Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 13, 2017

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Webcasts, Conferences

Navigating the Interplay Between the ADA, FMLA & Workers’ Compensation
RECORDED
American Bar Association [ABA]

ACA Penalties are Coming: Are You at Risk?
January 9, 2018 WEBCAST
RSM US LLP

Playing Nice in the FMLA – ADAAA Sandbox
January 18, 2018 in AZ
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Phoenix Chapter

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[Official Guidance]

2017 IRS Form 8941: Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums (PDF)
Eligible small employers use Form 8941 to figure the credit for small employer health insurance premiums for tax years beginning after 2009.
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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[Guidance Overview]

Rhode Island Is Newest State to Require Paid Sick Leave
"[E]mployers with 18 or more employees in Rhode Island are required to allow their employees to accrue up to 24 hours (three days) of paid sick and safe leave beginning in calendar year 2018, increasing to up to 32 hours (four days) in 2019, and up to 40 hours (five days) starting in 2020."
Epstein Becker Green

Health Plan Year-End To-Dos and New Year's Resolutions
"[C]onfirm [participant health plan] elections before the end of the plan year ... [W]ork with your vendors to collect the information you need for ACA reporting, such as contribution amounts, coverage elections, etc.... Make sure your elections have been properly fed into your payroll system.... [Remind] employees that they need to take steps to set up their HSAs[.]"
HUB International

New Blood Pressure Guidelines Impact Individuals and Wellness Programs
"It is expected that about half (46 percent) of American adults now meet the new definition for high blood pressure; and that 14 percent who previously were considered prehypertensive are now classified as hypertensive.... Employers ... incentivizing for achieving each biometric outcome (such as blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, and/or weight) are advised to update their blood pressure goals to align with the new guidelines."
Findley Davies | BPS&M

IRS Prepares to Nail Employers Under ACA Mandates
"[E]mployers sponsoring plans that violate any of 40 listed mandates imposed by Obamacare or certain other federal laws also become liable under Internal Revenue Code Section 6039D to self-identify, self-assess, report on Form 8928 and pay an excise tax equal to $100 per person per uncorrected violation. The IRS, [DOL] and [HHS] have taken the position the January 20 Executive Order ... does not bar enforcement of those Obamacare penalties."
Solutions Law Press

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ACA Repeal and Replace - Where to Go From Here

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Dec. 19 webinar will summarize a history of the repeal efforts and the current state of the Affordable Care Act as it relates to Employer Reporting Requirements. BenefitsLink discount.


CCIIO Issues Guidance for Employers Wishing to Revoke Accommodation for Contraception Coverage
"[CCIIO] has provided clarification of notice procedures for employers that, based on sincerely held religious or moral beliefs, object to providing contraceptive preventive services.... [These procedures] must be followed if such 'objecting entities' no longer wish to use an accommodation ... that enabled certain employers to allow employees access to contraceptive preventive services via an indirect route."
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

HHS Enforcement Report for Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, December 2017 (PDF)
"Currently, CMS is enforcing MHPAEA with respect to issuers in four states: Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. In these states, CMS reviews policy forms of issuers in the individual and group markets for compliance with MHPAEA prior to the products being offered for sale in the states. Through this process, numerous parity issues are identified by CMS reviewers and corrected by the issuers before individuals and groups enroll in the products.... [S]ince the beginning of 2016, CMS has finalized one market conduct examination."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

ACA Round-Up: Qualified Health Plan Reviews and Contraceptive Coverage Litigation
"[CMS recently] released two reports summarizing reviews of federally facilitated exchange qualified health plan (QHP) insurers for the year 2016.... [O]ne report analyzes renewal and discontinuation notices and the other compliance with various QHP requirements.... The compliance review examines performance in fourteen areas by thirty insurers, including 26 individual medical insurers and four stand-alone dental plans."
Timothy Jost, in Health Affairs

Shipping Breast Milk Emerges as an Employee Benefit
"Companies like Milk Stork provide the service to corporate clients, and some companies are developing their own self-administered programs that do the same thing in house.... Milk Stork uses pharmaceutical-grade shipping coolers that provide a minimum of 72 hours of refrigeration. These are sent to the mother's hotel room, along with breast milk storage bags, seals and instructions.... The cost is $139 per travel day on average."
Employee Benefit News

[Opinion]

American Academy of Actuaries Letter to Congress: Potential Adverse Consequences of Eliminating the ACA's Individual Mandate (PDF)
"Eliminating the individual mandate would lead to premium increases.... Changes made to eliminate the mandate after premiums are finalized could weaken insurer solvency.... Increasing risks could cause an increase in insurer withdrawals from the market.... Strong alternative mechanisms to encourage enrollment and/or significant market stabilization provisions would be needed to counteract an elimination of the mandate."
Health Practice Council, American Academy of Actuaries

[Opinion]

Marketplace Plans Provide Risk Protection, But Actuarial Values Overstate Realized Coverage For Most Enrollees
"[A] weakness of using actuarial value is that doing so distracts consumers from the key purpose of insurance, which is financial risk protection. Actuarial value is driven by the average across the population and provides no information on the likelihood of different levels of spending or how specific consumers would fare financially under different scenarios."
Physicians for a National Health Program [PNHP]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

2018 Reporting and Disclosure Calendar for Multiemployer Health and Retirement Plans (PDF)
"[This 33-page calendar summarizes] the annual compliance requirements and disclosure obligations that health and retirement plan sponsors need to know. The content in these calendars raise issues that may cause plan sponsors to check, change or consider their current approaches."
Segal Consulting

[Guidance Overview]

2018 Reporting and Disclosure Calendar for Single Employer Health and Retirement Plans (PDF)
"[This 33-page calendar summarizes] the annual compliance requirements and disclosure obligations that health and retirement plan sponsors need to know. The content in these calendars raise issues that may cause plan sponsors to check, change or consider their current approaches."
Segal Consulting

The Benefits of Mediation in ERISA Claims
"Mediation can help reduce the chances of the plaintiff being awarded a higher payout, and avoid payment of the defendant's legal fees. A carefully mediated negotiation can allow both parties to walk away content with the outcome, without the unknown outcome that can result from a trial."
Butterfield Schechter LLP

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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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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