Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 26, 2017

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Webcasts and Conferences

Health & Welfare Plan Fundamentals: Concepts and Conversations for Auditors, Consultants, and Others
RECORDED
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Cybersecurity and Fraud Topics
RECORDED
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Defined Contribution Plan Strategies
RECORDED
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Projecting the ACA’s Impact on Self-Insurance in the Small Group Market
RECORDED
Society of Actuaries

Surviving Spouse’s Options with Respect to Their Spouse’s IRA
June 27, 2017 WEBCAST
Collin W. Fritz & Associates, Ltd.

Governmental Pensions: Prepare for a Changing Landscape
July 7, 2017 WEBCAST
AICPA

Top Six Employee Benefit Trends for 2017
July 11, 2017 WEBCAST
Clear Law Institute

Understanding the Math of Your Health Plan Renewal
July 21, 2017 WEBCAST
Clear Law Institute

Stop-Loss Insurance for Self-Insured Health Plans
July 27, 2017 WEBCAST
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

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Summary of Draft Provisions: The Better Care Reconciliation Act
"[The Senate bill reduces] the Section 4980H pay or play penalties to zero. This effectively repeals the mandate to offer minimum essential coverage to full-time employees that is affordable and provides minimum value. This is made effective retroactive to the beginning of 2016.... The BCRA preserves the Cadillac tax by delaying its effective date to 2026.... The BCRA modifies the ACA's 3-to-1 age ratio to 5-to-1 (based on an estimated true cost of care ratio at 4.8-to-1) for the individual and small group market, with state flexibility to apply different ratios.... The BCRA creates a new form of association health plans referred to as 'small business health plans' (SBHP)."
ABD Insurance & Financial Services

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Senate Begins Discussions of ACA Modifications
"Both the [Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)] and the AHCA would expand states' ability to waive out of certain ACA requirements (including the requirement for individual insurance to provide a prescribed set of 'essential health benefits'). The BCRA approach gives states greater latitude generally, but does not include the AHCA provision that would allow states to permit insurers to charge individuals with preexisting conditions a higher premium for up to one year.... The BCRA includes provisions specifically supporting creation of fully insured health plans by certain business associations, where the associations have been established for reasons beyond the provision of health coverage to members."
Ballard Spahr LLP

ACA Round-Up: QHP Application Deadline Passes, House v. Price, Special Enrollment Periods
"On June 22nd, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ordered the government and the House to respond to the motion to intervene in House v. Price filed by attorneys general from 17 states and the District of Columbia. The House and administration must respond in 10 days, and the states have 7 days to reply.... On June 23, 2017, HealthCare.gov began requiring pre-enrollment verification for eligibility for loss of minimum essential coverage and permanent move special enrollment periods (SEPs)."
Timothy Jost, in Health Affairs

Paid Leave Wars: The Battles Intensify
"With no national standard, states and cities are rolling out paid leave mandates at a dizzying pace. This presents daunting compliance challenges for employers with employees in multiple jurisdictions.... Five states -- Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont -- currently require private sector employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees, but several states have recently enacted new laws and many cities and counties have adopted their own requirements.... Some states are pushing back to bar cities from passing paid leave laws. For example, Minnesota and Pennsylvania are considering these types of laws."
Fox Rothschild LLP

Washington State Poised to Pass Expansive Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill
"[The legislation] would mandate employers to enroll employees in a state program giving new parents or those taking care of an ailing family member twelve weeks of paid time off. To fund the benefit, employers with over 50 employees and all employees would pay premiums on payroll taxes ... Other key elements of the proposed legislation reportedly include: [1] A path for an employer to opt out if already offering paid leave; [2] Portability for employees; and [3] A weekly benefit cap of $1,000, with benefits for those making less than the state's average wage receiving 90 percent of their weekly wage."
HR Policy Association

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July 18 webinar. On-site medical clinics are one of the fastest growing trends in health care. Learn how to reduce legal risk and ensure compliance while giving employees the health care services they want. Discount for BenefitsLink readers.


[Opinion]

Winners and Losers in the Senate Healthcare Bill, and Four Themes Not Addressed at All
"Four themes have been missed in the rhetoric on both sides: [1] Access to insurance coverage is not the same as access to care.... [2] There's plenty of money in the system, but much is wasted and it's not spent in the most productive ways.... [3] The Medicaid program needs transformation: budget cuts without program re-design does nothing to fix it long-term.... [4] Affordability has not been addressed."
Paul Keckley

Benefits in General

JBEA Advisory Committee to Meet in July
"The Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries gives notice of a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Actuarial Examinations (portions of which will be open to the public) ... on July 13-14, 2017.... The purpose of the meeting is to discuss topics and questions that may be recommended for inclusion on future Joint Board examinations in actuarial mathematics and methodology ... and to review the May 2017 Pension (EA-2L) and Basic (EA-1) Examinations in order to make recommendations ... Topics for inclusion on the syllabus for the Joint Board's examination program for the November 2017 Pension (EA-2F) Examination will be discussed."
Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries [JBEA]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

An Open or Closed Section 409A Case (PDF)
"One unresolved issue that has caused significant concern among practitioners is whether a failure to timely distribute an amount of deferred compensation in a taxable year that becomes time-barred by the statute of limitations for tax assessments (a 'closed' year) continues to result in liability under Section 409A in a subsequent taxable year that is not time-barred (an 'open' year). This article briefly describes the applicable law and available guidance, illustrates the issue in an example, and provides two plausible analyses that result in dramatically divergent tax results."
Groom Law Group, via Bloomberg Law Pension & Benefits Daily

New York Court Addresses State's Limits on Executive Compensation and Administrative Costs of State-Funded Providers
"The [New York State Appellate Division, Third Department] affirmed the decision of the court below and upheld the 'hard' cap imposed by the [Department of Health (DOH)] -- capping state dollars for executive compensation at $199,000 -- but determined that the DOH exceeded its authority with respect to the 'soft' cap -- regulating executive compensation from all sources of funding. This decision is in conflict with earlier decisions rendered by the Appellate Division, Second Department upholding the soft cap as well as the hard cap, and sets up a possible appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals." [LeadingAge New York, Inc. v. Shah No. 523308 (N.Y. App. Div. June 22, 2017)]
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

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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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