Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 3, 2017

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Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Relationship Account Manager
Pentegra Retirement Services
in OH

Account Manager
Pentegra Retirement Services
in OH

Contributions Associate
Professional Capital Services
in PA

Reconciliation Specialist
RPG Consultants
in CT, NJ, NY, Telecommute

Retirement Planning Consultant - Wichita, Kansas
Transamerica
in KS

Bilingual Retirement Planning Consultant - Dallas, TX
Transamerica
in TX

Retirement Planning Consultant - Saginaw, MI
Transamerica
in MI

Retirement Planning Consultant - Waterloo, IA
Transamerica
in IA

Manager, Retirement Planning Consultant
Transamerica
in IA

Senior Retirement Education Specialist
CUNA Mutual Group
in AL, FL, GA, NC, SC, Telecommute

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Webcasts and Conferences

Mastering New IRC 457(f) Plan Guidance for ERISA Counsel: Structuring Deferred Comp Plans for Nonprofit Entities
April 5, 2017 WEBCAST
Strafford

What's Next for Health Care Reform?
April 7, 2017 WEBCAST
American Benefits Council

Update on the Laws Governing Wellness Programs
April 27, 2017 WEBCAST
Midwest Business Group on Health

Regulation, Self-regulation, and Professionalism and the Future of Financial Advice
May 18, 2017 in CA
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

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[Guidance Overview]

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Reissues Recommendations (PDF)
"The four Recommendation Statements ... had previously been released as 'A' or 'B' recommendations. As such, affected non-grandfathered plans will most likely have few action items to come into compliance. Continued review of the Plan Document/SPD for consistency as Recommendations are issued would seem to be appropriate. The four Recommendations are: [1] Tuberculosis Screening for Latent Tuberculosis Infections; [2] Interventions to Support Breastfeeding; [3] Statin Use as a Preventive Medication; and [4] Folic Acid Supplements for Women of Child-Bearing Age."
United Actuarial Services, Inc.

[Advert.]

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Beef up your communication this National Employee Benefits Day. Tune in today for a FREE webcast: Making the Connection: How to Make Your Benefits Communications Work to learn how to craft communications that your participants will actually read. Learn More.


[Guidance Overview]

Wellness Programs, the ADA, and the Rising Costs of Employer-Provided Health Coverage
"March Madness presents one of those occasions where your employees' diets and exercise may fall by the wayside ... Employers look to wellness programs to incentivize healthier lifestyles among their employees thereby putting downward pressure on health care costs.... Employers and insurers can design and manage wellness programs in such a way as to encourage healthier habits and remain compliant with the kaleidoscope of laws that protect employee rights. Under the ADA regulations, following [certain] requirements will insure that a wellness program that is part of an insured or self-insured group health plan remains voluntary[.]"
Mintz Levin

The Truth About the Preserving Employee Wellness Plans Act
"What this bill actually does is establish a single rule that would provide employees protection while giving employers certainty that they are offering legally-compliant wellness programs.... The bill does not offer new opportunity for employers to access employee's private health or genetic medical information. Employers can already offer incentives to employees, on a voluntary basis, to engage in medical testing, health risk assessments or biometric screenings to receive a wellness incentive."
Lockton

Taking Well-Being's Pulse
"[W]ell-being is continuing to have a big impact, with all well-being dimensions (financial, physical, emotional and social) being viewed by employees as important.... [S]ome of the more traditional elements of physical wellness experienced a decline in importance over the past year. Diet, for example, decreased in importance by 7 percent, from 65 percent to 58 percent. Exercise, meanwhile, dropped 6 percent, from 59 percent to 53 percent.... [E]mployers might want to refresh their efforts in both those areas."
HRE Daily

Another Risk Corridor Claim Moves Forward
"The court declined to issue a stay of the proceedings because ... ' "the existence and status of other risk corridor cases should not impede Molina's ability to pursue relief.' No limitations were placed on the contents of the briefs, but the government was restricted to a fourteen-day extension to file a response 'due to the government's familiarity with the issues presented and the ample size of the legal staff devoted to these cases.' " [Molina Healthcare of Calif., Inc. v. U.S., No. 17-97C (Cl. Ct. Mar. 24, 2017)]
Wolters Kluwer

[Advert.]

Flexible Spending Accounts

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

April 4 webinar. A thorough overview of the numerous plan design considerations and legal requirements of flexible spending accounts. Discount for BenefitsLink readers.


The Next Obamacare Battleground: Subsidies for Out-of-Pocket Costs
"For many people ... the demise of cost-sharing subsidies could mean the end of coverage -- whether or not the ACA is fully repealed. Not only would some enrollees be unable to afford treatment, insurers likely would hike premiums or bolt from Obamacare exchanges and even the broader individual market ... In 2016 alone, the federal government paid about $7 billion to insurers to lower out-of-pocket expenses for qualified enrollees[.]"
Kaiser Health News

Bill Would Change How California Health Systems Contract with Health Plans
"Senate Bill 538, authored by Bill Monning (D-Carmel), would prohibit health systems from requiring health plans to include all of a health system's hospitals in a contract.... The bill would also prohibit health systems from requiring health plans to provide coverage to enrollees at the same level of copayment or deductible at all affiliate hospitals. In addition, it would ban health systems from requiring health plans to submit to binding arbitration for antitrust claims."
HealthLeaders Media

[Opinion]

Accessing Care in Michigan Under the ACA
"Since the ACA's coverage expansions were implemented in 2014, consumers' reported access to care, cost concerns, and coverage satisfaction improved. And, contrary to some national rhetoric, those with Medicaid coverage experienced positive changes, as did those with individually purchased health insurance coverage."
Health Affairs

Benefits in General

Demographic Shifts, Employee Expectations Are Redefining the Workplace
"Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of employees say that having benefits customized to meet their needs is important when considering taking a new job and 72 percent say that having the ability to customize their benefits would increase their loyalty to their current employer. Employees say that benefits customization is even more important than the ability to work from home or remotely. In fact, over three-fourths (76 percent) of Millennials say benefits customization is important for increasing their loyalty to their employers, compared to two-thirds (67 percent) of Boomers."
MetLife

Sixth Circuit Clarifies Exhaustion Requirement in ERISA Suits
"The opinion drew, and then emphasized, a distinction between actions brought to enforce the terms of a plan -- such as a basic wrongful denial claim -- and those claims brought to enforce the statute itself -- wherein, as here, a plaintiff asserts that the terms of a plan violate ERISA itself.... The court's interpretation joined the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits. The Seventh and Eighth Circuits, on the other hand, have held that the exhaustion prerequisite applies even where the plaintiff is asserting statutory rights." [Hitchcock v. Cumberland Univ. 403(b) DC Plan, No. 16-5942 (6th Cir. Mar. 14, 2017)]
Squire Patton Boggs

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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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