Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 23, 2017 logo logo
Get Retirement News | Advertise | Unsubscribe | Previous Issues | Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Pension Plan Administrator
Growing Retirement Plan Administration Firm
in NY

Exclusive Plan Administrator Opportunity
Associated Pension Consultants
in CA

Defined Contribution Account Manager (Combo Plans)
Nova 401(k) Associates
in AZ, TX, Telecommute

Post Your Job

View All Jobs

RSS feed for jobs RSS Feed: All Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

Latest on Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits
February 7, 2017 in NJ
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Financial Stress in the Defined Benefit System
February 14, 2017 WEBCAST
Society of Actuaries

View All Webcasts and Conferences

Post Your Event


Subscribe Now to This Newsletter (free)

We also publish the BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe Now

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Chief Counsel Memo 201703013: Tax Treatment of Benefits Paid by Fixed-Indemnity Health Plans (PDF)
"An employer may not exclude from an employee's gross income payments under an employer-provided fixed indemnity health plan if the value of the coverage was excluded from the employee's gross income and wages. An employer may not exclude from an employee's gross income payments under an employer-provided fixed indemnity health plan if the premiums for the fixed indemnity health plan were originally made by salary reduction through a Section 125 cafeteria plan." [Dec. 12, 2016; released Jan. 20, 2017]
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Successful benefits programs start here

Sponsored by Health & Benefits Leadership Conference

Looking to achieve better bottom-line results through more strategically driven healthcare, wellness and benefits programs? Then join your fellow HR and benefits leaders at HBLC this spring. Register now with Promo Code H17 to save an extra $75.00!

[Guidance Overview]

End-of-Administration Changes: 21st Century Cures Act, Disability Claims Procedures, and More
"[The 21st Century Cures Act ('Cures')] provides for more enforcement coordination and sharing of information on enforcement efforts.... Cures clarified that if a group health plan subject to the MHPAEA provides coverage for eating disorder benefits, including residential treatment, such benefit coverage must be provided consistent with the MHPAEA.... Cures requires guidance by December 13, 2017 [on relaxed HIPAA] requirements for communications with caregivers of adults with a serious mental illness in order to facilitate treatment. While portions of Cures talk of this solely in reference to health care providers, other provisions refer to this as applying to covered entities in general which would include group health plans."
Winstead PC

Trump Executive Order on ACA: What It Won't Do, What It Might Do, and When
"In sum, nothing happens yet, nor is it likely to happen until the heads of HHS, Treasury, and probably Labor, as well as the CMS Administration and IRS Commissioner are in place; even then it will take a while for changes to be put into motion. In the long run a great deal may change ... But change will only be 'to the maximum extent permitted by law.' There may be, for example, a fairly dramatic shift in the interpretation of section 1332 of the ACA, which permits HHS to grant innovation waivers to states, but waivers will still have to be granted subject to section 1332's requirements. Sale of insurance across state lines is already permitted by the ACA, but subject to state approval and consumer protections that will have to be observed."
Timothy Jost, in Health Affairs

Stolen Pen Drive Results in $2.2 Million HIPAA Settlement
"On January 18, 2017, HHS announced a $2.2 million settlement with the Puerto Rico-based subsidiary of a multinational insurance company for potential HIPAA violations. HHS investigated the subsidiary, which is a HIPAA covered entity and underwriter of life and disability insurance and group health insurance plans, after the subsidiary notified the government of the theft of a pen drive containing electronic protected health information (ePHI)."
Practical Law Company

Court Says Non-Minneapolis Employers Not Likely Required to Comply with City's Paid Sick Time Ordinance
"A Hennepin County Court judge has issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of Minneapolis's new paid sick time ordinance against employers who are not located within the city limits.... Minneapolis-based employers need to continue preparing for the ordinance's July 1 effective date."
Gray Plant Mooty

CMS Announces 45 ACOs Are Now Participating in Next Generation Model
"For 2017, 28 new participants joined the Next Gen model, bringing the total number of participants to 45. CMS Innovation Center's Next Generation ACO Model was designed to test whether strong financial incentives for ACOs can improve health outcomes and reduce expenditures for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. Provider groups in this model assume higher levels of financial risk and reward than are available under the shared savings program."
Healthcare Finance News


'Alexa, What Is My Deductible?'
"Benefits technology ... has not had broad adoption by employees. Yes, employers have bought systems or brokers have given them away, but when you look at utilization on the employee side it is abysmal.... [T]he reason for this is because there is not enough value as a stand-alone solution to generate broad adoption."
Joe Markland


What Does Trump's ACA Executive Order Actually Do?
"The Trump executive order should be seen more as a mission statement, and less as a monarchical edict that can instantly change the law.... [T]he order, crucially, notes that agencies can act only 'to the maximum extent permitted by law.' (How the Trump administration interprets those permissions, of course, is yet untested.) ... The order was not specific and did not direct any particular actions."
The New York Times; subscription may be required


Is the Trump Administration on Its Way to Its Own 'If You Like Your Health Plan You Can Keep It' Fiasco?
"The short of it is that the Trump administration, by trying to bring relief to some consumers, could just as easily further undermine the already shaky Obamacare risk pool. If the pool were to be made worse than it is now, health plans would be challenged to figure out how they could remain in a market already intended for demolition once the new replacement plan was ready in 2019."
Bob Laszewski's Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

That's a FAQ, Jack! New Interpretations from ISS
"On December 19, 2016, ISS issued updates to several of its key FAQs, including those on Equity Compensation Plans, Executive Compensation Policies, and also the explanation of ISS' Pay-for-Performance Mechanics. [This article summarizes] the specific updates under each FAQ and the P4P Mechanics."

Press Releases

Connect   LinkedIn logo   Twitter logo   Facebook logo, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2017, 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, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers; we were not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.

Unsubscribe | Privacy Policy