Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 9, 2018

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Retirement Plan Administrator
Steidle Pension Solutions, LLC
in NJ

Account Manager, Retirement
Healthcare Association of New York State
in NY

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

Senior Pension Administrator
Blue Benefits Consulting, Inc.
in IN, Telecommute

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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2017 DOL Form M-1: Report for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) (PDF)
87 pages. "The Form M-1 is used to report information concerning a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) and any entity claiming exception (ECE). Reporting is required pursuant to ERISA section 101(g), 104(a), 505 and 734 of [ERISA], and 29 CFR 2520.101-2 and 103-1. You must file the Form M-1 electronically."
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

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[Guidance Overview]

2017 IRS Publication 974: Premium Tax Credit (PDF)
79 pages; Feb. 1, 2018. "If you were provided a QSEHRA, your employer should have reported the annual permitted benefit in box 12 of your Form W-2 with code FF. If the QSEHRA is considered affordable coverage for a month, no premium tax credit (PTC) is allowed for the month. If the QSEHRA is not considered affordable coverage for a month, you may still be eligible for the PTC but you must reduce the monthly PTC (but not below -0-) by the monthly permitted benefit amount."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Court Determines Retiring Employees Had Vested Right to Benefits, But Required Scope of Benefits Is Jury Question
"Retired county workers who alleged their former employer breached its promise of cost-free retiree health coverage for life at the same level the employee enjoyed on his last day of employment will present their contract claims to a jury ... The court found the employees had a vested right to receive the same level of healthcare benefits in retirement as they received on their last day of work. However, it concluded that a jury would have to determine precisely what that level of benefits was supposed to be." [Wood v. Unified Gov't of Athens-Clarke County, Ga., No. 14-43 (M.D. Ga. Jan. 22, 2018]
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Can a Company's Owners Participate in Its HRA?
"The answer depends on several factors, including how your company is organized and the amount of the company owned by each working owner.... Ineligible owners include partners, sole proprietors, and more-than-2% shareholders in a Subchapter S corporation. Stock ownership by employees of a Subchapter C corporation does not preclude their tax-favored HRA participation."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

The New Mission of Amazon/JPMorgan/Berkshire
"Nobody knows what this new alliance might bring. The best way to suss out Buffet, Bezos, and Dimon's intentions might be to take a look at what their companies could contribute to the cause. It's clear enough what JP Morgan and Berkshire bring to the table. Aside from a certain old-guard capitalist respectability, both companies have healthy revenues, and expertise in finance and insurance. What really gets us wondering is -- how will Amazon lend its weight?"
mpirica

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Idaho Wants to Sell Non-PPACA Compliant Plans
"Idaho is going to allow plans to potentially deny coverage to individuals based on pre-existing conditions or charge more for higher risk patients. This could make these non-compliant plans much more attractive to young, healthy individuals but it could also create an environment that exacerbates adverse selection and sets up a premium death spiral."
Hill, Chesson & Woody

[Opinion]

Idaho's Proposal for State-Based Plans Violates the ACA
"On January 5, Idaho Governor Butch Otter issued an executive order directing the Idaho Department of Insurance to authorize the issuance of 'state-based health benefit plans' that comply with state insurance requirements that existed before the ACA -- but not with the ACA itself.... The PHSA provides that states may, but are not required to, enforce its requirements.... If a state fails to enforce the ACA, however, [HHS] is required to do so. Insurers that fail to comply with the law face penalties of up to $100 per day per member."
Timothy Jost, via The Commonwealth Fund

Benefits in General

Charles P. Rettig Nominated to Be IRS Commissioner
"During his 35+ year professional career with Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez, PC, Chuck Rettig has represented numerous taxpayers before every administrative level of the [IRS] as well as in matters before the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and various other taxing authorities.... He is a certified specialist in taxation law, estate planning, and trust and probate law."
The White House

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2018 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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