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May 1, 2017 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Assistant Fund Administrator
Prominent Taft-Hartley Benefit Funds
in NY

Rollover Education Consultant
John Hancock Retirement Plan Services
in MA

Retirement Plan Administrator
Benefit Associates, Inc.
in NY

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Webcasts and Conferences

Clawbacks: Lessons (to be) Learned
May 11, 2017 WEBCAST
Practising Law Institute

Half Day Seminar
May 23, 2017 in FL
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Central Florida

401(k) Plan Fiduciary and Legal Update: Understanding Your Fiduciary Duties and Managing the Risks
May 25, 2017 in IL
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Chicago West Chapter

mHealth + Telehealth World 2017
July 24, 2017 in MA
World Congress

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Checklist for Strategic and Compliant Enrollment Communications (PDF)
"The checklist includes recommended content for compliant enrollment communications and required health plan notices which you may wish to provide at enrollment time. [It also] outlines considerations for successfully communicating the value of (and encouraging enrollment in) your employee benefit plans."


Online Learning Course: COBRA

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Even though the ACA has made health care coverage easier for individuals to obtain, group insurance plans must continue to offer COBRA coverage. This course will explain the technicalities of COBRA, including who is entitled and how it must be administered.

PCORI Fee Payment Due July 31 (PDF)
"The fees are calculated using the average number of lives covered under the policy or plan, and the applicable dollar amount for that policy or plan year. For insured health plans, the carrier or HMO is responsible for reporting and paying the fee. Employers that sponsor a self-insured health plan must pay the fee for that plan. Payers -- insurers or employers -- use IRS Form 720 to report and remit the fee."

Cost of Service Regulation in U.S. Health Care: Minimum Medical Loss Ratios
"[T]he [ACA] introduced minimum MLR provisions for all health insurance sold in fully-insured commercial markets as of 2011, thereby explicitly capping insurer profit margins, but not levels.... [The authors] model this constraint imposed upon a monopolistic insurer, and ... test the implications of the model empirically using administrative data from 2005-2013 ... [They] find that rather than resulting in reduced premiums, claims costs increased nearly one-for-one with distance below the regulatory threshold, 7% in the individual market, and 2% in the group market."
National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]

Employee Eldercare Assistance: Not a Bad Idea
"Employers are looking at providing long term care benefits again -- but often the costs are too high to be appealing to a large percentage of the workforce.... Products offering assistance in coordination of complex care needed for parents and grandparents have begun to be considered for rounding out an employee benefits package."
Frenkel Benefits

Employers Support HSAs as a Benefits Strategy
"Nearly 60% of the respondents believe HSAs should replace flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and nearly three-fourths of employers think HSAs should be open to all employees, not just those enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).... The average HSA account balance was $3,161. A little more than 40% of respondents indicate that 25% or fewer of their participants use up the entire HSA balance every year and an additional 35% of plans state that 26% to 50% of their participants use their entire balance every year.... Only 21% of surveyed employers are concerned about the fiduciary liability of sponsoring a HSA-HDHP."


Save $50 use promo code BLINK2 (not valid for webcast)

Sponsored by World Congress

Direct Contracting and Partnerships Strategies Summit. Convening employers & health system executives involved in direct contracting, network strategy/management, and health/wellness to learn and discuss the nuances of developing value-based partnerships.

Attention Turns to Specialty Pharmacy (PDF)
"Specialty biotech drugs represent 1 to 2% of prescriptions yet 35% or more of overall pharmacy costs -- and are projected to reach 50% of costs over the next three years. In the United States, the cost of these drugs is multiples more than in other countries, and their use presents global competitiveness and philosophical challenges for plan sponsors. This article examines specialty drug trends, discusses balancing access to them versus their impact and reviews the current state of specialty drug management."
Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS]


Anthem Responds to U.S. Court of Appeals Decision on Acquisition of Cigna
"Anthem, Inc. is disappointed by today's decision given that the demonstrated efficiencies make this a pro-competitive, consumer friendly transaction. Combining Anthem and Cigna would positively impact the health and well-being of millions of Americans and deliver significant cost savings to consumers. As Judge Kavanaugh noted in his dissent, 'the record decisively demonstrates that this merger would be beneficial to the employer-customers who obtain insurance services from Anthem and Cigna.' We are committed to completing the transaction and are currently reviewing the opinion and will carefully evaluate our options."
Anthem, Inc.


Why a Single-Payer Healthcare System Would Be Better for Business
"In the U.K., those that can afford it can get better care. But everyone is still able to get healthcare, regardless of their income. Is that the best solution? Probably not. But it does seem to work. There is no perfect healthcare solution.... We spend too much time trying to figure out ways to reduce our healthcare insurance ... This time distracts us from ways to grow our businesses. But we have to do this because we have to offer a healthcare benefit. Our employees expect it."
Gene Marks in The Washington Post; subscription may be required

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Trump's Tax Reform Principles Could Affect Stock Compensation
"The proposals merely cut off the current top tax brackets, which could mean that anyone currently in the brackets between 25% and the new top bracket would get stuck paying a higher rate both on ordinary income and on short- and long-term capital gains.... Aside from the most senior executives, individuals with stock compensation tend to be in that income range."

Press Releases

Connect   LinkedIn logo   Twitter logo   Facebook logo, Inc.
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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.

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