Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 22, 2017 logo logo
Get Retirement News | Advertise | Unsubscribe | Previous Issues | Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

Successful Sale to an ESOP: Transitioning Leadership and Governance
March 1, 2017 WEBCAST
Ohio Employee Ownership Center

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Basic Fiduciary Responsibilities
March 14, 2017 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Do That with Your ESOP: Great Ideas from ESOP Companies
March 14, 2017 WEBCAST
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: ERISA’s Reporting and Disclosure Provisions
March 16, 2017 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Impact of the New Administration on Employee Benefits — What to Plan For
March 16, 2017 in NY
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Qualified Medical Child Support Orders
March 21, 2017 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule: What’s Next?
March 23, 2017 in DC
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Washington Metropolitan Chapter

How to Properly De-Risk Your Pension Plan: A Rainbow of Options
March 30, 2017 WEBCAST
Findley Davies, Inc.

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

[Guidance Overview]

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: A New Compliance Requirement for Covered Federal Contractors and Subcontractors
"Covered contractors must provide no fewer than seven days of paid sick leave annually. But not all employees are covered by the Rule -- only those employees who work on 'or in connection with' a contract that is covered by the Rule fall under the sick leave provision."
Pepper Hamilton LLP

[Advert.] – Welfare Benefit Plan Documents Webinar

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

Stacey Austin & Jennifer Kobayashi of Wang Kobayashi Austin, LLC will discuss the types of plan documents governing welfare benefit plans. Register here for this FREE webinar and earn 1 hour CE credit. Date: Tues. Feb 28 Time: 1 pm (CT)

Revocation of Telework Arrangement Was FMLA Retaliation, Court Says
"[A] federal appeals court upheld a jury verdict for an employee who had a hybrid FMLA-telework arrangement to care for her son, who has autism. The jury found that the employer had retaliated against her, in violation of the FMLA, when it revoked her work-from-home arrangement and told her (incorrectly) that the FMLA only covers time off for medical appointments and treatment." [Wink v. Miller Compressing Co., Nos. 16-2336, 16-2339 (7th Cir. Jan. 9, 2017)]
HR Daily Advisor

Evidence Employee Was Discouraged from Taking Intermittent Leave, Fired After Doing So, Support Revival of FMLA Claims
"An employer's email to an employee who had just returned from a four-day absence -- while she had a pending FMLA leave request and prior not-yet-approved requests -- stating that her 'continued unpaid time away from the workplace' compromised the quality of care it could provide was 'the clearest example' of discouraging her from taking FMLA leave, the Eleventh Circuit ruled ... Her FMLA retaliation claim was also revived." [Diamond v. Hospice of Florida Keys, Inc., No. 15-15716, (11th Cir. Jan. 27, 2017, unpub.)]
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Do You Have Audit Controls to Ensure Access for Terminated Employees is Ended?
"[E]mployers generally have procedures in place that ensure immediate termination of access to an employer's network and computer systems upon the employee's termination of employment.... [Do] you have audit controls in place to ensure the access has been properly terminated? If not, you should put some in place right away, especially if you are a covered entity under HIPAA. And remember not only health care providers are covered entities. Self-funded health plans are also covered entities and subject to the HIPAA privacy and security rules."
Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP

Are Your 'Voluntary' Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA?
"[T]here are four requirements of the voluntary plan safe harbor.... The benefit plan must be completely voluntary and employee paid, with no employer contributions made in any form for any employees.... [T]he employer must not endorse the plan. In simple terms if you endorse it, you own it (for purposes of ERISA) ... Finally, under the safe harbor, employers are prohibited from receiving any compensation that exceeds reasonable reimbursement for collecting and remitting premium payments."
Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP


2017 Health Savings Accounts Facts

Sponsored by The National Underwriter Company

Turn to the new 2017 Health Savings Accounts Facts to obtain vital HSA questions and answers right at your fingertips. Use code BENLINK for 10% discount.

Managing Hospital Employee Health Costs Can Help Prepare for Value-Based Care
"As employee health costs continue to rise they have a significant impact on hospital finances.... [H]ospitals already take full risk for the cost of their employees' health. By actively managing the employee health plan a hospital can achieve significant savings that can be used to fund the transformation to accepting risk (population health)."
BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence and Innovation

Text of District Court Opinion Enjoining Merger of Anthem and Cigna (PDF)
140 pages. "[T]he merger will be enjoined due to its likely impact on the market for the sale of health insurance to 'national accounts' -- customers with more than 5000 employees, usually spread over at least two states -- within the fourteen states where Anthem operates as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee.... This brings us to the elephant in the courtroom. In this case, the Department of Justice is not the only party raising questions about Anthem's characterization of the outcome of the merger: one of the two merging parties is also actively warning against it." [U.S. v. Anthem, No. 16-1493 (D.D.C. Feb. 8, 2017; 12-page order was previously published, this redacted opinion released by the court on Feb. 21, 2017)]
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Five Things to Know About Life After ACA
"Congress and POTUS are largely focused on the individual market.... [In] both the short-term and the long-run, employer reporting is going to continue to exist in one form or another.... If you haven't already mailed out your 1095-Cs, keep working towards the March 2nd deadline for distribution to ensure you can prove you made a Good Faith Effort at compliance.... IRS to allow blanks on Line 61 of Form 1040 ... Don't expect this to be an overnight change."

IRS to Accept Tax Returns Lacking Health Coverage Status; Employer Reporting Unchanged
"On Feb. 15, the IRS announced ... that it would not reject taxpayers' 2016 income tax returns that are missing health coverage information.... It is not a repeal of the individual mandate; penalty provisions are still in place and are currently being enforced.... Those who are responsible for issuing and filing 1094s and 1095s on behalf of their organizations should continue to comply with all relevant laws, regulations, reporting requirements and filing specifications during the repeal-and-replace process[.]"
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Health Insurers May Get More Time to Decide to Participate in Obamacare
"The deadline for filing most health plan applications in the [ACA] exchanges in 2018 would be extended to June 21 from May 3 under [the HHS proposal].... Rate increases must be publicly posted by Aug. 1 in most states under the proposal. The 2018 open enrollment period begins Nov. 1."
Bloomberg BNA

Single-Payer Health Care Bill Introduced In California Senate
"The bill, which is a preliminary step, says that it is the 'intent of the Legislature' to enact a law that would establish a comprehensive, single-payer health care program for the benefit of everyone in the state. The legislation ... does not offer specifics of what the plan would look like, nor does it mention a timetable."
Kaiser Health News

Benefits in General

Winning Tactic on Summary Judgment to Prove Claimant Received the Policy: Get Key Evidence into the Administrative Record
"To prove delivery of the policy (from four years earlier), Lincoln National included in the administrative record a declaration outlining the delivery practices for this type of policy.... Including the declaration in the administrative record was a winning strategy because the court applied the 'abuse of discretion' standard, rather than a Rule 56 'genuine dispute of fact' standard, where dispute of facts would have to be construed in favor of the nonmoving party." [Sliwa v. Lincoln National Life Ins. Co., No. 13-1433 (D. Nev. Feb. 8, 2017)]
Lane Powell PC

Why Student Loan Repayment May Soon Be a Standard Benefit
"The average tenure of Millennials is around 16 months, and the bulk of these workers are saddled with a tremendous amount of student loan debt ($30,000 on average). That revolving door mentality among younger workers hurts employers' retention rates and costs a fortune in extra recruiting and training costs. Plus, because student loan debt makes contributing to a 401(k) a low priority, employers' 401(k) participation rates suffer as well."
HR Benefits Alert

Obamacare Repeal May Birth a New Retirement Account
"Under the Cassidy-Collins plan, Roth HSA contributions would not be tax-deductible, cutting off one leg of the triple advantage. However, unlike regular HSAs, you wouldn't need a high-deductible health plan to qualify for a Roth HSA -- and you could pay health-insurance premiums with the account."

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