Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 2, 2017

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Enrolled Actuary
QBI, LLC
in CA

Assistant Manager - Distributions
RPG Consultants
in NY, Telecommute

Pension Administrator I
Polycomp Administrative Services, Inc.
in CA

Retirement Account Administrator
Alerus Financial
in MI, MN, NH

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Webcasts and Conferences

Specialty Drug Cost Management Opportunities for Employers and Employees
March 15, 2017 in MO
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - St. Louis Chapter

Executive Compensation for Private Companies
June 6, 2017 in AZ
WorldatWork

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Federal Court Finds FMLA Retaliation When Employer Revokes Telework Arrangement
"The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined ... that an employer had retaliated against an employee in violation of the [FMLA] when it revoked her arrangement to work from home two days a week to care for her autistic child. The employer's decision to terminate the arrangement was based on the mistaken belief that FMLA only covers medical appointments and treatment." [Wink v. Miller Compressing Co., Nos. 16-2336, 16-2339 (7th Cir. Jan. 9, 2017)]
The Wagner Law Group

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An Examination of the Health Care Proposals in Trump's Speech to Congress
"President Trump began by stating that he was calling on Congress to repeal the ACA and replace it 'with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare.' These are noble aspirations; indeed they were the aspirations that grounded the ACA in the first place. The challenges to achieving them under the program the President proceeded to describe [are addressed in this article]."
Health Affairs

Discussion Draft: Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (PDF)
"To clarify rules relating to nondiscriminatory employer wellness programs as such programs relate to premium discounts, rebates, or modifications to otherwise applicable cost sharing under group health plans."
Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives

Discussion Draft: Self-Insurance Protection Act (PDF)
"To amend [ERISA], the Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from the definition of health insurance coverage certain medical stop-loss insurance obtained by certain plan sponsors of group health plans."
Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives

House Panel Set to Mark Up Obamacare Repeal Bill
"Rep. Chris Collins [R-NY] said a draft bill to repeal and begin replacing Obamacare would likely be made available to members of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee for review on [March 2].... Republicans look likely to move forward with the bill even though divisions persist on two key parts of the replacement: whether to offer refundable tax credits to help Americans afford health insurance and what to do with Obamacare's Medicaid expansion."
Morning Consult

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This Simple Two-Step Plan Could Lower Healthcare Costs
"A strategy of requiring healthcare providers to publish their rates and offer the same discounts to all health plans could result in more competition and options for consumers[.]"
HealthLeaders Media

Honeywell Gets Mixed Results in Courts Over Retiree Health Cuts
"Honeywell International Inc. can't cut lifetime health-care benefits to retirees of a Greenville, Ohio, plant, a federal judge held Feb. 28 ... The decision is the latest setback for Honeywell in its efforts to reduce health-related expenses by eliminating lifetime coverage for retirees and their dependents. Honeywell's 2015 plan to terminate retirees' health benefits resulted in four lawsuits in federal courts in Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio. So far, two courts have ruled in favor of the retirees and one in favor of Honeywell. Another court gave a partial win to the company, holding that the cuts were allowed for some retirees." [Fletcher v. Honeywell Int'l, Inc., No. 16-302, (S.D. Ohio Feb. 28, 2017)]
Bloomberg BNA

California Bill Would Expand Kinship for Purposes of Family Leave Eligibility
"California ... family leave is mandated only for the care of parents, children and spouses. A bill, SB-62, seeks to broaden that coverage to include a web of relatives, reflecting the increasing number of Americans living in multigenerational households and the challenges of caring for kin with serious health conditions."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Nearly 23,000 Coal Miners to Lose Healthcare Benefits
"Almost 23,000 retired coal miners and their dependents on Wednesday received official notification that they could lose their health care benefits by April 30."
The Intelligencer

[Opinion]

Testimony to House Committee on Legislative Proposals to Improve Health Care Coverage and Provide Lower Costs for Families
18 pages. "Despite explicit Congressional support of wellness programs in recent years ... employers continue to face complex and inconsistent regulations for the design and ad ministration of these programs, most recently as the result of regulations relating to wellness programs finalized by the [EEOC]."
American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

Is Your Benefits Program Future-Ready?
"In the past, one to two options were offered to fit the total employee population. Today's plan designs provide an increasing variety of benefits that fit the unique needs of the workforce, enabling employees to identify with the plans that fit them best.... Plan Efficiency is vitally important. Do you have visibility into your systems and the data transparency needed to control costs? ... Employee Engagement ... boils down to how well employees understand the value of their benefit offerings."
Benefitfocus

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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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