Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 28, 2017

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Employee Benefits Jobs

401k Service Administrator
Retirement Direct
in NC

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
United Retirement Plan Consultants
in CA, CO, MD, NC, OH, PA, RI, TX, WA

NQDC Client Service Manager
PEN-CAL Administrators, Inc.
in CA, Telecommute

401(k) Plan Administrator
Brewster & Brewster, Inc.
Telecommute

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Plan Duties and Liabilities Update
RECORDED
Clear Law Institute

Theory in Action: Asset Manager Solutions to Address the Retirement Income Challenge
RECORDED
fi360

Decision Making for ESOP Sustainability
July 11, 2017 WEBCAST
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Basics of Roth IRAs - Establishing / Contributions
July 13, 2017 WEBCAST
Collin W. Fritz & Associates, Ltd.

Basics of Roth IRAs - Distributions
July 13, 2017 WEBCAST
Collin W. Fritz & Associates, Ltd.

Effective ESOP Communications Committees
August 8, 2017 WEBCAST
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Proprietary Funds in 401(k) and Retirement Plans: A View From the Trenches
August 9, 2017 WEBCAST
Strafford

VFCP and Abandoned Plan Workshop
August 17, 2017 in KY
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

5th Annual Forum: Increasing the Utilization and Services of Onsite Health Centers
September 17, 2017 WEBCAST
National Association of Worksite Health Centers

Advanced Testing II: Coverage and Non-Discrimination Testing
November 7, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

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[Guidance Overview]

Mental Health Parity Rules Include Eating Disorders as Mental Health Conditions
"While employers that sponsor health plans have potential liability for MHPAEA violations, it may be difficult for employers to get the information they need from claims payers to determine whether the rules' requirements for [non-quantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs)] are being met. Therefore, employers may want to obtain assurances regarding application of NQTLs under their plans from the carriers and vendors that pay claims under their plans.... The agencies' Draft Form, although not required to be used at this time, could be beneficial for plan sponsors in that it provides a standard participant request form which might provide some level of administrative ease on the part of plan sponsors when dealing with participants' requests for information."
Lockton

[Advert.]

Join ECFC in KC for the CDH Education Event of the Summer

Sponsored by ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

Symposium is THE premier networking and professional development event for employers, plan sponsors, TPAs and other service providers in the CDH space, and is your annual opportunity for practical advice, technical education, and Congressional and regulatory updates from industry leaders.


[Guidance Overview]

Mental Health Parity: Can You Show That Your Health Plan Complies?
"On June 16, 2017, the [DOL] published a draft of a model form that an employee (or his or her representative) could use to request documentation of compliance with the [MHPAEA]. If an employer receives this type of request (even if not on the DOL's model form), it has just 30 days to respond. If an employer doesn't respond in 30 days, penalties of up to $110 per day may apply."
Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Georgia's New Paid Sick Leave Law
"This new law takes effect on July 1, 2017.... Unlike other states with paid sick leave laws, Georgia's statute does not obligate employers to provide sick days. The law only requires that if an employer already provides workers with paid sick leave, then that employer is also required to allow employees to use a certain amount of their leave allowance to care for immediate family members.... Covered employers must allow eligible employees to use up to five days of paid sick leave for the care of an immediate family member."
Ogletree Deakins

DOL Reinstates Wage and Hour Opinion Letters
"The [DOL] will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced [on June 27]. The action allows the department's Wage and Hour Division to use opinion letters as one of its methods for providing guidance to covered employers and employees.... The letters were a division practice for more than 70 years until being stopped and replaced by general guidance in 2010." [Editor's note: duties of the Wage and Hour Division include enforcement of FMLA rules.]
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

DOL Will Again Issue Opinion Letters on FMLA, FLSA, and Other Sticky Employment Law Scenarios
"As you may recall, the Obama Administration did away with opinion letters, replacing them with a mysterious, bureaucratic process in which it infrequently published 'Administrator Interpretations,' which frankly, consisted of more political mumbo jumbo on mundane, tangential topics than practical guidance for employers. Though opinion letters were limited in nature, they addressed real life situations and provided some reasonable guidance on which employers could rely in addressing day-to-day FMLA and other employment law issues."
FMLA Insights

[Advert.]

Online Learning Course: HSA and HRA Basics - Discount for BenefitsLink readers

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

This e-learning course will provide an in-depth look at HSA and HRA programs as well as how these programs interact with an HCFSA. Use code BL2017 for 15% discount - good through July 31.


Employers See Consumer Directed Healthcare as the Future
"For both employers and brokers, the rising cost of healthcare was still the biggest factor driving them to seek CDH adoption.... The utilization of technology to drive employee adoption of CDHs was also cited as a critical component for success.... The importance of working with the right payer in offering a CDH was also cited as key by both groups.... Finally, over half of employers reported they need support from insurers to address organizational issues vital for driving employee participation in CDHs."
HealthPayer Intelligence

Senate Delays Vote on Health Bill Amid Mounting GOP Opposition
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on [Tuesday, June 27] delayed a planned vote this week on Senate Republicans' health care bill, amid mounting opposition from moderate and conservative members over central aspects of the plan to repeal and replace the [ACA]."
Morning Consult

A Comparison of ACA Provisions with Proposed Replacements under AHCA and BCRA (PDF)
7 pages. "This chart compares the [ACA] to provisions of both the House-passed American Health Care Act and the Senate Discussion Draft, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act. This chart is current as of June 26, 2017."
Segal Consulting

Here We Go Again: The Senate's Health Reform Bill
"The Senate bill proposes to remove the dollar limit on health flexible spending account contributions by employees effective after December 31, 2017. Currently many employers are preparing for annual enrollment for the next calendar year and may want to address this limit if it is made unlimited rather than having an unlimited amount. The Senate bill also proposes to make over the counter medical expenses reimbursable under health savings accounts (HSAs), health flexible spending accounts (HFSAs) and under health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) effective after December 31, 2016."
Winstead PC

The Senate Takes a Crack at a Healthcare Reform Replacement Bill (PDF)
A summary of the provisions of the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) that would affect group health plans, along with a description of the likely effect of each provision, and how it differs from the American Health Care Act.
Trucker Huss

[Opinion]

Unaccountable Benefit Managers: How PBMs Put Profits Over Patients
"PBMs use their outsized power to reap tremendous profits, particularly through a variety of different fees with different names known broadly in the industry as 'Direct and Indirect Remuneration' or 'DIR' fees. DIR fees are charged to pharmacies months after a patient buys a prescription. Ostensibly in place to incentivize pharmacy performance, DIR fees only serve to increase PBM profits. In fact, they have no basis in regulation or law and are just part of an already convoluted system that PBMs have rigged to boost their bottom line at the expense of patients."
Jeff Vacirca in Morning Consult

Benefits in General

Midsized Employers Worrying More About Compliance, Health Care Costs, Reform, and Less About Employee Engagement
"Of the midsized business owners surveyed, 40 percent indicate they have experienced unintended expenses related to noncompliance with government regulations. The number of larger midsized companies that cited unintended compliance penalties grew significantly in 2016, up to 51 percent from 40 percent in 2015. The number of smaller midsized businesses that cited receiving penalties for noncompliance remained relatively steady at 37 percent in 2016, a slight increase from 35 percent the previous year."
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

IRS Addresses Back-to-Back Arrangement's Failure to Comply with Section 409A
"The back-to-back arrangement involved a foreign investment fund, the ultimate service recipient (USR), and its investment manager, the intermediate service recipient (ISR). The fund and its manager were parties to a deferred compensation arrangement (the USR plan) under which the manager deferred some of its management and performance fees. The manager sponsored a deferred compensation arrangement for its employees (the ISR plan). Under the plans, the deferral elections and payment events triggering payments from the fund to the manager were coordinated with the deferral elections and payment events triggering payments from the manager to its employees. The IRS concluded that the USR plan did not meet the requirements of Section 409A."
Thomson Reuters Practical Law

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

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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