Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 17, 2016

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Study Group: How Advisors Can Use Financial Wellness to Add Value
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T. Rowe Price

Can This Marriage be Saved? Risk Adjustment and the ACA
November 29, 2016 WEBCAST
Society of Actuaries

Employee Benefits Conference
December 13, 2016 in IL
Illinois CPA Society

Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System Changes
December 15, 2016 WEBCAST
IRS [Internal Revenue Service]

2017 Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference
April 23, 2017 in MD
University Conference Services

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[Guidance Overview]

Arizona and Washington Become Latest States to Require Paid Sick Leave
"The Arizona paid sick leave act ... will require employers with 15 or more employees to allow workers to accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year at a minimum rate of one hour per 30 hours worked. Smaller employers (those with fewer than 15 employees) will be required to allow employees to accrue up to 24 hours of paid leave per year.... The Washington paid sick leave act ... will apply to all employees covered by the state's Minimum Wage Act. Covered employees will be entitled to accrue paid leave at a rate of at least one hour for every 40 hours worked. Employees will also be entitled to carry over at least 40 hours of unused sick leave into the following year."
Proskauer's Law and the Workplace

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Letter Explains How HSA Nondiscrimination Rules Apply to Former Employees
"After noting that the IRS could only provide a definitive answer through the private letter ruling process, the letter explains that employers' HSA contributions generally are subject to a nondiscrimination rule that requires those contributions to be made in comparable amounts to the HSAs of all comparable employees.... Retirees and other former employees are tested separately under the comparability rules, so employers can give those individuals different HSA contributions than active employees when the comparability rules apply."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Shared Information Compliance: After HIPAA Comes FTC Act
"The agencies offered tips to help businesses ensure that their disclosure statements are in compliance with the FTC Act: [1] Don't bury key facts in links to a privacy policy, terms of use or the HIPAA authorization.... [2] Design user interface with various devices in mind, ensuring that participants do not have to scroll to view disclosure claims. [3] Review user interface for contradictions and get rid of them. [4] Ensure paper and electronic disclosure statements are consistent as the FTC Act applies to both."
Bloomberg BNA

FMLA Notice Requirements: Substitution and 'Make Up' Leave
"Generally speaking, employees are not entitled to 'stack' all the different kinds of leave available to them under the FMLA, other laws, and your leave policies. But to prevent them from doing so, you must give them advance notice that you require them to use other types of leave concurrently with their FMLA leave. Of course, if your state's laws, a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), or your own policies offer more generous leave provisions than the FMLA, you must honor them, although you can require them to run concurrently with FMLA leave."
HR Daily Advisor

As Employer Mandate Requirements Expand, Penalty Exposure Could Reach $31 Billion
"According to the employer mandate of the [ACA], employers who fail to offer health coverage to their employees will face penalties. The [CBO] has projected that non-compliant employers (those not offering coverage) may face $21 billion in penalties for the upcoming 2016 tax reporting period. However, [recent analysis] has identified a new segment of employers, deemed the 'unintentionally non-compliant,' whose penalty exposure could amount to an additional $10 billion during the same period. This group represents employers who offer compliant health coverage, yet fail to meet the [IRS] reporting requirements needed to demonstrate compliance under the law. In total, employer penalty exposure could reach $31 billion for 2016, nearly 50 percent greater than originally estimated."
Accenture

Fewer Americans Say Cost Is a Barrier to Getting Care, But U.S. Still Has a Long Way to Go
"In 2016, 33 percent of U.S. adults said they did not fill a prescription, see a doctor when sick, or get recommended care because of the cost, down from 37 percent in 2013 ... Adults with incomes of less than $25,000 per year saw a particularly large decline of 8 percentage points."
The Commonwealth Fund

U.S. Adults Still Struggle with Access to and Affordability of Health Care
"Using data from a 2016 survey conducted in eleven countries ... [the authors] found that US adults reported poor health and well-being and were the most likely to experience material hardship. The United States trailed other countries in making health care affordable and ranked poorly on providing timely access to medical care (except specialist care)".
Health Affairs

HSA Enrollment May Surge During Trump Administration
"Since 2013, HSAs have seen a 53.7 increase in enrollments.... [If President-elect Trump] is able to successfully work with Congress to get his plan approved, the market would presumably see an even greater surge in HSA enrollment as they become more accessible. For third party administrators who offer HSA administration services, this could mean a potential bonanza in revenue."
DataPath

The Future of the ACA
"[This article] seeks to identify many elements that are likely to be included in legislation to change the ACA, as well as statutory provisions that are likely to remain unchanged. It also identifies significant changes in policy that the incoming administration may well make, using the authority they will have to change regulations and other guidance and their enforcement discretion. Finally, [it lists] questions individuals, employers, and health care providers are likely to have immediately as they try to plan and budget for the future, and [the authors] provide answers to the extent available."
Jones Day

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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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