Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 3, 2016

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Senior Plan Administrator
MGA Consultants, Inc.
in MD

Pension Administrative Consultant (PAC)
Polycomp Administrative Services, Inc.
in CA

Actuarial Assistant
Ascensus
in IN

Regional Vice President - Retirement Plan Sales
Ascensus
in DC, MD, VA, WV

Compliance Audit Manager
Calibre CPA Group
in MD

Retirement Plan Consultant/ Administrator
The MandMarblestone Group, llc
in PA, Telecommute

Enrolled Actuary
Pension Associates Retirement Planning LLC
in CT

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Webcasts and Conferences

Navigating the New Proposed Regulations Under Sections 409A and 457
August 9, 2016 WEBCAST
Practical Law Company

Employer Self-Funding Trends
September 15, 2016 in GA
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Atlanta Chapter

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[Guidance Overview]

ACA Reporting: Multiple Coverage and Requesting SSNs
"Perhaps the most significant proposed changes to the current guidance relate to missing SSNs (as opposed to incorrect SSNs) and are effective for plan years ending after December 31, 2015 ... The first annual request must be made no later than 75 days after the date of the application for coverage ... The timing of the second annual request (the 3rd request for the SSN) is unchanged: December 31 of the year following the year the account is opened.... Relief is provided for those enrolled prior to July 29, 2016."  Kilpatrick Townsend

[Advert.]

Register for NBCH's 21st Annual Conference, Sept. 26-28 in Orlando

Sponsored by National Business Coalition on Health [NBCH]

This must-attend event convenes employers, health plans, providers, business health coalitions and other key stakeholders focused on the future of health care and benefits. Free admission for employers that are members of an NBCH coalition. Join us.


[Guidance Overview]

Relief for Employers Acting in a Responsible Manner to Correctly File Forms 1094/1095
"After submitting Forms 1094/1095 for 2015, many employers received notices from the IRS that their information returns contained missing or incorrect TINs. The electronic filing system used by the IRS is very unforgiving.... Employers should take action to avoid being subject to substantial penalties."  Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP

[Guidance Overview]

HIPAA Audit Guidance Issued by OCR
"[S]elected auditees are not being uniformly audited; rather, some have been asked about selected privacy policies and practices, others will be audited on selected security and breach notification standards, and still others received inquiries regarding selected privacy, security and breach notification standards.... [C]overed entities with multiple locations are being audited either with respect to one particular site or all locations in the system....The selected audit standards focus on many of the areas that have been cited in the OCR resolution agreements and corrective action plans announced in the past year."  Nixon Peabody LLP

[Guidance Overview]

HIPAA Wake-Up Call for Financial Institutions: First HIPAA Settlement with a Business Associate
"This settlement case focused on the absence of risk analysis and risk management. Once again, OCR is sounding the alarm for the need for periodic risk analysis.... [F]inancial institutions acting as business associates should review whether they have an up-to-date HIPAA compliance program in place and fine-tune existing policies and procedures based on experience."  Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

How Alternate Funding and Tools Can Help Control Small Group Health Plans
"The ability to anticipate or predict claims costs hasn't been available in the small group market due to the absence of claims data from the insurance companies -- until now.... [N]ewly developed risk management and predictive modeling tools ... [make] it possible to take a much 'deeper dive' into the composition and risk of the smaller employer, proactively identifying members with markers for chronic illness to predict health risks and determine if self-funding is a viable solution."  SmartBusiness

[Advert.]

Enjoy 20% off benefit publications with code BENEFIT20 at Wolters Kluwer!

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer delivers expert content in various areas of law, compliance, and legal education. Its solutions help individuals navigate the demands of a changing environment to drive activities, enhance decision quality & inspire confident outcomes.


Top Five Ways HR Can Bolster Workers' FSA Participation
"To help employees get the most out of their FSAs, make sure they're aware of ... [1] The most up-to-date eligibility list ... [2] Allowable changes.... [3] Planning tips.... [4] FSA debit cards.... [5] Additional spending options."  HR Benefits Alert

High-Risk Pools for Uninsurable Individuals
"For more than 35 years, many states operated high-risk pool programs to offer non-group health coverage to uninsurable residents. The federal government also operated a temporary high-risk pool program established under the ACA to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions in advance of when broader insurance market changes took effect in 2014. This issue brief reviews the history of these programs to provide context for some of the potential benefits and challenges of a high-risk pool."  Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the ACA Health Insurance Marketplaces
"On average, 5.8 insurers will offer coverage in these 17 states in 2017, which is less than the average participation in 2015 and 2016 (an average of 6.9 and 6.5 respectively), and slightly less than the number that participated in 2014 (5.9 on average).... [P]remium changes for the two lowest-cost silver plans ... vary substantially across the country, ranging from a decrease of 14% to an increase of 27% for the lowest-cost silver plan."  Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

[Opinion]

Justice Department Calls Flag on the Play
"DC thinks they can control the behavior of individuals and business by regulation and intimidation. The DOJ believes they can preserve what little competition left in the health insurance market by blocking mergers.... If the DOJ prohibits the merger [the insurers] will simply withdraw from the market leaving only 3 major health insurance carriers in the 2017 game. Which is precisely what the merger was intended to do. Remove weaker players from the game and leave the stronger ones in play."  InsureBlog

Benefits in General

The Importance of Preserving Tax-Preferred Status for Employer-Sponsored Health and Retirement Plans (PDF)
"Now, as Congress begins to lay the foundation for comprehensive tax reform, the need to raise federal revenue may trump the continuation of the tax preferences for employer-provided health and retirement benefits. Recent actions illustrate that the drive for federal revenue may not be sufficiently tempered by the potential negative impact on employers and employees who must bear the brunt of these revenue-induced changes. This article considers the erosion of protections offered by [ERISA] and the importance of maintaining the tax treatment of employer-provided benefits."  Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS]

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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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