Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 1, 2017

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Defined Contribution Plan / 401k Plan Administrator
N.A. Falcone & Associates, Inc.
in PA

Retirement Specialist
Nationwide
in WA

Retirement Plan Administrator
PlanTech, LLP
in AL, Telecommute

Enrolled Actuary
Pension Consulting Firm
in NY

Retirement Plan Administrator
Hessel & Associates
in IL

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Webcasts and Conferences

Health Insurance Reform Round 2
March 16, 2017 in AZ
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Phoenix Chapter

Innovations in Workplace and Community Wellness: A New Era
April 6, 2017 in DC
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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[Guidance Overview]

New Employer Healthcare Plan: Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA)
"Only employers with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees can offer this benefit. Further, it cannot offer group health plans to any employees ... [A]ny eligible employees must be notified of the arrangements in writing at least 90 days before the first day they will be eligible to participate. For the current year, the IRS is giving employers who implement QSEHRAs an extension until March 13, 2017 to provide a notice."
Fisher Phillips

[Advert.]

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In just 1 of 7 General Sessions, you'll examine how the new political landscape will shape the uncertain legislative environment that lies ahead with American Benefits Council's Jim Klein. Register with Promo Code H17 to save an extra $75.00.


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Addresses Taxation of Fixed Indemnity Health Benefits (PDF)
"Payments from fixed indemnity health plans are taxable if an employee pays premiums for the coverage on a pre-tax basis. If the employer pays the contributions, payments are taxable unless imputed as taxable income to an employee. When fixed indemnity payments are taxable, employers may need to coordinate with carriers regarding tax withholding."
EPIC

[Guidance Overview]

CMS Issues Proposed Rule to Stabilize the Individual and Small Group Health Insurance Markets
"CMS indicated that they considered maintaining the status quo, but determined that the changes are urgently needed to stabilize health insurance markets, to incentivize insurers to enter or remain in the Exchanges, to ensure premium stability and to increase choices for consumers. However, CMS acknowledges that the net effect of the proposed rule is uncertain and may not have the desired effect on enrollment, premiums or overall healthcare spending. The proposed rule is open to public comment until March 7, 2017."
King & Spalding

Annual Report of ABA Subcommittee on the FMLA: 2016 Court Cases (PDF)
This 312-page report describes, and organizes by topic in detail, over 400 significant FMLA decisions of federal and state courts during 2016.
American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Committee on Federal Labor Standards Legislation, Subcommittee on the Family And Medical Leave Act

House Education and the Workforce Committee Hearing: Legislative Proposals to Improve Health Care Coverage and Provide Lower Costs for Families
Held March 1, 2017. Page includes links to video webcast, written testimony by invited witnesses, and text of legislative proposals.
Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives

[Advert.]

Level-Funded Plans

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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.


Taxing Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits: Myths and Realities
14 pages. "Employer-sponsored plans are able to: [1] manage the adverse selection that has stymied efforts to create stable markets for individual insurance, [2] remain at the forefront of innovative financing and consumer-driven design, [3] deliver benefits at lower administrative cost, and [4] integrate health coverage with wellness programs to provide for effective holistic delivery of benefits at lower costs.... [T]axing employer-provided benefits would ... erode coverage ... [It] also could unintentionally result in higher health care spending, rather than reducing such expenditures."
American Benefits Council

Capping Benefits Tax Breaks Could Shake Up Companies
"[T]he purpose would be to shift compensation away from employer sponsored coverage and into wages or other taxable forms of compensation.... Rather than providing more generous health coverage, will companies need to provide additional, more varied benefits in order to attract and retain workers? If employers are experiencing rising health care costs related to their employees, will they increasingly seek creative ways to mitigate costs, such as raising deductibles or asking employees to bear a greater share of the costs in other ways? Companies will need to find balance between these competing trends."
CFO

Health Insurance: What If You Could Take It with You?
"Why should a health plan be tied to where you work or live? Why can't it go where you go? The answer, of course, is not that simple. As Republicans debate ideas for repealing and replacing the [ACA], portability might be central role to their plan. What does that really mean, how might it work and what are the issues involved?"
Kaiser Health News

[Opinion]

Health Care Can Be Patient-Centered, Accessible and Affordable
"[A] new paradigm of innovative value-based payment and care delivery ... reconciles what many consider competing values: access, affordability and a patient focus.... Value-based care is patient-centered care.... Incentives and accountability create better outcomes for patients.... Realizing the benefits of value-based care requires commitment and investment.... Value-based care works when every stakeholder is engaged.... Value-based care doesn't just benefit patients; it's an economic engine that creates jobs."
Morning Consult

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Boosts Disability Claimant Protections
"During the review process, disability claimants must be guaranteed the right to present evidence supporting their claim and to respond to any new information prior to the final decision. They must also be given notice and a fair opportunity to respond if benefits are to be denied on appeal based on new evidence or rationales not used to deny the benefit at the claims stage."
Fisher Phillips

March and April 2017 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans
"[This table] provides key filing and notice deadlines common to calendar year plans for the next two months.... [T]he deadlines will generally be different if your plan year is not the calendar year.... [T]he table is not a complete list of all applicable filing and notice deadlines (including any available exceptions and/or extensions), just the most common ones."
King & Spalding

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

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