Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 12, 2016

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Transition Manager - Retirement Plans
Transamerica
in CO, IA, NY

Client Relationship Manager
Goldleaf Partners
in MN

Retirement Plan Consultant
Ascensus
in FL

Retirement Plan Consultant
Ascensus
in IN

Retirement Plan Consultant
Ascensus
in IN

Retirement Plan Coordinator
Ascensus
in FL

Retirement Plan Administrator / Analyst
Boyce & Associates, Inc.
in AZ

Benefits Analyst 3 (7720)
University of California Office of the President
in CA

Employee Benefits Attorney
Krieg DeVault LLP
in IN

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Webcasts and Conferences

Specialty Pharmacy: Who Is at the Table
September 15, 2016 in GA
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Atlanta Chapter

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
September 20, 2016 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

ESOP Seminar
September 27, 2016 in AL
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Strategic Retirement Solutions: From Hired to Retired: Financial Fitness throughout the Generations
October 13, 2016 in MA
New England Employee Benefits Council

Introduction to ERISA: An Overview
October 18, 2016 in PA
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Wellness Program: Leveraging Technology and Community Resources to Support Your Wellbeing Program
October 19, 2016 in MA
New England Employee Benefits Council

IRA Contributions
November 8, 2016 WEBCAST
Ascensus

Health Savings Accounts and Employers: How HSAs Work and How to Avoid Problems
November 8, 2016 WEBCAST
HRWebAdvisor

The Year in Employee Benefits: Insights and Strategies for Retirement, Health, and Executive Compensation Plans
March 1, 2017 in DC
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

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[Guidance Overview]

Employee Classifications Irrelevant in Determining Shared Responsibility Penalties
"The IRS has clarified that an employer's internal classifications and work-time restrictions are not taken into account for purposes of determining the employer's shared responsibility and penalties. Specifically, IRS Information Letter 2016-0030 discusses an employer that 'has developed a new policy restricting part-time and seasonal employees from working more than 29 hours of service in any week.' "
The Wagner Law Group

[Advert.]

2017 Health Savings Accounts Facts

Sponsored by The National Underwriter Company

Turn to the new 2017 Health Savings Accounts Facts to obtain vital HSA questions and answers right at your fingertips.


[Guidance Overview]

New York Issues Emergency Regulation to Address Impact of Federal Risk Adjustment Program on New York Health Insurers
"Under the new regulation, after CMS makes its 2017 risk adjustment program calculations, [the Department of Financial Services (DFS)] will determine if the CMS calculations will have an adverse impact on New York's small group health insurance marketplace. If there is an adverse impact, the Superintendent will implement a 'market stabilization pool' taking into account certain factors relevant to the New York market. Utilizing these additional factors, insurers who received money from the risk adjustment program will pay an allocable percentage of that money into a fund administered by DFS. DFS will then transfer that money to those insurers who paid into the risk adjustment program and were adversely impacted."
Department of Financial Services [DFS], New York State

Do Transparency Tools Work in Health Care?
"Encouraging workers to reduce unnecessary spending is all about creating the appropriate incentives. Before they will take the time to comparison shop, consumers must benefit from their efforts.... One impediment to comparison shopping for health care is that many consumers are not regular consumers of health care.... Many do not need enough regular services sufficient to learn the process."
National Center for Policy Analysis Health Policy Blog

How ACA Insurance Expansions Have Affected Out-of-Pocket Cost-Sharing and Spending on Premiums
"The probability of incurring high out-of-pocket costs and premium expenses declined as marketplace enrollment increased. The percentage reductions were greatest among those with incomes between 250 percent and 399 percent of poverty, those who were eligible for premium subsidies, and those who previously were uninsured or had very limited nongroup coverage. These effects appear largely attributable to marketplace enrollment rather than to other ACA provisions or to economic trends."
The Commonwealth Fund

Colorado to Vote on Single-Payer Health System
"A proposed single-payer system for health care in Colorado would fulfill society's moral obligation to cover everyone, supporters say, but opponents of the proposed constitutional amendment say its $25 billion tax increase would nearly double the state's overall budget and drive employers away. The 'ColoradoCare' proposal ... will go before voters in November, making Colorado a battleground on the question of whether a single-payer approach is the best way to achieve universal health care coverage."
Bloomberg BNA

[Advert.]

Changes to Cafeteria Plans: What You Need to Know to Prepare

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

September 21 webinar. Explores design choices available within the regulatory framework established by the IRS, and provides tools to ensure that cafeteria plan design, documentation and administration are in compliance with applicable requirements.


Dropout by Dartmouth Raises Questions on Health Law Cost-Savings Effort
"An evaluation for the federal government found that Dartmouth's accountable care organization had reduced Medicare spending on hospital stays, medical procedures, imaging and tests. And it achieved goals for the quality of care. But it was still subject to financial penalties because it did not meet money-saving benchmarks set by federal officials."
The New York Times; subscription may be required

Medicare Accountable Care Organization Results for 2015: The Journey to Better Quality and Lower Costs Continues
"Overall, 31 percent of the MSSP and Pioneer ACOs received shared savings bonuses for their 2015 performance, an increase over the 27 percent that earned a bonus in 2014. While more ACOs are succeeding under the program, there continues to be substantial variation in financial performance and quality results."
Health Affairs

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Employee Benefits and the New Overtime Rules
"Let's pay for this by reducing benefits! ... But it's not that easy to reduce medical benefits.... Changing compensation structures may unintentionally affect eligibility for (and amount of) benefits under existing plans.... Changing compensation in a way that results in the loss of benefits could implicate Section 510 of ERISA.... When modifying benefits, don't overlook legal obligations.... Or the impact on employee morale."
Mintz Levin

Pressure to Avert Government Shutdown Intensifies as Lawmakers Address Looming Benefits Issues (PDF)
"Congress is focused on fiscal year 2017 funding -- despite the ongoing campaigns and upcoming elections -- and is considering solutions to deal with the multiemployer pension plan crisis and instability of the [ACA] public marketplaces. Meanwhile, there are renewed efforts to block the DOL fiduciary rule, as well as to change certain elements of the retirement savings landscape."
Xerox HR

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Navigating the Frequency of Say-on-Pay Voting
"Is holding an annual say-on-pay vote appropriate? Should companies consider holding a vote on a biennial or triennial basis? ... [B]oards should at least consider holding say-on-pay voting less frequently."
Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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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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