Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 28, 2017

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Jobs

Senior Retirement Plan Administrator
Professional Capital Services
in PA

Associate Consultant / Retirement Plan Administrator
Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc.
in CA, HI, WA, Telecommute

Senior 401(k) Plan Administrator
401(k) Firm
in CA

►See 143 Jobs

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Webcasts, Conferences

Leave Management: Concerns Regarding Workplace Productivity & Managing Employee Absences
September 20, 2017 in MO
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - St. Louis Chapter

►See 183 Upcoming

►See 1231 Recorded


Discussions

New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum


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EEOC's Wellness Program Incentive Regs Rejected by Federal District Court
"While the court was deeply troubled by what the EEOC had done and failed to do, it also recognized that '[e]mployer health plans for the year 2017 were undoubtedly designed in reliance on these rules, which have now been 'applicable' for eight months.' ... The court's order further directed the EEOC to file a status report by September 21, 2017, 'proposing a schedule for review of the rules, including any further administrative proceedings' with pre-filing disclosure of the proposed schedule to AARP." [AARP v. EEOC, No. 16-2113 (D.D.C. Aug. 22, 2017)]
Epstein Becker Green

[Advert.]

ACA Reporting Requirements and Lessons Learned

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Sept. 15 webinar. Despite the uncertainty of the ACA's future it remains the law of the land. This webinar covers lessons learned from the past two years and identifies focus areas to prevent problems next year. CE credits. Discount for BenefitsLink readers.


FMLA's Limitations Period Was a Statutory Right That Could Not Be Waived by Contract
"Refusing to dismiss a fired employee's FMLA interference and retaliation claims, a federal district court in Indiana first found that it was not barred by a six-month contractual limitations period because the longer two-year statutory period was an FMLA right that could not be waived. The court also found that the employee sufficiently pleaded her claims by alleging that she had a serious health condition, about which the employer knew, and she was fired because she had to miss too much work to receive treatment." [McKinley v. Rapid Global Business Solutions, Inc., No. 17-621 (S.D. Ind. July 26, 2017)]
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Self-Funded Medical Plan Can Enforce Subrogation Interest in Wrongful Death Settlement
"Following his death, [the participant's sister] brought a wrongful-death action against the Duluth Clinic for allegedly negligent treatment [and eventually] settled her claim with the Clinic.... [The settlement agreement] denied that the Fund is entitled to any portion of the settlement proceeds ... [and] acknowledges that the Fund has asserted a lien and/or subrogation claim for certain medical expenses and ... represents that she will satisfy the Fund's subrogation rights, if any. However, [she] did not reimburse the Fund ... [The court] explained that under the terms of the Plan, the Fund had a subrogation interest in 'any ... recovery' from the Clinic for [the participant's] medical expenses. Thus, the Fund could recover whatever [the sister] recovered for the medical expenses in her settlement, whether or not [she] ultimately could have recovered those expenses at trial." [Mackey v. Johnson, No. 16-1886 (8th Cir. Aug. 22, 2017)]
Roberts Bartolic

Telehealth Private Payer Laws: Impact and Issues (PDF)
"[T]his study seeks to achieve a better understanding of the following policy factors that greatly affect the effectiveness of private payer laws: ... [1] Is the presence or lack of certain language or phrases a help or hindrance to the utilization of telehealth? ... [2] Does the law require a payment amount for telehealth-delivered services to be equal to what is given for in-person services? ... [3] Are there any limitations on what type of telehealth modality can be used? ... [4] Are there any limitations on where a telehealth service can take place? ... [5] Are there any limitations on the types of providers who may provide services via telehealth and/or the types of specialty it can be used for?"
Milbank Memorial Fund

Stabilizing the Individual Health Insurance Market (PDF)
23 pages. "Market stabilization proposals currently under consideration include [1] appropriating and paying for the enhanced benefits insurers provide to low-income insureds through cost sharing reductions; [2] strong enforcement of the individual mandate; [3] external funding of $15 billion per year; and [4] the elimination of the 9010 HIT fee.... [The authors] find that the cited market stabilization provisions, combined, would increase enrollment by roughly 2 million individuals, reduce average premiums by more than 20 percent, and cost relatively little, when considering federal outlays for CSR spending and APTCs."
Oliver Wyman

[Advert.]

Online Learning Course: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Learn how to avoid common administration mistakes, implement best practices and be aware of interactions with other laws.


ACA Cost-Sharing Reductions: A Momentary Reprieve and Ongoing Doubts
"Although stakeholders in the CSR debate -- including healthcare insurance companies that participate in the ACA exchanges and insureds who obtain health insurance coverage through the exchanges -- gladly accepted the one-month reprieve from the threat of CSR de-funding, anxiety continues and will continue until the Trump Administration reveals its long-term policy regarding future funding of CSR payments on an ongoing basis."
Sheppard Mullin

Trump's Threats on Health Law Hide an Upside: Gains Made by Some Insurers
"[T]he continuing churn among insurers and the anxiety pervading the industry -- stirred largely by President Trump's predictions of collapse and threats to withhold critical government payments to insurers -- have obscured an encouraging fact: Many of the remaining companies have sharply narrowed their losses, analysts say, and some are even beginning to prosper."
The New York Times; subscription may be required

[Opinion]

Can Transparency and Technology Make U.S. Healthier?
"The first and most important question for proponents of transparency is: What do you think users will do with the information that you provide? One problem is that the information produced by transparency efforts may be too complex to understand, so it does not change consumers' choices. Another is that the information people need may be available somewhere online, but not when and where they make their decisions.... Finally, sometimes information is available, but people don't use it because they don't have a choice."
The Commonwealth Fund

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Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed Statement of Auditing Standards: Redesigning the Audit Reporting Model for ERISA Plan Financial Statements
"In addition to changing the form and content of limited scope audit reports to better explain the auditors' responsibilities, the proposed SAS requires the auditor to report findings from procedures performed on specific plan provisions that affect the financial statements."
Belfint Lyons & Shuman, CPAs

SHRM Advocates Seek More Flexibility for Benefit Plan Disclosures
"SHRM agrees with the [ERISA Advisory Council's] proposal to eliminate the summary annual report (SAR) ... SHRM also supports the council's proposal for consolidating various health and welfare notices into a single standardized notice.... The advisory council has created a draft communication referred to as a quick reference guide (QRG) that would be delivered annually and provide introductory information on provisions of the summary plan description (SPD) with links to more detailed information.... Among retirement plan disclosure reforms, the council proposed to replace the current ERISA Section 404(a)(5) fee disclosure notices.... SHRM is concerned that eliminating the current fee disclosure notice and replacing it with another notice [in the form of an investment fund sheet] is not ideal"
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Accounting for Stock Compensation Under FASB ASC Topic 718 (PDF)
13 pages. "FASB ASC Topic 718 is in substantial convergence with the International Accounting Standard Board's final standard on Share-based Payment, except for transactions with nonemployees and nonpublic companies, and minor technical differences in regard to employee stock purchase plans, modifications, liabilities, and income tax effects. Topic 718 creates a more 'level playing field' for equity compensation design that has resulted in the increased prevalence of full-value and performance-vesting awards, and a corresponding decline in plain-vanilla, tax qualified, and reload stock options, and employee stock purchase plans."
FW Cook

Press Releases

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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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