Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 6, 2016

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Consultant/Client Services Representative
Associated Pension Consultants
in CA

Compliance Specialist
Newport Group
in AL

Defined Contribution Consultant
Aon
in FL, GA, IL, MO, NC, NJ, NY

Senior BOLI Consultant
Newport Group
in NC

Flexible Benefits Manager
BB&T Insurance Services - Stanley, Hunt, DuPree & Rhine
in SC

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Webcasts and Conferences

Savings Fitness: Debt Management
RECORDED
(Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor)

Savings Fitness: Budgeting
RECORDED
(Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor)

2015 5500 Update and Enhancements
May 10, 2016 WEBCAST
(ASC)

New Research: What is the Future of Wellness at Work?
May 10, 2016 WEBCAST
(National Wellness Institute)

COBRA Workshop
May 19, 2016 WEBCAST
(Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor)

Rewarding HRA’s: Effective Member Engagement that drives Healthy Incentives
May 24, 2016 WEBCAST
(InComm Healthcare )

Benefits Communication: Decoding The Generation Gap
May 26, 2016 in OH
(Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Cleveland Chapter)

Handling HIPAA Data Breaches: Best Practices for Worst Case Scenarios
August 12, 2016 WEBCAST
(National Business Institute)

New Civil Procedure Rules and ERISA Litigation: One Judge’s View (along with Counsel) -- 9 Months In
September 8, 2016 WEBCAST
(ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB])

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[Guidance Overview]

DOL Releases New FMLA Guide and Required General Notice for Use by Employers
"The Guide provides welcome clarification to employers about the FMLA regulations in a reader-friendly format. Specifically, the Guide is meant to provide employers with guidance on common FMLA administration issues." (The Wagner Law Group)  


[Advert.]

Employer's Guide to Health Care Reform, 2016 Edition

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

This practical guide helps you design your employee health plans to satisfy ACA requirements; minimize penalty exposure; achieve significant cost-savings; understand new notice requirements; meet deadlines and more! Use code BENEFIT20 for 20% discount.



Is Today's PPO Just a High-Deductible Health Plan in Disguise?
"[HDHPs] lived up to their namesake, carrying an average deductible of $2,382 for individual coverage and $4,889 for family coverage. But while these numbers are certainly higher than their counterparts in the traditional, copay-based PPOs, deductibles for those health plans are by no means low.... [F]or 2016, the average PPO plan carries a $1,415 deductible for individual coverage and a $3,403 deductible for family coverage -- exceeding the minimum deductible levels for HDHP designation by the IRS[.]" (Benefitfocus)  

Traditional Medicare Versus Private Insurance: How Spending, Volume, and Price Change at Age 65
"[The authors] found that spending fell by $38.56 per beneficiary per quarter -- or 32.4 percent -- upon entry into Medicare at age sixty-five.... For the previously insured, entry into Medicare led to a large drop in spending driven by lower provider prices, which may reflect Medicare's purchasing power as a large insurer. These findings imply that increasing the Medicare eligibility age may raise national health care spending by replacing Medicare coverage with private insurance, which pays higher provider prices than Medicare does." (Health Affairs)  

2,000 Doctors Call for Single-Payer Health Care
"[T]he doctors call out the 'persistent shortcomings of the current health care system.' They warn about the risks of continuing along the path laid out by the [ACA]: 'down this road, millions of Americans remain uninsured, underinsurance grows, costs rise, and inefficiency and the search for profits are abetted.' ... Jeffrey Flier, the dean of Harvard Medical School, said the proposal is 'massively backward,' adding that the one thing it points out correctly is that health reform has been unable to deliver on its promise of affordable health care." (The Washington Post; subscription may be required)  

Keeping Drug Discounts Private Is Probably a Good Thing
"[T]he list prices often aren't the final figure that insurers end up paying because of discounts and rebates. If those negotiations were made public, industry officials agree that they probably wouldn't happen at all.... While price growth for protected brands on an invoice basis was 12.4 percent in 2015, net price growth increased only 2.8 percent. The gap between the two growth trends has widened in the past two years." (Morning Consult)  


[Advert.]

ERISA Benefit Plans: Addressing and Preventing a Data Breach

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

May 10 webinar. Learn how to prevent a plan data breach and what to do if one occurs. BenefitsLink discount.



Benefits in General

Second Circuit Requires Strict Compliance with Claims Procedures to Receive Deferential Review of a Claim
"When considering a challenge to a denied claim, courts historically have analyzed whether the process and communications were in 'substantial compliance' with the DOL regulations. In a sharp departure from this standard, the Second Circuit rejected the 'substantial compliance' doctrine as 'flatly inconsistent' with the current DOL claims and appeals regulations." [Halo v. Yale Health Plan, No. 14-4055 (2d Cir. Apr. 12, 2016)] (Morgan Lewis)  

Small Business Owners Say Benefit Programs Important for Attracting and Retaining Workers
"[S]mall business owners are focusing on developing competitive benefit programs as part of their approach to attracting and retaining their workers.... [F]inancial professionals have tremendous influence over small business owners' purchasing decisions. An advisor has 35 times more influence than a supplier representative ... 39 percent of small business owners currently offer their workers retirement plans[.]" (Insured Retirement Institute [IRI])  

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

The Re-Proposed Rule on Incentive-Based Compensation at Financial Institutions: Overview and Observations (PDF)
"[T]he 2016 Proposal places front line responsibility with the boards of directors and their committees, as well as with management of the covered institution, for implementation of the rule and its principles, while requiring more clearly delineated and documented procedures in each step of the decision-making process to allow Agency oversight and audit." (Shearman & Sterling LLP)  

What's Equity Compensation Really Worth to Your Employees?
"What is equity compensation REALLY worth? How do you know how much to give? How do your employees know how much they are getting? What truly drives, impacts, reduces and magnifies this value? ... [This article addresses] valuations, taxation, restrictions, dilution, perceptions and competition ... the shapers of equity value that are seldom discussed." (Performensation)  

Press Releases

ABD is Proud to Announce the Acquisition of SharedHR
ABD Insurance & Financial Services

DOL Investigation Results in More than $23K in Losses Being Restored to Bonner & Borhart SIMPLE IRA Plan
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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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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