Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 11, 2017 logo logo
Search   ·   Past Issues   ·   Get Message Boards Digest   ·   Get Retirement News


Associate Attorney
McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry
in CA

Senior Retirement Plan Administrator
Growing TPA
in CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VT, WI

►See 126 Jobs

►Post a Job

Webcasts, Conferences


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

This Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

Message Boards Digest:
Subscribe Now

[Guidance Overview]

'Tis the Season for ACA Penalties
"ALEs should consider gathering all 2015 reporting information or at least understanding where such information can be located. In the event an ALE engaged a third-party vendor for ACA reporting, the employer may want to contact their service providers prior to receiving Letter 226J to make sure that the employer and the service provider are aligned, and the service provider is able to assist with responding to the IRS should a penalty notice be received."
Polsinelli PC


Certificate in Health and Welfare Plans

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

The Certificate in Health and Welfare Plans program provides the history, philosophies and objectives of the employment-based health care system and an overview of the latest reform initiatives.

[Guidance Overview]

CRS Report: Resources for Frequently Asked Questions on the Affordable Care Act (PDF)
40 pages. "This report provides resources to help congressional staff respond to constituents' frequently asked questions about the law. The report lists selected resources regarding consumers, employers, and other stakeholders, with a focus on federal sources. It also lists CRS reports that summarize the ACA's provisions." [Report R43215, updated Dec. 1, 2017]
Congressional Research Service [CRS]

10 Tips for Preparing Your Response to IRS Letter 226J
"[1] This is not an assessment (yet).... [2] Read the letter and forms closely.... [3] Mind the deadlines.... [4] Gather your records.... [5] Contact vendors.... [6] Be organized and explain your response.... [7] Don't forget about transition relief.... [8] Consider contacting an experienced attorney, accountant, or other tax advisor.... [9] Tap other resources.... [10] Pay attention to the IRS's comments."
HUB International

Prescription Drugs May Cost More with Insurance Than Without It
"In an era when drug prices have ignited public outrage and insurers are requiring consumers to shoulder more of the costs, people are shocked to discover they can sometimes get better deals than their own insurers. Behind the seemingly simple act of buying a bottle of pills, a host of players -- drug companies, pharmacies, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers -- are taking a cut of the profits, even as consumers are left to fend for themselves[.]"
The New York Times; subscription may be required

Using Employer Leave Programs to Attract and Keep Top Talent
"[1] Analyze data to determine where leaves are currently taken to understand where cost and staffing burdens may exist. [2] Work closely with managers to help them ... define options for managing staffing levels during leaves. [3] Coach managers to ensure communications are consistent ... [4] Develop communications that focus on the employee experience[.]"
Findley Davies | BPS&M


Sign Up for a New, Free Daily Email: The 'Message Boards Digest'

Sponsored by BenefitsLink

Subscribe to the new, free Message Boards Digest, sent daily by email. You'll see all of the new topics on the BenefitsLink message boards. (Some topics are included in the BenefitsLink newsletters, but many are not.) View a recent, sample issue -- and sign up here.

Paid FMLA Tax Credit Included in Senate Reform Bill As House Holds Hearing on Paid Leave
"The Senate-passed tax reform bill includes a two-year tax credit for companies that provide paid family leave benefits, while the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing highlighting an HR Policy-supported bill providing a voluntary federal standard for employers. The tax credit ... would allow employers to receive a 25 percent nonrefundable tax credit for each hour of paid leave up to $4,000 per year for each qualified employee."
HR Policy Association

CMS Threatens New York Basic Health Program with Big Cut
"CMS's position is apparently that if the Congress does not fund the cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), New York is not due 95 percent of CSR payments. It would seem that New York and its [Basic Health Plan (BHP)] insurers could do in response what most other states have done -- simply increase premiums to cover the lost CSR payments, thus increasing the premium tax credit pass-through payments. It may be too late to do this for 2018, however, if rates are already set and cannot be changed."
Health Affairs


NCPA Comments to FTC Shine Spotlight on PBMs
"NCPA's ... policy recommendations ... include: [1] Support for the [DOL's] recommendation to require PBMs to disclose all direct and indirect compensation to ERISA plans, to evaluate whether compensation to PBMs, pharmacies (including those owned by PBMs) and subcontractors are 'reasonable.' [2] Collaboration with DOL to create a standardized definition of what constitutes 'brand,' 'generic,' 'specialty,' and 'rebate' for the purposes of eliminating confusion in ERISA drug plan designs. [3] Endorsement of federal and state transparency efforts surrounding PBM 'maximum allowable cost' lists for generic prescription drugs. [4] Increased scrutiny of the conflicts of interest that can be attributed to PBMs operating as both a reimburser and competitor in the pharmacy marketplace."
National Community Pharmacists Association [NCPA]


The Prescription Drug Supply Chain 'Black Box': How It Works and Why You Should Care (PDF)
23 pages. "[This paper outlines] an approach specifically tailored to addressing the challenges inherent in managing the prescription drug supply chain ... [T]his new model disaggregates the traditional 'Pharmacy Benefit Manager' (PBM) supply chain. This allows for better alignment of incentives among the various stakeholders involved in the process."
The Terry Group, for the American Health Policy Institute

Benefits in General

Short-Term Delay in Disability Claims Procedures Includes Very Short Fuse
"Some carriers or other providers may have already changed their systems to comply with these new rules and therefore will not see a point in changing their processes at this point. If the delayed effective date will apply, then employers need to make sure to get any necessary plan amendments in place before January 1, 2018 and be prepared to communicate this change to participants."
HUB International

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Executive Compensation Action Items
"[1] Companies should determine the extent to which their currently outstanding performance-based awards will satisfy the transition rule. [2] Companies should consider accelerating into 2017 payments that would be made [to] individuals who would have been NEOs for 2017, except that they terminated employment in 2017, ... to the extent that such payments would not satisfy the transition rule and are permissible under Section 409A. [3] Companies and compensation committees should consider how they can reduce the impact of the lost deduction for performance-based compensation for future cash and equity awards.... [4] Compensation committees should begin to plan for the reporting of non-deductible compensation in their 2019 proxy statements."
Winston & Strawn LLP

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.

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers; we were not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.

Unsubscribe | Privacy Policy