Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

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

Employee Benefits Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

Liability-Driven Investing and Other Types of Pension Risk Transfer Strategies (Part 3 of 4)
March 9, 2017 WEBCAST

Perfect Plan: Behavioral Economics and Employee Benefits
March 16, 2017 in GA
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Atlanta Chapter

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program and Abandoned Plan Program Workshop
April 26, 2017 in KY
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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

Seventh Circuit Decision Holds ERISA Does Not Authorize Contribution Suits Brought by Plans Against Other Payers
"A recent Seventh Circuit decision leaves ERISA plans paying claims without a remedy to enforce coordination of benefits clauses against other payers.... ERISA plans cannot ordinarily pursue reimbursement or contribution under state law theories, as such claims are typically pre-empted by ERISA. After this decision, they also cannot pursue reimbursement under ERISA." [Cent. States, Se. & Sw. Areas Health & Welfare Fund v. American Int'l Group, No. 15-2237 (7th Cir. Oct. 24, 2016)]
Godfrey & Kahn S.C.


Innovative solutions for all of your benefits challenges

Sponsored by Health & Benefits Leadership Conference

With 6 diverse program tracks, HBLC has all the strategies you need to maximize ROI, manage benefits plan design, transform benefits communication and more! Plus save $75.00 on top of $250.00 PreShow Savings when you register now with Promo Code H17.

Leave Management Continues to Vex Employers, but Outsourcing and Integrated Systems Help
"Outsourcing of [FMLA] administration continues to increase ... 34 percent of employers with 50 or more employees outsource FMLA leave to a third-party administrator (TPA). 45 percent of employers with 1,000 and more employees do so. 80 percent of employers that also outsource management of short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) leave do so through the same TPA that manages FMLA leave on their behalf."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Paid Family Leave Is Proposed Again in Congress
"On February 7, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) reintroduced the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, along with 112 cosponsors in the House and 26 in the Senate (H.R. 947; S. 337).... The bill would create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program aimed at ensuring that American workers would no longer have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a family member."
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Voters in Arizona and Washington State Approve Paid Sick Leave Mandates
"Arizona and Washington have recently joined Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont in mandating statewide paid sick leave, and Montgomery County, Maryland, expanded its existing paid sick leave law. Going in the opposite direction, Ohio banned paid sick leave mandates, and five jurisdictions in Illinois opted out of a county law mandating paid sick leave."
Willis Towers Watson

University's Links to Catholic Church Not Sufficient to Exempt Its Disability Plan From ERISA
"For many years, most courts (and the DOL and IRS) treated plans maintained by church-affiliated organizations as church plans even if they were not established by a church; the narrower reading embraced by the appellate courts ... is a relatively recent development. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on this issue (in those cases), and a decision is expected before the current term ends in June. While those cases all involve pension plans, health and welfare plans like the disability plan here are likely to be affected by the Court's decision." [Durham v. Prudential Life Ins. Co. of America, No. 16-8202 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 10, 2017)]
Thomson Reuters / EBIA


Level-Funded Plans

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

March 10 webinar. Learn the pros and cons of a self-funded insurance plan design and understand the specific level funding option to see if this is the best fit for you.

2016 Year-End Devenir HSA Research Report
"The number of HSA accounts rose to 20 million, holding almost $37 billion in assets, a year over year increase of 22% for HSA assets and 20% for accounts for the period of December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2016.... The average investment account holder has a $14,971 average total balance ... Health plan partnerships continued as the leading driver of new account growth, accounting for 37% of new accounts opened in 2016."

Health Savings Accounts and Filing Your Taxes
"As you prepare and compile tax documents, it's important to know what forms you may need to file if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA). In addition to Form 1040, there are two other very important documents -- Form 1099-SA and Form 8889."

Health Reform: American Businesses Are Critical Partners for Success (PDF)
11 pages. "We are on the cusp of a major transformation in how people access care and how care is delivered.... The potential savings are vast, and would help achieve the important goal of expanding health coverage to more people while preserving the employer-based system that Americans value so highly. [This paper presents] four recommendations to achieve these goals: [1] Address healthcare cost growth and avoid shifting costs to private payers; [2] Maintain favorable tax treatment of employer-sponsored benefits; [3] Update health savings account rules; [4] Create a 'President's Healthcare Leadership Council'."
Marsh & McLennan Companies

Four GOP Legislative Alternatives to the ACA (PDF)
"At the moment, four different proposals seem to be receiving the most attention.... [1] Cassidy-Collins' Patient Freedom Act of 2017 (S.191), [2] Paul Ryan's A Better Way, [3] Tom Price's Empowering Patients First Act of 2015 (HR 2300), and [4] Rand Paul's Obamacare Replacement Act (S.222) The Cassidy-Collins Bill seems like it has the best chance of garnering bipartisan support as it allows states the option of keeping the ACA if they wish. [This article describes] each of the four proposals[.]"
United Actuarial Services, Inc.


Save $200 use promo code BLINK2 (not valid for webcast)

Sponsored by World Congress

Health Plan & Payer Summit. Executives from health insurance organizations convene to explore new business strategies, and gain insight into unique business models, innovations, and personalized engagement strategies.

Impact of Changing the Age Rating Limit for Health Insurance Premiums (PDF)
"Premiums for adults ages 60 and older would increase by an average of $3,192 per year, from about $14,724 to $17,916. This represents a 22 percent increase. Premiums for adults ages 50-59 would increase by an average of $1,524 per year, from about $11,316 to $12,840. This represents a 13 percent increase."

Reading the Fine Print: Do ACA Replacement Proposals Give States More Flexibility and Authority?
"[T]he fine print in some plans to replace the ACA would take away state authority over health insurance benefit design, premium rates, marketing, and consumer complaint resolution. A close examination of these proposals shows they would turn upside down a longstanding principle of federal-state regulation of insurance, which provides that the states should be the primary source of health insurance oversight and consumer protection, with the federal government only stepping in to set minimum standards or fill gaps."
Health Affairs

Health Experts Consider a Post-ACA World (PDF)
"[H]ow, exactly, is the law likely to change, and how will this fundamental policy shift affect the U.S. health care and health insurance systems? Those questions were explored by a panel of health and policy experts at EBRI's 79th policy forum held in Washington last December ... The short answer, as the new administration was taking shape: Nobody knows. But whether it's a 'repeal and replace,' as many congressional Republicans have advocated ever since the law was enacted in 2010, or 'repeal and delay' or 'partial repeal' or 'repair' (as some are now suggesting) or just 'repeal,' it seems certain that change is on the way."
Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

ERISA Disability Claim Regulations Get a Facelift
"Plans must ensure independence and impartiality of persons involved in claims determinations ... [P]ractitioners, employers, and administrators should expect that plaintiffs will use the rule in litigation to engage in broad-reaching 'conflict' discovery.... [W]hile the rule is intended to reduce conflict and claim disputes, it probably does little to change how plans already operate on this front.... [It] threatens to increase discovery and litigation costs, contrary to ERISA's goals."
Lathrop & Gage, LLP

Cybersecurity Considerations for Employee Benefit Plans
"[E]mployee benefit plans typically share sensitive employee data and beneficiary and employer information with these service providers. Based upon historical cybersecurity breaches, third parties can be considered the weakest cybersecurity link."
Schneider Downs

Press Releases

Northeast Professional Planning Group Acquires Riker Associates, LLC
Northeast Professional Planning Group [NPPG)]

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