Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 24, 2016

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Webcasts and Conferences

EEOC Final Rules on ADA, GINA, and Employer Wellness Programs
RECORDED
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]

What the Healthcare Law Means for Your Small Business
November 10, 2016 WEBCAST
Small Business Majority

Recognizing and Avoiding Pitfalls When Changing Record keepers
November 17, 2016 in CA
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

New Parental Leave Laws in New Jersey
December 7, 2016 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

2017 Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference
March 19, 2017 in AZ
University Conference Services

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Releases Final Instructions for Forms 1094-B/1095-B and 1094-C/1095-C
"The IRS recently released final instructions for the 2016 Forms 1094 and 1095.... While a few of the items are 'neutral' and merely reflect pre-programmed changes under the [ACA] that were already known and set to occur, many of the changes and clarifications are welcome news."
Haynes and Boone, LLP

[Advert.]

5th Annual Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring Summit - Jan. 25-26, 2017 - Atlanta, GA

Sponsored by World Congress

Telehealth execs discuss engaging providers & consumers in digital health to optimize ROI & improve population health. Promo Code BLINK2 takes $200 off your registration (May not combine w any other offer. Not valid twd Govt Rate/Workshop Only/Webcast)


[Guidance Overview]

Election 2016: A Reminder About New York's Voting Leave Law and Posting Requirements
"Employers ... should be mindful that New York law requires the posting of a notice at least 10 working days prior to 'every election.' ... New York law requires that every employer post this notice 'conspicuously in the place of work,' and it must remain in place until the close of the polls on November 8, 2016."
Ogletree Deakins

Benefits of the Tax-Preferred Status of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance (PDF)
17 pages. "[T]he current tax treatment of health care benefits provides strong incentives to employers who purchase health care for their employees to focus on the overall health of their employees and to use their leverage to improve the quality and cost of the health care system. Furthermore, changes to the tax treatment of health care benefits may discourage employers from offering coverage to their employees.... [L]imiting or eliminating the current tax exclusion of employer-provided health care benefits could cost our system far more than any benefits it may provide."
American Health Policy Institute

Telemedicine: A Popular New Benefit with Potential Legal Gotchas
"[Here] are some of the considerations employers should consider in determining whether to offer telemedicine services. [1] Do the scope of your telemedicine services cause the program to be a group health plan?.... [1] Is it feasible to offer telemedicine services through your existing group health plan? ... [2] Are there any legal restrictions that impact your ability to offer telemedicine services?"
Wilkins Finston Friedman Law Group LLP

New ACA Student Health Insurance Guidance Allows College Payment of Working Students' Student Health Insurance Premiums Post-2016
"Colleges and other institutions of higher education within the meaning of the Higher Education Act of 1965 may continue until further notice to pay or subsidize student health insurance coverage premiums for students performing work-study or other services for the school as part of their financial aid package without fear of prosecution for violation of the group market reform requirements of the [ACA], according to ACA guidance jointly published by the [DOL], [HHS], and the Treasury[.]"
Solutions Law Press

Sharing Consumer Health Information? Look to HIPAA and the FTC Act
"Does your business collect and share consumer health information? When it comes to privacy, you've probably thought about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). But did you know that you also need to comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act? This means if you share health information, it's not enough to simply consider the HIPAA regulations. You also must make sure your disclosure statements are not deceptive under the FTC Act."
Federal Trade Commission [FTC]

OCR on HIPAA Enforcement: 'We May Have More Fines in the Future'
"OCR will be providing more guidance to help entities and [business associates], noted Deven McGraw, OCR's deputy director for health information privacy, also speaking at the conference. The guidance will address, among other things, the distinction between a request for records from a third party versus from an individual patient, text messaging, sharing information with a patient's friends and family, and social media."
FierceHealthcare

Facebook, Coca-Cola, Braun Medical Offer Paid Parental Leave Tips
"[O]nly 26 percent of employers offer paid maternity leave beyond what's covered by short-term disability or state law, only 21 percent offer paid paternity leave and only 20 percent offer paid adoption leave. And yet the media is buzzing with accounts of employers introducing generous paid parental leave programs."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Datasets Published for All Health Exchange Plans from 2015 to 2016
"HIX Compare includes information on premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, as well as cost-sharing requirements for primary care and specialist visits, prescription drugs, emergency room services and inpatient and outpatient visits for all plans across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The previous 2016 HIX Compare files have been replaced by new, expanded data files."
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

[Opinion]

Rising Insurance Premiums Boost Talk of Changes to ACA
"President Barack Obama led his party's cry ... with suggestions that would further entrench the law, including the addition of a government-run health plan in parts of the country with limited competition. GOP lawmakers have continued to call for gutting the law, including proposals to waive its penalties for people who forgo coverage in areas with limited insurance options.... Next year, a new president and Congress will be under pressure to ensure that people who buy coverage on their own still have access to viable plans."
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOJ and FTC Issue Guidance on Antitrust Laws in the Employment Context
"[A]greements (whether formal or informal) among employers to limit or fix the compensation paid to employees or to refrain from soliciting or hiring each other's employees are per se violations of the antitrust laws. Also, even if competitors don't explicitly agree to limit or suppress compensation, the mere exchange of compensation information among employers may violate the antitrust laws if it has the effect of suppressing compensation."
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

A Look at What's Coming: IRS Issues Guidance Priorities (PDF)
"The July 2016-June 2017 'guidance priorities' plan highlights areas of pending qualified plan guidance, with a vast majority of the 35 pension-related projects being carryovers from prior guidance plan lists. A summary of what is to come in the coming year from the project list can be found in [this] article."
Groom Law Group

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

SEC Provides New Guidance on Pay Ratio Disclosure
"Item 402(u) provides companies with substantial flexibility in calculating the required disclosures.... Rather than having to calculate the total annual compensation of every employee just to identify the median, the rule permits a company to base its median employee determination on any 'consistently applied compensation measure' reasonably chosen by the company."
Drinker Biddle

Highlights of the ISS 2016-2017 Policy Survey
"For 53% of investor respondents, the lack of newly appointed independent directors in recent years raised concerns about a board's nominating and refreshment processes. For 51% of respondents, lengthy average board tenure (average tenure greater than 10 or 15 years) is a concern ... A majority of investor respondents (64%) favored applying the stricter CEO standard, thereby limiting the total number of boards on which an executive chair may serve to three (including the home company board)."
Morgan Lewis

Press Releases

ASPPA Welcomes Richard Hochman as 48th President
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

ASPPA Honors Judy Miller, Others with 2016 Industry Awards
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

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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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