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Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Services Manager
Alerus Financial
in MN

New Business Onboarding Coordinator
Retirement Plan Consultants LLC
in CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, OK, SD, WI, WY, Telecommute

1099 Contract Relius Product Support Technician
Retirement Plan Consultants LLC

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Webcasts and Conferences

Affordable Healthcare – Redesign Your Plan for Cost Savings

Intermediate IRA Training Part 1
July 18, 2017 WEBCAST
Wolters Kluwer

ACA Repeal / Replace: Congressional Actions and Your Business
July 20, 2017 WEBCAST

Intermediate IRA Training Part 2
July 20, 2017 WEBCAST
Wolters Kluwer

New York Paid Family Leave - What You Should Know and What You Should Be Doing Now
July 25, 2017 WEBCAST
Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC

Employee Benefit Plans Virtual Conference
August 2, 2017 WEBCAST
Thomson Reuters

HSAs and Consumer-Driven Health Care: What’s New & What’s Next?
August 16, 2017 WEBCAST
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Practical Plan-Sponsor's View of the Final Fiduciary Rule
August 31, 2017 WEBCAST
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

ERISA Summary Plan Descriptions
September 14, 2017 WEBCAST
Clear Law Institute

2017 CCA Annual Meeting
October 22, 2017 in FL
Conference of Consulting Actuaries

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New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

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[Guidance Overview]

Things You Want (and Need) to Know About New York's Paid Family Leave Law
"Although employers are required to provide PFL benefits to eligible employees, employers are not required to pay anything towards the cost of those benefits. Paid family leave is intended to be 100% employee-funded.... With only one exception, all employees are required to contribute to the cost of PFL and must have the appropriate amounts deducted from their pay -- even if they have not yet been employed long enough to themselves be entitled to benefits under the PFL. The only exception to this is for employees (such as seasonal and temporary employees) who are hired for shorter periods of time than is necessary for them to be eligible to receive PFL benefits."
Bond, Schoeneck & King


Now is a great time to join Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

Sponsored by WEB - Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

WEB members represent more than 25 professions and 30 areas of expertise within the pension and benefits industry -- administrators, consultants, attorneys, accountants, investment managers, communications experts and benefits managers. Join today.

[Guidance Overview]

Georgia's New Kin Care Law: Who is Covered and What It Means for Employers
"[If] the employer provides paid sick leave for the employee to use for her or his own illness, now the employer must allow that employee to use the employee's sick leave to care for an immediate family member. Moreover, an employee can only use sick leave that the employee has already accrued, and sick leave must be used in accordance with employer's sick leave policy."
Ford & Harrison LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Last but Not Least, Texas Takes Final Steps to Embrace Telemedicine
"Claims for reimbursement for services provided using telemedicine or telehealth cannot be rejected solely on the basis that the service was provided using telemedicine, but notably, audio-only or visual-only interactions do not gain this benefit; ... The Bill does not apply to mental health services; and Rules on what constitutes a valid prescription are forthcoming."
McDermott Will & Emery

[Guidance Overview]

GASB 75: Proportionate Share Allocations for Cost-Sharing Employers (PDF)
"For cost-sharing plans, a 'proportionate share' for each employer must be developed to distribute the aggregate plan liability, deferred items, and expense among the employers' financial statements. Note that under GASB 75, the component government units of a single-employer plan may be required to provide a similar division of accounting metrics using the rules for cost-sharing plans."

2016 PCORI Fee Payment Deadline July 31, 2017
"Sponsors of plans subject to the PCORI fee need to determine the average number of covered lives and file IRS Form 720 by July 31, 2017 with payment of the required fee."


Using Mobile, On-Site and Remote Medical Providers to Reduce Health Care Costs

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

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.

The Impact of Offering Free Coverage on Enrollment Choice and Risk Selection in an HSA-Eligible Health Plan (PDF)
20 pages. "After eliminating employee premiums for all coverage tiers, HSA-eligible health plan enrollment increased from 4 percent to 25 percent among individuals with employee-only coverage and from 3 percent to 28 percent among individuals with family coverage.... Offering coverage with no payroll deduction attracted individual enrollees who were marginally healthier than those who would have enrolled without this financial incentive in place, therefore adverse selection was not mitigated as anticipated."
Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Employment-Based Health Insurance Deemed Most Important Benefit
"Nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. workers are either extremely or very satisfied with the benefits package offered by their employer.... Approximately one-half (49 percent) are extremely or very confident that their employer will continue to offer a similar benefits package three years from now.... Eighty-seven percent (87 percent) report that employment-based health insurance is extremely or very important, followed by a retirement savings plan (77 percent) and dental/vision (72 percent)."

Pregame Meals at Away Venues Are Fully Deductible as De Minimis Fringe Benefits, Tax Court Decides
"Generally, I.R.C. Section 132(e) requires that access to an eating facility be available on substantially the same terms to each member of a reasonably classified group of employees that is not discriminatory in favor of highly compensated employees.... [T]he Tax Court held that providing pregame meals to a group of [Boston Bruins] employees that traveled to away cities to perform business duties was reasonable.... [T]he court states that there were reported discrepancies between 'anticipated and actual meal attendees.' Despite these discrepancies, the Tax Court ruled that, because this was due to cost reduction concerns, there was no discrimination." [Jacobs v. Comm'r, No. 19009-15 (T.C. Memo. June 26, 2017)]
Bloomberg BNA

House, Administration Oppose State Intervention In House v. Price
"The state attorneys general want to intervene in the appeal to avert a situation where the House and administration reach an agreement to dismiss the appeal and thus end the CSR payments, destroying their insurance markets.... The states assert that the Trump administration was not adequately defending the legality of the payments and that their involvement in the litigation is necessary to protect their interests.... The House brief rejects every one of the states' arguments."
Timothy Jost, in Health Affairs

Fewer Issuers Apply to Participate in Exchanges for 2018
"141 individual market qualified health plan (QHP) issuers submitted initial applications to offer coverage using the Federally-facilitated Exchange eligibility and enrollment platform in 2018. At the initial filing deadline last year, 227 issuers submitted an application compared to 141 this year, a 38 percent drop in filings."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Drivers of 2018 Health Insurance Premium Changes (PDF)
"Key drivers of 2018 premium changes include: [1] Medical trend, which is the underlying growth in health care costs; [2] Legislative and regulatory uncertainty regarding cost-sharing reduction subsidies and enforcement of the individual mandate; [3] Whether risk-sharing programs for high-cost enrollees are provided; [4] Changes in the risk pool composition and insurer assumptions from 2017; and [5] Resumption of the health insurer fee."
American Academy of Actuaries

HHS and Treasury Department Approve Alaska's 1332 State Innovation Waiver Application
"Alaska sought a [State Innovation Waiver under the ACA (a '1332 Waiver')] to implement the Alaska Reinsurance Program (ARP) for 2018 and future years in an effort to stabilize the individual healthcare market.... The ARP is a state-operated program which covers claims in the individual market for people with one or more of 33 identified high cost conditions in order to help stabilize premiums for healthier participants.... Alaska projects that the ARP will reduce premiums by 20 percent in 2018, and more consumers may have coverage."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]


ECFC Comment Letter to HHS on ACA Regulatory Simplification (PDF)
"We urge the Department to take this opportunity to review the excepted benefits regulation s and eliminate the so-called group health plan 'footprint' requirement so that health FSAs are allowable for employees even if there is no group health plan coverage offered to them through an employer (either because the employer does not offer group health coverage, or does not offer group health coverage to that particular class of employees)."
Employers Council on Flexible Compensation [ECFC]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Does a High CEO Pay Ratio Harm Company Value?
"[E]ven when controlling for the portion of pay linked to stock performance, the relationship between CEO pay ratio and stock price remains strong.... [On] average, a company with a CEO-worker pay ratio at the 85th percentile has a return on assets 13% higher than that of a firm at the median."

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Terminating an HRA With One Remaining Participant
"We mostly administer HRA plans for terminated employees for employers that use Hour Banks or prevailing wages. The money is fringe dollars and does not belong to the employer as normal. We have a plan that has one employee left on the plan and the employer wants to terminate the plan. The employee still has $259. Should we give the money back to the employee in a check? The employee has a debit card to spend the money but has not used it yet. Our big problem is the employees move so often we do not always have a current address."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

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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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