Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 1, 2017 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Established Detroit-Area Law Firm
in MI

Retirement Plan Sales Consultant
HK Financial Services, Inc.
in IA

Pension Administrator
Aldrich Retirement Solutions (formerly AKT Retirement)
in CA

Document Design Specialist
in IN

Retirement Plan Outside Sales
Retirement LLC
in OK

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Webcasts and Conferences

IRI Government, Legal & Regulatory Conference
June 11, 2017 in DC
Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

Defined Benefit Half Day Seminar
June 15, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of Cleveland

Annual CE Day
June 21, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA Benefits Council [ABC] of North Florida

Quarterly Group Health Plans Update
June 29, 2017 WEBCAST
Cowden Associates, Inc.

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New Comments and Topics

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[Guidance Overview]

Arizona's Paid Sick Leave Law: New Guidance from the Industrial Commission
"[T]he Act requires that employers provide all Arizona employees with paid sick time starting July 1, 2017.... [An] employer's non-Arizona employees [are not included] in an employer's total employee count for earned paid sick time purposes.... shall be included when computing an employee's hourly rate.... [E]arned paid sick time shall be carried over to the following year, subject to usage limitations based on employer size."
Snell & Wilmer


How to Survive an ACA Audit

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

June 6 webinar. Ensure that your policies and procedures mitigate audit inquiries from various federal agencies. Documentation and record retention will be the key to minimizing potential penalties. Discount for BenefitsLink readers.

[Guidance Overview]

New York to Offer Paid Family Leave in 2018; DC Law to Take Effect in 2019
"New York is set to become the fourth state [to offer paid family and medical leave] effective January 1, 2018. The program will be phased in over a four-year period and will be funded by an employee payroll deduction estimated to be between $.45 to $1.00 per week. While the payroll deduction is scheduled to begin July 1, 2017 in advance of the law taking effect, the State Superintendent of Financial Services has not yet released the maximum employee contribution."
ABD Insurance & Financial Services

HSA Enrollment Rises but Misunderstanding Still Common
Article summarizes three recent -- and sometimes conflicting -- surveys of HSA/CDHP popularity, enrollment, contributions and design.
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

How Insurance Firms Reward Customers for Healthy Behaviors (PDF)
27 pages. "[T]his white paper provides an overview of the way insurers use rewards and gamification to encourage wellness.... [P]rimary research was conducted using live accounts from six leading insurers. Half of these firms use wellness data to impact premium pricing directly, with two healthcare providers offering the ability to earn premium discounts[.]"
Corporate Insight

Express Scripts Sues Maker of Overdose Drug, Intensifying PBM Feud
"Drug makers and some members of Congress have accused Express Scripts and other benefit managers of operating in the shadows, pocketing an undisclosed share of the payments they exact from drug makers even as consumers are asked to pay inflated prices for the medicines they need.... The lawsuit ... provides some tantalizing details about the company's dealings."
The New York Times; subscription may be required


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mHealth + Telehealth World. Convening health care executives seeking to learn how to most efficiently utilize mHealth, Telehealth, and remote patient monitoring technologies to engage consumers, improve outcomes, and lower costs.

Medicaid Prior Authorization and Opioid Medication Abuse and Overdose
"Health insurance payers can implement policies to help curb the opioid epidemic.... Enrollees within plans that subjected opioid medications to [Prior Authorization] policies had lower rates of opioid medication abuse and overdose after initiating opioid medication treatment."
American Journal of Managed Care

Anthem Sued Over Coverage of Eating Disorders, Mental Health
"A Case Western Reserve University employee says that Community -- which does business in Ohio as Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield -- should have covered nearly $60,000 in medical bills related to her daughter's mental health and eating disorder treatment. The lawsuit, filed May 30, makes claims under the federal mental health parity law and seeks to represent a class of all Anthem-insured people who were subject to the blanket exclusion for residential treatment centers."
Bloomberg BNA


ERIC Letter to Nevada Governor Urging Veto of Paid Sick Leave Bill
"SB 196 works against large employers because it mandates the carryover of accrued, unused leave between years of employment.... Most large employers dovetail paid sick leave with short and long-term disability programs. By forcing large employers to allow for carryover, you force their hand in altering and potentially decreasing benefits across the board in order to compensate accordingly."
The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

Benefits in General

2017 Workplace Benefits Report (PDF)
24 pages. "An employer-sponsored retirement plan ranks second only to healthcare as the most important employee benefit. [This] study shows an increasing desire for employers to offer broader financial education, guidance and advice that goes beyond retirement savings, underscoring the powerful role the employer can play in delivering a meaningful benefit to employees."
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

June and July 2017 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans
"The filing and notice deadline table below provides key filing and notice deadlines common to calendar year plans for the next two months. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is generally delayed until the next business day. Please note that the deadlines will generally be different if your plan year is not the calendar year."
King & Spalding

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Employer-Organized Weight Loss Challenge/Pool: Taxable Winnings?
"Employer has organized a weight loss challenge. Participants pay a $25 registration fee to participate. The winner takes the pot. No employer money is involved. Are the winnings taxable to the recipient?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

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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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