Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 17, 2017

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Jobs

Defined Contribution Pension Administrator
Pension Investors Corporation of Orlando, Inc.
in FL

Account Executive / Consultant - Retirement Services
Lockton Insurance Brokers
in CA

Defined Benefit Plan Administrator
Pension Investors Corporation of Orlando, Inc.
in FL

Compensation & Benefit Analyst
Heartland Financial, USA Inc.
in IA

Retirement Services Administrator
Old Point National Bank
in VA

►See 149 Jobs

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Webcasts, Conferences

HIPAA Happenings!
November 8, 2017 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

New York Paid Family Leave Law: Is Your Company Ready?
November 8, 2017 in NY
Littler Mendelson

New York Paid Family Leave Law: Is Your Company Ready?
November 15, 2017 in NY
Littler Mendelson

Employer-sponsored Health Plans, the ACA, and the Executive Orders: What’s in and What’s Out
November 28, 2017 WEBCAST
HRWebAdvisor

►See 154 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1311 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum


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[Guidance Overview]

ACA's Nondiscrimination Taglines and Notices Require Updating Your Notice of Privacy Practices
"OCR has issued guidance indicating that ACA does indeed impact [a covered entity's notice of privacy practices (NPP)]. Moreover, breach notifications also likely are affected.... [If] they have not already done so, covered entities should consider updating their NPPs to include the required nondiscrimination language and 'taglines' in different languages. Covered entities also should address their breach notification policies, procedures, templates, processes, and checklists so that any required ACA language and taglines are included in any breach notifications going to individuals."
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

[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.


[Guidance Overview]

Expanded Religious and Moral Exemption from Contraceptive Mandate Released
"These objecting organizations are no longer required to sign an accommodation making their employees eligible for contraceptives through their carrier or [TPA]. The organization may still request that accommodation, but it is optional. Specific steps are required for a plan sponsor previously offering an accommodation that now wishes to revoke that approach.... [P]lan sponsors can simply exclude the items to which they object from their relevant plan materials (plan documents, summary plan descriptions, summaries of benefits and coverage, etc.). No filing with the government or anyone else is required."
HUB International

[Guidance Overview]

President Orders Agencies to Consider Rulemaking Targeted at Changed Health Care Landscape
"[A]lthough questions have been raised as to whether a plan sponsored by a group or association acting on behalf of its employer-members constitutes a single employer for purposes of the MEWA definition, the DOL has historically concluded that such plans are not sponsored by a single employer unless part of a control group. The Secretary of Labor is now being asked to revisit that guidance, particularly with a focus on geography and industry."
Michael Best

[Guidance Overview]

White House Takes Steps to Modify Healthcare Rules and Stop CSR Funding (PDF)
"While the Executive Order hints at the possible paths the DOL might utilize to expand access to [association health plans (AHPs)], there is a host of unanswered questions ... [including] [1] will the AHP be treated as a 'multiple employer welfare arrangement' (MEWA) ... [2] will sole proprietors be allowed to participate in the AHP ... [3] could individual non-employees be permitted to participate in AHPs; and [4] will DOL utilize its existing authority ... to except certain self-funded plans from state regulation if the AHP is determined to constitute a MEWA.... The Executive Order appears likely to result in the Departments pulling back on their existing guidance related to the use of non-integrated HRAs. Depending on how the HRA is treated under any new guidance, the Departments will need to address a series of related questions[.]"
Groom Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

State Innovation Waivers: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
12 pages. "Under a state innovation waiver, a state can apply to waive ACA requirements related to qualified health plans, health insurance exchanges, premium tax credits, cost-sharing subsidies, the individual mandate, and the employer mandate. The state can apply to waive any or all of these requirements, in part or in their entirety." [Report R44760, Oct. 10, 2017]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Advert.]

New Parental Leave Laws in Washington D.C.

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Oct. 25 webinar. What you need to know about D.C. Paid Family Leave, from leave, notice and recordkeeping obligations to the consequences of noncompliance -- practical advice to help avoid costly penalties and litigation. Discount for BenefitsLink readers.


[Guidance Overview]

The Individual Mandate for Health Insurance Coverage: In Brief (PDF)
"This report provides an overview of the individual mandate, its associated penalty, and the exemptions from the mandate. It discusses the ACA reporting requirements designed, in part, to assist individuals in providing evidence of having met the mandate. The report includes some national -- and state -- level data on the application of the mandate's penalty in tax year (TY) 2014 and TY2015." [Report R44438, Oct. 11, 2017]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Sixth Circuit Finds Firing While on FMLA Was Not Because of Leave
"Even assuming that a city manager had notified the city council that she was going on FMLA leave ... the Sixth Circuit [said] ... the employer demonstrated a legitimate reason for terminating [the city manager] -- it cited her role in 'causing political strife in the community.' Moreover, it was questionable that she had provided FMLA notice since there was evidence she refused to take and complete the city's FMLA forms, and it was suggested that she was only going to take a few days off and work from home." [Mullendore v. City of Belding, No. 16-2198 (6th Cir. Aug. 23, 2017)]
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

In New York State It May Be the Right Time to Outsource Your Leave Management Programs
"There are several scenarios in which an employee can take advantage of [Paid Family Leave (PFL)] along with other disability benefits and Family Medical Leave (FML).... PFL goes into effect January 1, 2018 and will gradually increase to full benefits by 2021 ... Bundling PFL and FML with disability plans ensures that all claims are adjudicated consistently and fairly. It also provides enhanced clinical expertise and streamlined claim administration that often generates improved disability outcomes, while ensuring compliance with both state and federal laws."
Frenkel Benefits

A New Plan to Rescue the ACA: Medicare-at-55
"Under this proposal, Medicare-at-55 would be universal for people in the 55-64 age group and they would leave their current private insurance. It would require an increase in the Medicare payroll tax contribution ... Medicare-at-55 is quite different from proposals suggested by Democrats in 2009 and 2017, which allowed people aged 55-64 to voluntarily buy into Medicare as an alternative to private insurance.... While the 55-64 age group has higher health care costs than younger people, they have lower costs than current Medicare beneficiaries[.]"
Health Affairs

The Effects of Iowa's Proposed Stopgap Measure on Health Insurance Costs and Coverage
"The Iowa Stopgap Measure is likely to lower premiums, decrease the number of uninsured, and decrease average health care spending for most groups on the [ACA-compliant] health insurance market. The Iowa Stopgap Measure is also likely to increase the federal deficit, but the federal cost per enrollee on the ACA-compliant individual market would be lower than under current law.... [E]nrollees with incomes over 200 percent of the federal poverty level on the ACA-compliant market could be at risk of foregoing necessary care, as they lose access to the higher actuarial value gold and platinum plans."
RAND Corporation

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Pay Ratio: The Time Has Come
"The latest guidance emphasizes the fact that many aspects of the rules are designed to provide flexibility in how issuers approach compliance with the pay ratio calculation and disclosure requirements and that there is the ability to use methods that are tailored to fit an issuer's facts and circumstances."
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, via Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Negative Balance in FSA; Ineligible for COBRA?
"Does having a negative balance in my flex spending account allow my employer to say I am not qualified for COBRA?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Schedule H - Key in Assets Held, or Attach Page?
"My staff and I are really tired of keying in all the assets held, especially since we see it is a page in the audit report. Does anyone just copy the pages from the audit report and include it that way? Does that work (i.e., not get dinged by the IRS/DOL)? Thanks."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

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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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