Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 3, 2016

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Webcasts and Conferences

Health Reform: Beyond the Basics -- Premium Tax Credits
RECORDED
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

DOL Update: Into Thin Air -- Handling Regulatory and Logistical Issues When Participants Fail to Update Their Records
October 5, 2016 WEBCAST
Practising Law Institute

Creating a Culture of Wellness
October 13, 2016 WEBCAST
Wellness Workdays

Wearables: Employer Tool or Employee Perk?
October 19, 2016 WEBCAST
Willis Towers Watson

Transfers and Rollovers
November 22, 2016 WEBCAST
Ascensus

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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2016 Instructions for IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (PDF)
19 pages. "Employers with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) in the previous year use Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to report the information required under sections 6055 and 6056 about offers of health coverage and enrollment in health coverage for their employees. Form 1094-C must be used to report to the IRS summary information for each ALE Member and to transmit Forms 1095-C to the IRS. Form 1095-C is used to report information about each employee to the IRS and to the employee." [Also released: 2016 Form 1094-C and 2016 Form 1095-C.
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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[Official Guidance]

Updated CMS Bulletin on Network Breadth Information for Qualified Health Plans on Healthcare.gov (PDF)
"CMS will collect data on the 2017 consumer experience from consumers in the four states in which this information will be displayed and use it to inform the HealthCare.gov display of network breadth information in future years. CMS will consider expanding the network breadth pilot to additional states and/or provider types in future years. During the 2017 open enrollment period, CMS plans to continue consumer testing to enhance and improve the display of QHP network breadth information."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

Schedule J of the Proposed Form 5500 Means Increase in Data Collection and Preparation Costs
"If the proposed revisions to the Form 5500 are accepted, Schedule J will be a new addition to the Form 5500 Schedules for group health plans covered by Title I of ERISA. The amount of information requested is staggering. Schedule J will have to be filed by all health & welfare plans; the less than 100 participant exception goes away.... The Schedule J will provide information regarding contributions, claims, benefit structure and compliance information[.]"
ERISAdiagnostics, Inc.

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Finalizes Paid Sick Leave Rules for Federal Contractors (PDF)
"Under the final rule, employees accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked on or in connection with a covered contract, up to at least 56 hours per year. Employers are not required to allow employees to accrue paid sick leave in increments smaller than one hour for a full 30 hours worked."
Xerox HR Services

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Final Rule on Paid Sick Leave for Employees of Federal Contractors and Subcontractors
"An employee may use the leave for his or her own physical or mental illness, injury, medical condition, treatment or diagnosis as well as that of any person with whom the employee has a significant personal bond that is or is like a family relationship, regardless of biological or legal relationship.... [This could include] a foster child or foster parent, a friend of a family, or even an elderly neighbor in certain circumstances."
Ford & Harrison LLP

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[Guidance Overview]

Federal Contractor Paid Sick Leave Rules Finalized
"A contractor's existing PTO policy can fulfill the paid sick leave requirements of the rule as long as it provides employees with at least the same rights and benefits as the new law requires. In other words, if a contractor provides 56 hours of PTO that meets the requirements described in the rule but employees can use the leave for any purpose, the contractor does not have to provide separate paid sick leave even if an employee uses all of the time for vacation."
Fisher Phillips

[Guidance Overview]

San Francisco Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program Made Permanent (PDF)
"On September 22, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that continues a regional pilot program aimed at encouraging employees in the Bay Area to use commute alternatives to driving alone on a permanent basis. The program ... requires employers with 50 or more employees in the Bay Area to offer certain commuter benefits to their employees."
Xerox HR Services

State Tax Laws Withstand Most ERISA Preemption Challenges
"Gobeille and the Sixth Circuit reaffirmance [of Self-Insurance Inst. of America v. Snyder] suggest that ERISA permits a wide variety of state tax laws to be applied to ERISA plans, their third-party administrators and other service providers, including the reporting and record-keeping requirements used to enforce those laws."
Albert Feuer, in Bloomberg BNA

ACA Reporting: Earlier Deadlines and the End of Transition Relief
"For the 2015 reporting year, the IRS extended the deadlines and gave employers a few extra months to provide these forms to their employees and to file them with the IRS. However, this transition relief was not extended to the 2017 deadlines for the 2016 reporting year. As a result, reporting deadlines for filings in 2017 are months earlier as compared to 2016."
Greensfelder

Follow the Money: Connecting Employee Income and Health Plan Costs
"A [recent study] reveals that income matters in healthcare ... [T]he relationship between income and health is gradient: income and health are connected stepwise at every level of the economic ladder. Middle-class Americans are healthier than those living in or near poverty, but they are less healthy than the upper class. Even wealthy Americans are less healthy, on average, than those Americans with even higher incomes."
Chelko Consulting Group

Graph of Everything That's Wrong with Health Insurance Premiums
"[T]he increase in premiums has slowed, though it is still easily outpacing overall inflation and the increase in our earnings. In 2001-2006, premiums rose a cumulative 63%. The paces was halved in the next five year-period. From 2011 through this year, premiums rose 20%. Cumulative wage growth was 15%, 16% and most recently 11%. The cumulative increase in prices was 14%, 12% and 6% for the three periods respectively."
Business Insider

Minnesota Insurance Commissioner Announces Major Premium Hikes, Calls for Exchange Reforms
"The state [approved] monthly premium increases between 50 percent and 67 percent for the seven insurers offering plans on the state's exchange, MNsure, in 2017. Approximately 250,000 in the state purchase insurance through the state's marketplace, about 5 percent of the state's population."
Morning Consult

Many People Who Currently Buy Individual Market Coverage Could Be Eligible for ACA Subsidies
"We estimate that about 2.5 million people enrolled in off-Marketplace individual market coverage have incomes that may qualify them for tax credits. In six states (California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, and Pennsylvania) more than 100,000 individuals enrolled in off-Marketplace individual market coverage have incomes that may qualify them for Marketplace subsidies."
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Executive Pay Clawbacks Are Gratifying, but Not Particularly Effective
"If the goal is to keep corporate executives honest, compensation clawbacks aren't doing the job. That's what the recent action by Wells Fargo's board shows. Yes, the bank's directors acted on Tuesday to recover $60 million in stock grants from two top executives in the wake of the phony-account-opening scandal. But the move came almost three years after the improprieties came to light -- and should serve as Exhibit A for the shortcomings in these pay recovery programs."
The New York Times; subscription may be required

Evolving Best Practices in Director Compensation
"[P]laintiffs' lawyers have found litigation over directors' compensation to be much more profitable than litigation over executives' pay (because the board's decisions over executive pay are protected by the business judgment rule, which may not be available to 'interested' directors setting their own pay).... Among the evolving best practices [are]: Independent Review. I ... Benchmarking.... Charter Language.... Disclosure."
Winston & Strawn LLP

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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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