Deadly Sins of 409A
February 10, 2016 in FL
(Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)

Mid-Year Changes to Safe-Harbor 401(k) Plans: New Rules Under IRS Notice 2016-16
February 23, 2016 WEBCAST
(ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries])

Pension De-Risking: Legal Issues and Market Insights for ERISA Attorneys
March 8, 2016 WEBCAST
(Practising Law Institute)

IRA Contributions
March 10, 2016 WEBCAST
(Ascensus)

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Guidance on Unconditional Opt-Out Payments
"If an employer adopted an arrangement that provides unconditional Opt-Out Payments on or before December 16, 2015, it will not be required to consider the Opt-Out Payment in calculating the affordability of an employee's healthcare until an unspecified effective date which will be provided in future regulations. Nor will the amount of the Opt-Out Payment have to be reported as an employee contribution on Form 1095-C until the future regulations are finalized." (Clifton Budd & DeMaria, LLP)  


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Return to Sender: Undeliverable 1095-Cs
"What if you know neither a permanent nor temporary address? At this point, we have no clear answer. After attempting to send the 1095-C and documenting the attempt you would be wise to keep evidence of your attempt, and keep copies of each Form 1095-C available or accessible to provide to individuals who request theirs at a later date." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP])  

Small-Group Employers: Are You Facing Community Rating?
"Perhaps the biggest Healthcare Reform change is a further fine-tuning to the definition of 'small group.' For some employers this may mean an introduction to community rating.... Healthier businesses, those whose claim experience has been good in the past, will now receive higher than expected rate increases, because they are now being pooled with the less healthy employer plans." (Corporate Synergies)  

Look to the Community to Build a Results-Oriented Wellness Program
"Networking with the community can help a company's wellness efforts gain momentum. Using external resources beyond workplace walls can also help companies change their views of their culture and their efforts." (The Alliance)  

CBO Lowers ACA Enrollment Figures, Details Future of Big Health
"In its annual budget and economic outlook report, the CBO estimates that 13 million individuals, and not 21 million as previously forecasted, will be covered through plans obtained on the insurance exchanges.... Federal spending on ACA exchange subsidies is projected to total $39 billion in 2016 and to reach $93 billion by 2026.... Gross federal outlays for Medicare, Medicaid, and other major health care programs totaled $1.0 trillion in 2015, which represented 40 percent of gross mandatory spending and 5.8 percent of the GDP." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)  

Blue Cross Coverage of Genetic Testing for Some Cancers Raises Debate Over Expensive Screenings
"Pennsylvania-based Independence Blue Cross' announcement that it will cover a complex type of genetic testing for some cancer patients thrusts the insurer into an ongoing debate about how to handle an increasing array of these expensive tests.... While the hope is the results will help patients and their doctors pinpoint the best treatments based on genetic differences, there may not be any such drug regimens yet available. It's also unclear whether the information the tests provide make any difference in a patient's treatment and prognosis." (Healthcare Payer News)  

New York, Minnesota Opt for Low-Cost 'Basic Health Plans' to Help Some Residents Afford Coverage
"[W]hy aren't more states putting a basic health program in place? ... New York and Minnesota ... were already providing Medicaid coverage to many people now eligible for the basic health plan. For those states, and a handful of others with more comprehensive Medicaid coverage, moving residents from the Medicaid program, where the state pays about 50 percent of the cost of coverage, to the basic health program, where the state pays just 5 percent, could be an attractive proposition." (Kaiser Health News)  

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2016 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 that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

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