Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 30, 2016

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Employee Benefits Jobs

401(k) Consultant
Creative Retirement Systems
in OH, Telecommute

Client Service Associate
Wells Thomas, LLC
in CT

Actuary / Pension Consultant
Hallett Associates
in PA

Defined Benefit Pension Plan Administrator
Consulting Firm
in NJ

Account Executive/Consultant - Retirement Svcs
Lockton Insurance Brokers - Pacific Series
in CA

Exclusive Retirement Plan Consulting Opportunity
Associated Pension Consultants
in CA

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

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Webcasts and Conferences

Top Issues for Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries to Watch in 2017
December 15, 2016 WEBCAST
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Advanced Testing: 410(b) Coverage Testing of Combo Plans, ESOPs, and 403(b) Plans
January 11, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Just for ERPAs Workshop
January 31, 2017 in FL
FIS Relius Education

Advanced Pension Conference
February 1, 2017 in FL
FIS Relius Education

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Reminder for Employers and Health Coverage Providers: You Have More Time in 2017 to Provide Information Forms to Covered Individuals
"The IRS extended the 2017 due date for employers and coverage providers to furnish information statements to individuals. The due dates to file those returns with the IRS are not extended. This chart can help you understand the upcoming deadlines."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Advert.]

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Sponsored by Health Benefits Conference & Expo [HBCE]

Learn about the latest developments in population health management, benefit plan compliance and strategy -- hear from employers with tried and true solutions and industry thought leaders from across the country at HBCE. Register today!


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Extends Deadlines for Providing 2016 Forms 1095-C to Employees
"This extension may provide employers with the time they need to complete the forms for 2016 and help ensure their accuracy. The extension of the 'good faith effort' standard will decrease the chances of an employer being subject to penalties for incorrectly completing its 2016 reporting. However, as the IRS announced for 2015 Forms 1095-C, we expect the IRS to provide ... that 'good faith effort' requires that an employer correct any errors it finds in forms after they have been distributed and/or filed."
Mazursky Constantine LLC

[Guidance Overview]

Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Affordable Care Act (PDF)
"This report summarizes all the mandatory appropriations and Medicare trust fund transfers in the ACA and provides details, where publicly available, on the status of obligation of these funds. The information is presented in two tables. The report also includes a brief discussion of the impact that sequestration is having on ACA mandatory spending. This report is periodically revised and updated to reflect important legislative and other developments." [Report No. R41301, Nov. 23, 2016.]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Guidance Overview]

HHS Increases Penalties for HIPAA Violations (PDF)
"The new penalties reflect a 10.02 percent increase over the prior amounts and include a 'catch-up' inflation adjustment. Inflation adjustments will now be issued on an annual basis, no later than January 15 each year."
Xerox HR Services

2016 Year-End Action Items for Health & Welfare Plans
"[A]ction items that should be addressed by health and welfare plans as 2016 comes to a close and 2017 begins ... [1] Employer shared responsibility provisions under the ACA ... [2] Issues (potentially) affecting plan design and/or written plan materials ... [3] Complete and distribute Forms W-2 by January 31, 2017 ... [4] Distribute Summary Annual Report(s) ... [5] Pay 2016 Transitional Reinsurance Fee ... [6] A revised Summary of Benefits and Coverage applies beginning with the first open enrollment period beginning on or after April 1, 2017."
Haynes and Boone, LLP

Avoiding Discrimination: HSA Contributions for Former Employees
"While contributions to former employee HSAs may or may not happen frequently, employers should always remain diligent with regard to nondiscrimination requirements. Failure to follow certain comparability requirements could result in a 35% excise tax on all employer contributions not just on the discriminatory contributions."
Compliance Dashboard

Wellness Program Choices Should Take Into Account the Generational Differences in Employee Stressors
"[1] 7.2% of Millennials have reported issues of depression, the highest among the three generational groups. [2] Generation X workers are focused on raising children and providing for their families ... [3] Baby Boomers experience more stress due to loss of friends and family ... [4] Overall, 92 percent of employees have either high levels of stress with extreme fatigue/feeling out of control (60 percent) or constant but manageable stress levels (32 percent)."
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Need Pricey Drugs from an Obamacare Plan? You'll Shoulder More of the Cost
"Substantially more health plans on the federal insurance marketplaces require consumers next year to pay a hefty portion of the cost of the most expensive drugs, changes that analysts say are intended to deter persistently ill patients from choosing their policies."
Kaiser Health News

From Obamacare to Trumpcare: What to Expect from the Likely 'Replace' Alternatives (PDF)
28 presentation slides. "[1] Repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs); [2] Work with Congress to create a patient-centered health care system that promotes choice, quality, and affordability; [3] Work with states to establish high-risk pools to ensure access to coverage for individuals who have not maintained continuous coverage; [4] Allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, in all 50 states, creating a dynamic market; [5] Maximize flexibility for states via block grants so that local leaders can design innovative Medicaid programs that will better serve their low-income citizens."
ABD Insurance & Financial Services

What You Need to Know About Rep. Tom Price, Trump's Pick for HHS Secretary
"Price was the first Republican to craft a replacement plan for Obamacare.... The proposal repeals the [ACA] and replaces it with what Price said are 'patient-centered solutions.' The plan also creates a system of tax credits based on a consumer's age. It further calls for the creation of high-risk pools at the state level and allows people to opt out of Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs."
The Daily Signal

Benefits in General

Employers Alter Benefits to Attract, Retain Employees
"Nearly one-fifth of HR professionals altered their benefits program to aid in the retention of employees over the past 12 months. Of these organizations, about three-fifths altered their health care benefits; more than one-third altered their flexible working, retirement savings and planning, leave, and professional and career development benefits as well. About three-fifths of respondents indicated that benefits for professional and career development, flexible work, health care, and retirement savings and planning will increase in importance to retain employees in the next three to five years."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

A Trump Presidency: What Does It Mean for Employee Benefits?
"The most significant [changes] are likely to be: [1] Major changes in the [ACA] (although the timing and extent of such changes are unclear), combined with expansion of health savings accounts. [2] Postponement or elimination of the recently issued [DOL] fiduciary regulations. [3] Loosening of executive compensation rules. [4] Further cutbacks in IRS guidance and audit activity. [5] Increased hostility to consideration of noneconomic factors in selecting retirement plan investments. [6] Diminished enforcement of protections for LGBT employees. [7] Increased activity at the state level, including establishment of state-sponsored retirement plans for private employers."
Venable LLP

Press Releases

DOL Files Suit Alleging Michigan DHHS, Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital Violated Family and Medical Leave Act
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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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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