Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

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Employee Benefits Jobs

ERISA Attorney
Kraw Law Group, APC
in CA

Trading & Corrections Associate
Aspire Financial Services LLC
in FL

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Webcasts and Conferences

Pharmacy Benefits: How to Protect Your Plan from Pharmacy Fraud
August 24, 2017 in IL
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Chicago West Chapter

Fiduciary Certification Workshop
September 19, 2017 in NC
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

Half-Day Benefits Symposium
October 19, 2017 in CA
PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

Collection Procedures Institute
November 15, 2017 in CA
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

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Sad Dad Wants Paid Leave to Care for Newborn Lad; Employer's Leave Policy Is Not So Rad; ACLU Gets Mad
"Can an employer distinguish between moms and dads when granting paid parental leave for care for a newborn?... If a man working for an FMLA-covered employer is FMLA-eligible and requests 12 weeks of unpaid leave when a newborn enters his life, the employer's answer is almost always a definite yes. The issue in this matter is about the employer's paid leave policy."
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

[Advert.] -- Our New Welfare Plan Documents are Available!

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

We have made extensive enhancements and added new features to our Cafeteria and POP Plan Documents, including a new IDP version of the Cafeteria Plan! Register here for this FREE webinar. Date: Tues, August 29, 2017 Time: 1 pm CT

Can Better Health Insurance Literacy Reduce Employer Medical Costs?
"If your employees do not understand how to utilize their healthcare benefits, they may avoid seeking care when it is indicated, resulting in more complicated conditions and higher costs to the employer. Likewise, if they are unable to understand what different plan structures provide for the employee (and their family), individuals may choose a plan that results in a greater cost burden to them, producing additional financial stressors and inhibiting their wellbeing and engagement. It is likely that up to 60% of your employees have limited or below average health insurance literacy with the lowest competency in their ability to manage benefits."
Hill, Chesson & Woody

Finding the 'New Normal' in Medical Cost Trends for Employers
"PwC projects a 6.5 percent medical cost increase for 2018 or 5.5 percent after plan design changes.... [T]hree things to consider. [1] Target wellness programs to the right people. Use biometric data and analytic tools to create wellness programs tailored to your population. [2] Evaluate your pharmacy claims data. Identify what conditions and drugs drive spending in your population. [3] Work with providers to reduce health care costs."
The Alliance

Big Employers Take U-Turn, Vow to Continue Offering Health Insurance
"Two surveys of large employers ... show companies continue to try to control costs while backing away from shrinking or dropping health benefits.... That's a marked change from three years ago, when many big employers -- those with 1,000 employees or more -- contemplated ending medical benefits and shifting workers to the [ACA]'s marketplaces."
Kaiser Health News

Generic Drug Prices Are Falling, But Are Consumers Benefiting?
"Dozens of old generic drugs have risen in price in recent years, for reasons that include supply disruptions and competitors' leaving the market....Despite these cases, the trend toward deflating generic prices appears to have accelerated as companies have more aggressively undercut each other's prices.... [M]ost of those with health insurance pay a fixed co-payment -- $10, for example -- for each generic prescription, and therefore don't pay more or less, regardless of any fluctuation in the actual price. And even those who pay cash for generics may not notice a drop in price because many are already cheap."
The New York Times; subscription may be required


Not All ACA Reporting Solutions Are Created Equal

Sponsored by HealthCostManager

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the Military Health System
"Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) comprises a large number of therapies (e.g., acupuncture and chiropractic) that developed outside the conventional biomedical model of care. About one-third of the general population report using CAM either on their own (e.g., yoga) or through the services of a CAM provider (e.g., massage).... Eighty-three percent of [military treatment facilities (MTFs)] offer one or more of a variety of CAM services with relaxation therapy, acupuncture, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and chiropractic being the most common. MTFs most commonly cite not having the necessary providers as the reason for not offering CAM."
RAND Corporation

Lawmakers Regroup to Consider Possible ACA Fix
"A group of more than 40 bipartisan House members ... vowed to [1] create a stability fund that states could use to reduce premiums and limit insurers' losses; [2] change the requirement that employers provide coverage to affect companies with 500 or more employees, as opposed to the current 50-employee minimum; and [3] repeal the medical device tax[.]"


Has Obamacare Become Trumpcare?
"[O]pen enrollment for the ACA's marketplaces begins November 1, and insurers have to decide by late September whether they will participate. There are a host of actions the administration could take to make it successful. [1] Provide clarity around the rules ... [2] [Maintain] outreach and consumer assistance ... [3] [Encourage] insurers to participate ... [4] [G]ive states flexibility to experiment through Medicaid waivers and ACA waivers under section 1332 of the law."
JAMA Forum

Benefits in General

DOL Announces Review of Regs on Disability Claims
"[T]hese rules also apply to ERISA-governed retirement plans that make disability determinations.... While nonqualified retirement plans are exempt from many ERISA requirements, the claims procedures requirement is not one of them.... These new disability claims procedure regulations do not apply to any plan (health and welfare plan or qualified/nonqualified retirement plan) that provides a benefit the availability of which is conditioned on a finding of disability made by a party other than the plan itself."
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Brace for 2018: The SEC's Pay Ratio Rule
"Develop a process for collection of information, and consider a reasonable, documented approach to the calculation that is defensible to the SEC, investors and employees.... Conduct a simulated exercise ('dry run') of the pay ratio calculation and disclosure using 2017 compensation data as a baseline.... In drafting disclosures, consider how to frame the methodology, including assumptions, adjustments and any exemptions relied upon.... Provide the compensation committee with a draft of the CEO pay ratio disclosure as early as possible."
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Press Releases

PEI Welcomes New Director to the Team
Portfolio Evaluation, Inc.

Connect   LinkedIn logo   Twitter logo   Facebook logo, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

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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