Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 13, 2018

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Defined Contribution Administrator
TPA Firm
in AZ

Retirement Plan Conversion Coordinator
ERISA Services, Inc.
in TN

Pension Plan Administrator
National TPA
in AZ, CA, CO, GA, IL, NC, OH, TX

Retirement Plan Consultant and Administrator
Moran Knobel-Means & Associates
in CA, HI, WA, Telecommute

Retirement Plan Consultant
Benefit Plans Administrative Services (BPAS)
in NY, PA, TX, Telecommute

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[Guidance Overview]

Opioid Abuse: Employment Laws, HIPAA Privacy and Other Considerations for Employers
"Employers who may be facing employees with substance use and abuse issues need to be concerned with workplace laws related to safety (OSHA), HIPAA Privacy (if the information about the condition is received by the employer's medical plan), the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and their medical plan's compliance with such law, FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act and state medical privacy laws."
Winstead PC

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[Guidance Overview]

Due March 1: HIPAA Small Breach Notifications
"HIPAA requires covered entities to provide breach notification to affected individuals without unreasonable delay ... Covered entities also must report small breaches to OCR no later than 60 days after the calendar year in which the small breaches were discovered.... Most business associates will not be affected by this deadline because their reporting obligation is to the covered entity and not to OCR, unless the covered entity has delegated its breach reporting obligations to the business associate."
Privacy & Security Law Blog, from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Status of ADA and GINA Wellness Regs
"It is not clear yet whether the EEOC will revise the current regulations, issue new regulations, or let the regulations be vacated without taking further action. Without regulations, employers will face uncertainty about whether a wellness program that asks for medical information (e.g., biometric screenings and health risk assessments) and/or that inquire about a spouse's medical conditions (e.g., spousal health risk assessments) would be considered voluntary."
Conduent

Happy Birthday, FMLA! 25 Years Later -- Where Are We Now?
"Employers often feel overburdened by the paperwork's technical requirements, the ever-increasing threat of litigation, and the costs of complying with the statute. Employees and workers' rights groups are concerned about the FMLA's lack of coverage for part-time and small-business workers and the narrow definition of family. Either way you slice it, the FMLA is due for a revamp[.]"
Foley & Lardner LLP

Wisconsin Legislature Poised to Exempt Certain Employers from State FMLA
"Under the second piece of legislation, the Wisconsin Legislature would exempt from the WFMLA those employers covered by the federal FMLA.... The bill would not prohibit an employee who is eligible for federal FMLA leave from taking that leave entitlement to care for a spouse, child, parent, domestic partner, or parent-in-law who has a serious health condition as defined by the WFMLA. However, if enacted, the bill would presumably exempt covered employers from other specific provisions of the WFMLA that are not required under federal law."
Ogletree Deakins

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Introduce Voluntary Benefits Outside of Open Enrollment
"[Introducing] new voluntary benefits off-cycle ... allows employees to focus on the new products without being distracted by changes to the medical plan or the increased premiums for core products.... [O]nce an employee makes their open enrollment elections and have experienced a few months' worth of payroll-deducted premiums, they're better equipped to decide their tolerance for additional premium deductions towards shiny new voluntary benefits."
Frenkel Benefits

Reforming Biopharmaceutical Pricing at Home and Abroad (PDF)
30 pages. "Federal policies that affect drug pricing should satisfy two goals. First, domestic drug prices paid by Americans should be reduced. Second, the price of better health in the future should also be reduced by spurring medical innovation. This report considers policy options to simultaneously advance these two seemingly conflicting goals."
Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President

Budget, White Paper Provide Insight Into Administration's Strategy on Drug Pricing
"The bulk of the proposed reforms would act on the Medicare and Medicaid programs. For Medicare, the Trump administration's proposals are largely targeted at [1] assisting beneficiaries with high out-of-pocket costs and [2] realigning incentives to alter prescribing and reimbursement practices."
Health Affairs

States Might Require Individuals to Buy Health Insurance
"Massachusetts has already had an individual mandate in effect since 2007.... Maryland lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would impose penalties on the uninsured in the state. And an individual mandate is also being informally advocated for or considered by state legislators or representatives of insurance exchanges in a number of other states, including California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Vermont[.]"
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

California Regulators to Investigate Aetna's Medical Coverage Decisions
"The Department of Managed Health Care, which regulates the vast majority of health plans in California, said Monday it will investigate Hartford, Ct.-based Aetna after CNN first reported Sunday that one of the company's medical directors had testified in a deposition related to the lawsuit that he did not examine patients' records before deciding whether to deny or approve care. Rather, he relied on information provided by nurses who reviewed the records -- and that was how he was trained by the company, he said."
Kaiser Health News

Benefits in General

Administration Proposes Postal Service Cuts to Retirement, Health Benefits in $80B Savings Package
"The White House suggested USPS bring its retirement benefits in line with the same changes proposed for the rest of the federal workforce, which would save the agency $35 billion over the next decade. Under Trump's plan, the postal service also would increase employees' contributions toward their health and life insurance."
Government Executive

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Are Your Executive Compensation Arrangements Safe from the New Disability Regs?
"[W]hether the Final Rule applies to an executive compensation arrangement is dependent on [1] whether the particular executive compensation is subject to ERISA and thereby ERISA's claims procedure requirements, [2] whether there is a disability payment trigger under the executive compensation arrangement and [3] how the disability determination is made under the executive compensation arrangement."
McDermott Will & Emery

The Next Generation of Compensation Clawback Policies
"BlackRock's clawback voting policy [has] changed substantially, and [is reprinted in this article].... [C]ompanies are considering (and investors are demanding) the next generation in clawback policies in light of some of the corporate 'scandals' during this period."
Winston & Strawn LLP

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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 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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