Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 7, 2016

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Redefining Plan Success
November 16, 2016 in CA
Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Los Angeles Chapter

Ethics
December 7, 2016 WEBCAST
Conference of Consulting Actuaries

How to Survive an ACA Audit
December 13, 2016 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

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[Guidance Overview]

Proposed Form 5500 Changes and Implications for H&W Plans
50 presentation slides. "Last round of changes was effective in 2009.... The proposed changes would be effective beginning with 2019 plan year reporting. No corresponding revised forms/schedules have been provided. Comment deadline extended to 12/5/16. Stated goals for the changes: [1] Modernize financial statements and investment information. [2] Update reporting requirements for service provider fee and expense information. [3] Require Form 5500 reporting by all group health plans covered by ERISA Title I. [4] Improve compliance and oversight."
Groom Law Group, for American Benefits Council

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[Guidance Overview]

Medicare Creditable Coverage Disclosures Due before October 15th
"The disclosure requirement does not apply to account-based medical plans such as health savings accounts (HSAs), health flexible spending accounts (health FSAs), or Archer medical savings accounts (Archer MSAs). However, disclosures would be required for HDHPs and other non-account benefits available to participants with these account types, to the extent the HDHP or other non-account benefit offers prescription drug coverage."
Ice Miller LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Untangling ACA Opt-Out Payment Rules
"This [article] focuses on the impact of opt-out payments on 'applicable large employers' subject to employer shared responsibility duties under the ACA. For such employers, reduced affordability of coverage will impact how offers of coverage are reported under ACA reporting rules (IRC Section 6056) and could trigger excise tax payments under IRC Section 4980H(b)."
E is for ERISA

[Guidance Overview]

New Guidance on Plan and Large Employer Reporting Under the ACA
"[C]ontributing employers to multiemployer plans will continue to report their offers of coverage to employees for whom they contribute to a multiemployer plan in the same way they reported these offers for 2015.... The most significant change in Form 1095-C reporting is that for 2016 large employers will now be required to report 'conditional' offers of coverage to spouses."
Segal Consulting

Resolution Agreement and FAQ Highlight OCR's Emphasis on HIPAA Business Associates
"The resolution agreement illustrates that service providers may be business associates even if they are related corporate affiliates of a covered entity. And the FAQ highlights the importance of careful contract drafting based on a clear understanding of each business associate's services. Contracts that restrict a covered entity's access to PHI maintained on its behalf raise significant compliance issues."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Advert.]

New Parental Leave Laws in Washington D.C.

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October 11 webinar. Gain an understanding of current obligations for employee leave laws in the District of Columbia as well as any pending legislation to keep your company in compliance.


Employer-Provided Quality-of-Life Benefits, March 2016
"In March 2016, 54 percent of civilian workers had access to employee assistance programs. In that same period, 41 percent of workers had access to wellness programs, followed by childcare (11 percent), subsidized commuting (7 percent), and flexible workplace (6 percent)."
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]

[Opinion]

NHeLP Comment Letter to HHS on Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018
35 pages. "[NHeLP has] concerns related to several policies related to definitions and standardized options, including high deductible health plans, cost-sharing for habilitation, and specialty drug tiering.... We support the inclusion of new standardized design options to make accommodation for states that have state cost-sharing laws.... We are concerned about the inclusion of high deductible health plans (HDHPs) to the standardized options."
National Health Law Program [NHeLP]

[Opinion]

ERIC Comment Letter to HHS on Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018 (PDF)
"ERIC members believe that the Exchange notices and the employer appeals process should be suspended immediately. There is no reason to perpetuate a process that is riddled with errors, that wastes employer and government resources and that produces no definitive outcome. It is an appeals process in name only, and CMS would be well served to suspend the process until such time, if any, that the process can be coordinated effectively with the IRS."
The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

[Opinion]

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Comment Letter to HHS' on Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018
"To the extent that we were able to review and assess the 80-page rule in the 30 days since it was published in the Federal Register, our comments here will focus on our support for some of the proposals that will increase flexibility for carriers and create more choices and options for consumers. We also have concerns with some of the proposals which will limit choice and innovation for consumers and urge the Department to reconsider these provisions."
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Looking Ahead to Say-on-Frequency
"There are several exceptions to the 2017 say-on-frequency voting requirement. Smaller reporting companies ... were not required to hold their first say-on-frequency vote until their 2013 meeting, and so the matter will not come up again for them until 2019. In addition, the JOBS Act exempted the new class of emerging growth companies (EGCs) ... from the Dodd Frank say-on-pay, say-on-frequency, and say-on-golden-parachute vote requirements for as long as they remain EGCs."
Morgan Lewis

2016 Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan Survey Results
"Nearly half of plans (48 percent) allow both employee and employer contributions, while 29 percent allow only employee contributions, and 23 percent allow only employer contributions. 71 percent of plans allowing employer contributions make a match, the most common being a fixed match. 42 percent offer participants the opportunity to make 'in-service' distribution elections."
Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Preparing Employees for CEO Pay Ratio Disclosures
"Public companies in the U.S. will be required to disclose the ratio of CEO pay to median employee pay in their 2018 proxy statements ... Prudent companies are also considering the potential impact of these disclosures on the workforce, not just shareholders.... [C]ompanies face some important decisions, both regarding the variables in the calculation itself and in how they plan to present this information."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Clawbacks: Can a New Statute or Regulation Override an Existing Employment Agreement?
"[A] federal appellate court considered the question of whether a governmental prohibition on making golden parachute payments to terminated employees of a company constitutes a 'taking' of the former employee's property interest, which is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.... Piszel sued the U.S. government rather than his former employer. The court found that Mr. Piszel had a 'cognizant Fifth Amendment property interest.' " [Piszel v. U.S., No. 15-5100 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 18, 2016)]
Winston & Strawn LLP

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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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