Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 21, 2017

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Employee Benefits Jobs


Webcasts and Conferences

Cybersecurity and Benefit Plans: What Service Providers and Employers Need to Know
September 28, 2017 WEBCAST
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Jazz Up Your Knowledge of Self-Directed IRAs
October 18, 2017 in LA
Retirement Industry Trust Association [RITA]

SPARK Forum
November 5, 2017 in FL
SPARK Institute

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[Guidance Overview]

Are You Ready for 2018 Group Health Plan Open Enrollment?
"This year brings a new challenge -- the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) document that was created by the ACA has undergone its first major restructuring since 2012 when employers were first required to provide the SBC. The new SBC template must be used for open enrollments that occur on or after April 1, 2017. For calendar year plans, the upcoming 2018 open enrollment is the first open enrollment where the new SBC templates must be used."
Frost Brown Todd LLC

[Advert.]

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]

IRS Confirms ACA Tax Assessable Payments are Still in Effect
"[U]ntil there is relief from new legislation which changes the tax laws, the ACA's employer mandate tax and individual mandate taxes are still in effect. Likewise, there has been no statutory change removing the employer's obligation to report offers of health coverage or actual coverage (for self-insured plans) and employers subject to the reporting requirements should prepare to comply and report for 2017 on Forms 1095-C and 1094-C[.]"
Winstead PC

[Guidance Overview]

Final New York Paid Family Leave Regs Released: What Employers Need to Know
"Employers and employees can agree to allow the employee to supplement PFL benefits up to their full salary or wages with accrued vacation, sick, personal, or other paid time off during the paid leave, enabling him or her to receive full salary.... [D]uring any period of PFL, employers must maintain the employee's existing health benefits for the duration of PFL as if the employee had continued to work (for a plan funded by insurance, this will require an amendment to the state insurance law mandating compliant policy provisions and, arguably, would be unenforceable as preempted by ERISA for a self-insured plan)."
Jackson Lewis P.C.

Choice and Incremental Increases in Cost Sharing Characterize Health Benefits for State Employees (PDF)
23 pages. "Most states provide their employees with a range of choices in medical plan types as well as multiple premium tiers. Employees' premium contributions remain fairly consistent as a percentage of total costs, yet on a dollar basis those contributions are increasing as the cost of coverage rises. Employees' out-of-pocket costs are also increasing as states increase deductibles, copayments and out-of-pocket limits.... States continue to use plan design to manage prescription drug costs by influencing utilization towards more efficient delivery channels and more cost-effective medications."
Segal Consulting

Making Health Work on the Job
"Employee health benefits have transformed from a payroll deduction that meant a plastic card sitting in your wallet to a dynamic and active range of offerings that engage employees to maximize their health and wellness.... Perhaps the biggest shift ... has been in the area of wellness programs.... [N]early one third of large companies have opened on-site clinics to provide primary care.... Health plans increasingly rely on mobile applications ... [N]early 60 percent of employer health plans cover telemedicine consultations, a two-fold increase since 2015.... More than one in three employers distribute wearable technology devices[.]"
America's Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]

[Advert.]

Managing the Generation Gap When Designing Benefit Programs

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

July 27 webinar. Not all benefits are valued equally by all employees. Identify different groups within your workforce, understand benefits each group values and customize your benefits package to meet each group's needs. CE credits. Discount for BenefitsLink readers.


Caregiving's Impact Growing in Importance to Employers (PDF)
"Caregiving ranks among the top ten employee health and wellness benefits priorities for most employers ... More than three-quarters of employers surveyed agree that caregiving will grow in importance to their companies over the next five years."
Northeast Business Group on Health [NEBGH] and AARP

CBO Cost Estimate for the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute, July 20, 2017)
"CBO and JCT estimate that enacting this legislation would reduce federal deficits by $420 billion over the 2017-2026 period ... [In] 2018, 15 million more people would be uninsured under this legislation than under current law. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 22 million in 2026. In 2026, an estimated 82 percent of all U.S. residents under age 65 would be insured, compared with 90 percent under current law."
Congressional Budget Office [CBO]

Workers Gaining Health Insurance Coverage Under the ACA
"[M]ore than 9.5 million workers and 5.2 million of their family members gained coverage under the first six years of the ACA.... [C]overage gains were greater for occupations that, in 2010, had lower coverage rates, lower employer-sponsored insurance coverage rates, lower wage rates, and lower weekly earnings."
Urban Institute

Benefits in General

Employee Benefits in the United States: March 2017
"Retirement and medical care benefits were available to 70 percent of civilian workers in March 2017 ... Ninety-four percent of union workers had access to employer-sponsored retirement and medical care benefits. For nonunion workers, 66 percent had access to retirement benefits and 67 percent to medical care benefits.... For civilian workers, the shares employers paid of medical care premium costs were 80 percent for single coverage and 68 percent for family coverage.... Employers assumed 87 percent of the premium for single coverage for union workers and 79 percent for nonunion workers."
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

SEC Under Trump Slashes Rulemaking Agenda
"The list released July 20 has 33 items in the proposed and final rule stages ... Missing from the docket are proposed Dodd-Frank Act rules on the orderly liquidation of large broker-dealers and disclosure of the relationship between executive compensation and a company's financial showing, also known as pay versus performance. They were among 62 items in the pre-rule, proposed rule, and final rule stages on the fall 2016 agenda[.]"
Bloomberg BNA

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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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