Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 18, 2016

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Entry Level Plan Consultant
The MandMarblestone Group, llc
in PA

Regional Sales and Client Service Manager
Growing Retirement Plans Firm
in MD

Employee Benefits Enroller/Presenter
Total Benefit Communications, LLC
in Contiguous U.S., Telecommute

Enrolled Actuary
Economic Group Pension Services, Inc.
in NY

Transition / Conversion Manager
OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc
in CA

Retirement Compliance Consultant
OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc
in CA

Plan Design and Taxation Associate
Groom Law Group
in DC

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Webcasts and Conferences

Healthcare Benefits Legislative and Regulatory Insights & Outlook
May 24, 2016 WEBCAST
(Healthcare Trends Institute)

Mitigating the Impact of Healthcare Reform Fees & Taxes
June 1, 2016 WEBCAST
(Hill, Chesson & Woody)

Accumulated Sick and Vacation Pay Deferred to 403(b) or 457(b) Plans
June 2, 2016 WEBCAST
(IRS [Internal Revenue Service])

Second-Stage ESOP Transactions
June 24, 2016 WEBCAST
(National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO])

IRA Beneficiary Distributions - Part 2
August 18, 2016 WEBCAST
(Ascensus)

ASPPA Cincinnati Regional Conference
November 16, 2016 in KY
(ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries])

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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Discussions


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[Guidance Overview]

EEOC Rules Allow Significant Rewards, Penalties in Connection with Wellness Program Participation
"Unlike the tri-department rule, the EEOC rule applies the 'reasonably designed' requirement to participatory as well as health-contingent wellness programs and ... to wellness programs whether or not they are related to a group health plan.... The ADA rule adds further requirements for reasonably designed wellness programs.... The interpretive guidelines offer examples of programs that would not meet the reasonableness standard. Reasonable design will be determined considering all facts and circumstances.... The EEOC rule extends the 30 percent maximum ... to participation wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries or medical examinations. Moreover, the EEOC rule extends the 30 percent maximum rule to wellness plans not connected to an employer-sponsored health plan." (Timothy Jost, in Health Affairs)  


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HSA and HRA Basics E-Learning Course

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[Guidance Overview]

EEOC Final Wellness Program Rules Reflect Split Over ADA Insurance Safe Harbor
"[T]he EEOC continues to believe that the ADA's safe harbor for insurance does not apply to an employer's decision to offer rewards or impose penalties regarding wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries or medical examinations ... The EEOC expressly disagrees with two district court decisions that applied the insurance safe harbor to permit the imposition of penalties on employees who do not answer disability-related questions or undergo medical examinations in connection with wellness programs." (Practical Law Company)  

[Guidance Overview]

Final ACA Nondiscrimination Rules Target Insurers and TPAs
"HHS acknowledged commenters' concerns that a TPA that administers a self-insured plan could be held liable for benefit plan design features that are discriminatory under Section 1557, but over which the TPA has no control. In this situation, HHS will assess whether responsibility for an alleged discriminatory decision or action rests with the TPA or the employer. If the TPA is responsible, HHS will process the complaint against the TPA.... [If] responsibility for an alleged discriminatory decision or action rests with an employer that is not subject to Section 1557 (so that HHS lacks jurisdiction over the employer), HHS indicated that it will refer or transfer the matter to the EEOC and let the EEOC address the issue." (Practical Law Company)  

DOL Fiduciary Rule: Employers Should Not Overlook Impact on HSAs
"[E]mployers having group health plans supplemented by health savings accounts should be aware that health savings accounts are specifically covered by the new fiduciary rule.... [E]mployers should examine their role with any health savings account arrangements to assess how the health savings accounts are being made available to employees, how the providers offering those services are being compensated, whether the compensatory arrangement needs to comport with the new fiduciary rule, and if so, how the provider intends to satisfy the requirements of the rule." (Benefits Bryan Cave)  

Overtime Pay Changes Will Affect Employee Benefits, Too
"For self-funded health plans subject to Section 105(h) nondiscrimination rules, it's particularly difficult to alter eligibility terms between hourly and salaried employees ... Higher overtime costs could make it more likely that dental, vision and disability coverage are turned into employee-paid voluntary benefits." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])  


[Advert.]

ACA Reporting Requirements and Lessons Learned

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

May 20 webinar. This webinar will provide lessons learned from the first year with a focus on areas employers should focus on early to prevent problems for next year. BenefitsLink discount.



Teleworkers More Likely to Pursue Wellness Options on Their Own Compared to Office-Based Counterparts
"Among the nearly two-thirds of full-time U.S. employees who say they do not participate in a workplace wellness program, teleworkers are more likely to pursue wellness options on their own compared to their office-based counterparts. However, about 45 percent of all employees -- no matter where they work -- do not participate in wellness-related activities either through their workplace or individually." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)  

Highmark Sues U.S. Over Missing ACA Risk Corridor Payments
"Highmark [said] that the U.S. failed to live up to obligations to pay the insurer nearly $223 million owed under an ACA program known as 'risk corridors,' which aimed to limit the financial risks borne by insurers entering the new health-law markets.... [HHS] announced last fall that insurers initially would receive only 12.6% of the money they claimed under the risk-corridor program for 2014, its first year of operation. Highmark is seeking the full amount it says is due to it for that year." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)  

House Committee Leaders Press Last Surviving Obamacare CO-OPs for Updates on Viability
"CMS has placed at least eight of the remaining 11 CO-OPs on 'Enhanced Oversight' or 'Corrective Action' Plans.... After reviewing these oversight plans, the Committee is concerned that CMS has not taken the appropriate steps to ensure that the remaining CO-OPs will be financially solvent for the remainder of the year. Federal taxpayers have invested over $1 billion into the remaining 11 CO-OPs. Especially considering this substantial taxpayer investment, the Committee wants to ensure CMS is taking the necessary and appropriate steps to keep these CO-OPs afloat." (Energy & Commerce Committee, U.S. House of Representatives)  

[Opinion]

Statement by AARP on EEOC Workplace Wellness Program Rules
"These rules put workers between a rock and hard place: employees must now hand over sensitive medical and genetic information on themselves and their spouse to their employer's wellness program, or protect their personal health information, forcing them to pay up to thousands of dollars more for their health insurance.... By financially coercing employees into surrendering their personal health information, these rules will weaken medical privacy and civil rights protections." (AARP)  

Benefits in General

Supreme Court: 'Real' Harm Required to Recover Statutory Damages
"The Court's decision could discourage the filing of class actions under the numerous federal statutes that provide for statutory damages where actual or potential harm resulting from a violation is often nonexistent. It could also create individualized issues that will present challenges for class-certification motions in cases involving such statutes.... [S]uch statutes include ... [ERISA and the] Americans with Disabilities Act[.]" [Spokeo v. Robins, No. 13-1339 (S. Ct. May 16, 2016)] (Ballard Spahr LLP)  

Pension/OPEB 2016 Assumption and Disclosure Study (PDF)
23 pages. "The 2015 median discount rate for pension plans in the study increased 30 basis points since 2014 but has decreased 195 basis points since 2007.... Median plan funding levels remained unchanged from 2014, with pension plan assets equal to approximately 82% of the projected benefit obligation (PBO) in 2015 and 2014 ... The 2015 median discount rate for OPEB plans in the study increased 35 basis points since 2014 but has decreased 200 basis points since 2007.... The percentage of funded OPEB plans in the study has remained constant since 2014 with 49% of plans being funded in 2015 compared with 50% being funded in 2014." (PricewaterhouseCoopers)  

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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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