Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 29, 2016

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Employee Benefits Producer / Agent
Owen-Dunn Insurance Services
in CA

Director, Retirement Plan Compliance
RiversEdge Advanced Retirement Solutions
in ANY STATE, PA

401(k) Plan Administrator
Qualified Plan Administrators, Inc.
in GA

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HK Financial Services
in IA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Value of ACA Coding Improvement: Market Share and Market Effects
April 6, 2016 WEBCAST
(Healthcare Web Summit)

Target Date Funds The Looming Liability of Misfit Risk
April 7, 2016 WEBCAST
(University Conference Services)

DOL Update on Enforcement and Alternative Investments
April 21, 2016 in NY
(Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter)

Are Employers Still Hot on Private Exchanges? Results from the Chelko/WEB Employer Survey
April 27, 2016 WEBCAST
(Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB])

ACFC Exam Preparation Session 3: ACA Compliant Advanced Planning Techniques (Part 1)
May 4, 2016 WEBCAST
(ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation])

ACFC Exam Preparation Session 4: ACA Compliant Advanced Planning Techniques (Part 2)
May 18, 2016 WEBCAST
(ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation])

2016 Chicago Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference
June 14, 2016 in IL
(University Conference Services)

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[Official Guidance]

Text of CMS Final Regs: Application of Mental Health Parity Requirements to Coverage Offered by Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Alternative Benefit Plans
200 pages. "[HHS], Labor, and the Treasury published interim final regulations implementing MHPAEA on February 2, 2010, and final regulations applicable to group health plans and health insurance issuers on November 13, 2013 ... [which] do not apply to Medicaid MCOs, ABPs, or CHIP state plans.... The provisions of this final rule generally mirror the policies set forth in the MHPAEA final regulations to implement the statutory provisions that require MCOs, ABPs and CHIP to comply with certain requirements of section 2726 of the PHS Act." (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS])  


[Advert.]

Master Health Reform Guide, 2016 Edition

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

This concise yet authoritative guide highlights everything employers need to know about health reform, explaining complex concepts in plain English and clarifying even the most complicated requirements. Use code BENEFIT20 for 20% discount.



HHS Implements HIPAA Phase II Audit Program: What You Need to Know
"OCR plans to primarily conduct desk audits, with some onsite audits for both covered entities and business associates. The first set of audits will be desk audits of covered entities, followed by a second round of desk audits of business associates. The desk audits will examine compliance with specific requirements of the Privacy and Security Rules, as well as breach notification requirements. Desk audits in Phase II will be completed by the end of December 2016[.]" (Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP)  

OCR Phase II HIPAA Audits Are Here: What to Expect While You're Expecting (an Audit)
"All covered entities and business associates are eligible for an audit, although only a relatively small sample of entities actually will be audited. Auditees will be selected based on size, the types of entities and relationships with patients, whether an organization is public or private, and geographic factors. And whether fortunate or not, organizations that have an open complaint or are undergoing a compliance review will not be selected for an audit." (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)  

Millennials More Open to Pro-Wellness Messages from Employers Than Older Generations
"56 percent of millennials think employers should direct participants to facilities or providers for the most appropriate care or cost, compared to 40 percent for all other generations. And nearly a third of millennials who responded say they support employers imposing consequences for less-than-healthy conditions -- compared to 21 percent of Gen Xers and 14 percent of baby boomers." (Human Resource Executive Online)  

The $63 Billion Health Problem Wellness Doesn't Address
"Employers spend vast amounts of time and resources combating costly chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity ... But there's one health condition that's negatively impacting virtually all workers in some way that's largely ignored by health-management programs. That condition: Overtired workers. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of employees work while tired ... 31% do so very often.... [One] study estimates that employers lose nearly $63 billion in productivity each year due to tired workers." (HR Benefits Alert)  


[Advert.]

Learn how this year's election will effect ACA compliance

Sponsored by Institute for Healthcare Consumerism [IHC]

IHC FORUM & Expo Atlanta, May 24-26, the go-to conference to learn how the 2016 presidential election will affect ACA compliance and reporting. Attend FORUM & Expo for critical insights & expert outlooks on plan design, compliance and reporting.



Obamacare May Force Employers to Pull the Plug on Millions of Health Plans, CBO Report Finds
"Employers now cover some 155 million people, about 57 percent of those under 65. That's expected to decline to 152 million people in 2019. Ten years from now, employers will be covering about 54 percent of those under 65. CBO said part of the shrinkage is attributable to the health care law: some workers may qualify for Medicaid, which is virtually free to them, and certain employers may decide not to offer coverage because a government-subsidized alternative is available." (Fox News)  

Massachusetts Considering Single-Payer Healthcare System
"Despite the nation's highest health insurance coverage rate, about 200,000 Massachusetts residents still lack insurance coverage as of 2015. Despite the passage of the [ACA] in 2010, insurance plans in Massachusetts have not decreased in price by any measurable amount.... [T]his probably isn't going to pass simply due to cost. Neighboring Vermont made a valiant effort at implementing a single-payer system in the state, and had to give up after lawmakers realized that there was no way that the state could afford the system." (TownHall)  

[Opinion]

The Hidden Costs of ACA's 'Millenial Mandate'
"ObamaCare's 'Millennial mandate' -- the requirement that employers who offer health coverage for employees' dependents continue to offer such coverage until the dependents turn 26 years old -- is one of those supposed free lunches. This mandate's benefits unquestionably come at a cost. Expanding health insurance coverage among adults age 19-26 leads them to consume more medical care. When those people file insurance claims, health-insurance premiums rise. Yet ObamaCare does an amazing job of hiding those costs from voters." (Cato Institute)  

[Opinion]

The 'Unaffordable Care Act' Turns Six
"About half the population spends less than $500 annually on medical care. Thus, health plans with benefits less generous than Obamacare would be both affordable and meet the typical medical needs of most Americans. But to accomplish the goal of making generous health coverage affordable to people with health concerns, the ACA had to force Americans to purchase health coverage and limit their choice of health plans. Health insurance that does not cover a plethora of preventive care, plans that cap benefits at predetermined levels and plans that reward Americans for having led healthy lifestyles are no longer allowed." (National Center for Policy Analysis Health Policy Blog)  

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Announcement MS-2016-21: Tax Relief for Victims of Severe Storms and Flooding in Mississippi
"Victims of the severe storms and flooding that took place beginning on March 9, 2016 in parts of Mississippi may qualify for tax relief ... Individuals who reside or have a business in Bolivar, Coahoma and Washington counties may qualify for tax relief.... [C]ertain deadlines falling on or after March 9, and on or before July 15, 2016 have been postponed to July 15, 2016. This includes 2015 income tax returns normally due on April 18.... A variety of business tax deadlines are also affected including the May 2 deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])  

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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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