Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 28, 2017 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

Tools You Need to Help FSA-HRA-HSA All Get Along!
April 12, 2017 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

Understanding the New York Paid Family Leave Law
April 18, 2017 in NY
Hodgson Russ

Iíll See You in Court! ERISA Litigation Update 2016 / 2017
April 20, 2017 in CA
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

Compensation: Distinctions with a Difference 2017
April 27, 2017 WEBCAST
FIS Relius Education

Alternative Benefits Without the Sales Pressure
April 27, 2017 in GA
ISCEBS - Georgia Chapter

Highly Compensated Employees: Who are These People
May 4, 2017 WEBCAST
FIS Relius Education

401(k) / 403(b) Investment Lineup
May 18, 2017 in NY
Pensions & Investments

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[Guidance Overview]

Q&A on HIPAA Compliance for Group Health Plans and Wellness Programs That Use Health Apps (PDF)
"Is all health information received in connection with employer-provided benefits protected under HIPAA? ... If a health plan recommends that plan participants use a health app that provides wellness tools ... will use of the app trigger HIPAA compliance obligations? ... [If] health information is monitored by or provided directly to a third-party wellness vendor that uses data tracked in the health app to determine eligibility for certain incentives offered under an employer-sponsored wellness program. Is HIPAA compliance required? ... What are the consequences of a breach of unsecured PHI involving the transfer of health plan-related data from the app developer to the group health plan?"
Dechert LLP via Practical Law


Develop skills, knowledge and expertise with ECFC's certification program

Sponsored by ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

Flexible compensation is constantly evolving as new regulations, laws, and interpretations affect the discipline. Become a leader and take the steps to become certified as a Flexible Compensation Specialist.

The Emerging Benefit Trend of Student Loan Assistance
"Employers want to be able to help mitigate some of the downside of high student loan debt among their employees, but their efforts are hindered by the fact that employer loan payments on behalf of an employee are currently taxable to the employee. Several pieces of new legislation proposed for the 2017-2018 Congressional term encourage or facilitate employer assistance with student loan repayments through tax incentives. A survey of some of these measures [is included in this article]."
E is for ERISA

What You Should Know Before You Name an HSA Beneficiary
"If you name your spouse as your HSA beneficiary, at your death the HSA will become your spouse's own HSA.... Distributions for qualified medical expenses will be income tax free.... [N]on-spouse HSA beneficiaries do not fare very well! The account value of the HSA account becomes taxable to the non-spouse beneficiary in the year of your death. That means the entire account will be taxable in one year."
Slott Report

2015 Small Area Health Insurance Estimates
"The estimated uninsured rate for adults under age 65 decreased in 71.3 percent of the nation's counties (2,239 counties) from 2014 to 2015 ... [A 2015 report] describes demographic and economic differences in health insurance status across states and counties, as well as trends in health insurance coverage. An interactive data and mapping tool is also available."
U.S. Census Bureau

The ACA Remains Intact: What Now?
"During debate of the [AHCA], both sides appeared to agree that the ACA did have some issues.... It would not be surprising to see additional bills eventually make their way into Congress. In the short-term, employers should continue to push towards the IRS deadline for submission of 1094-C and 1095-Cs this Friday, March 31."


Creative Uses of HSAs

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

March 31 webinar. Until consumers start to understand what health care costs and change their use of care, we will be in a never ending spiral of increasing premiums. Proposals to replace health care reform call for expanded use of HSAs.

An Employer's Guide to the Collapse of the American Health Care Act
"The continuation of the ACA's employer mandate likely will put on hold consideration by state and local governments of their own 'play or pay' laws.... As long as the ACA's expanded Medicaid coverage provisions remain in place, premium pressure on employers will to that extent be avoided."
Mintz Levin


Health Care Reform, Round 3: Third Time's the Charm (PDF)
"The individual market is a small sliver of the health coverage in this country that drives the majority of our problems and disagreement. And Medicaid is such an enormous portion of the federal and state budgets, and so clearly in need of major reform, that it deserves its own bill ... So let's set those morasses aside to start and solidify what clearly works: employer-sponsored group health plans. [1] Repeal the Cadillac Tax ... [2] Repeal the employer mandate pay or play rules ... [3] Repeal Section 6056 ACA reporting ... Child care expense deduction."
ABD Insurance & Financial Services


Five Lessons from the AHCA's Demise
"[1] Nothing is inevitable.... [2] Stakeholders matter.... [3] The ACA stole most of the good conservative ideas.... [4] Tom Price is now the most important person in health care.... [5] Bipartisanship is still possible."
Billy Wynne, in Health Affairs


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Statement on Cafeteria Plans, for House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access
"[W]hen it comes to cafeteria plans, small business owners are at a significant disadvantage and, therefore, it discourages them from implementing cafeteria plans for their employees. Consequently, we urge Congress to allow small business owners to participate in cafeteria plans and, thereby, encourage the expanded implementation of cafeteria plans by small businesses."
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Press Releases

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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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.

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