Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 6, 2018

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Senior Consultant
USI Consulting Group
in CT, NY

Pension Analyst
Southwest Service Administrators
in AZ

Senior Legal Counsel, Strategic Investor Services
T. Rowe Price
in MD

Administrative Consultant for Qualified Retirement Plans
PenSys, Inc.
in CA, NC

Loan and Distribution Clerk
PenSys, Inc.
in CA

Implementation Coordinator
PenSys, Inc.
in CA

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[Guidance Overview]

'TPA' Confusion in Massachusetts Letter to Employers Explaining Its Newest Tax Assessment
"The online system allows employers to designate other entities -- TPAs -- to view the employer's liability and even make appeals to the commonwealth on behalf of the employer.... The commonwealth's reference to TPAs is not intended to refer to the claims administrator of a self-insured ERISA medical plan. Rather, 'TPA' means the entity who files and pays the state unemployment insurance tax filings on behalf of the employer. Typically, this is the employer's payroll service that handles the employer's state and federal tax filings."
Lockton

[Advert.]

Employer Health Care Cost & Quality Congress | Washington DC

Sponsored by World Congress

4/29-5/2/2018 in Washington DC. This event brings together Employers, Brokers, and TPAs. Qualified HR & Benefits Professionals may attend as our guest - See website for details/restrictions & to apply.


IRS Retroactively Reduces HSA Contribution Limit; Transition Relief May Follow
"In mid-March, two members of the House Ways and Means Committee ... wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, identifying burdens the mid-year limit change inflicts on employees and employers and requesting a delay until 2019 of enforcement of the new contribution limit.... [T]he American Benefits Council ... likewise sought an enforcement delay or similar transition relief from Treasury and the IRS. Treasury and the IRS have acknowledged [these] concerns ... and expedited their consideration of potential transition relief."
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Why Health Insurers and PBMs Are Merging
"[1] The desire to keep costs down is a major factor pushing companies to combine forces, but it may not be a good enough reason on its own to justify certain of these vertical mergers ... [2] Insurers may also look to PBMs as an attractive way to diversify their business and gain access to additional perhaps less-restricted revenue streams ... [3] The PBM model has been under pressure from increasing demands for more transparency about business practices such as drug manufacturer rebates and volume discounts."
HealthLeaders Media

[Opinion]

ERIC's Written Testimony on New Jersey's Paid Sick Leave Bill
"ERIC supports provisions of A1827 that lessen the patchwork and burdens on large employers, such as preempting 'any ordinance, resolution, law, rule, or regulation regarding earned sick leave' that has been enacted by a county or municipality. Additionally, ERIC supports A1827's recognition of employers' existing policies and deeming them in compliance with this bill should they meet applicable accrual and use thresholds.... [T]he major issue ERIC has with A1827 is the mandate to carryover or 'carry forward' unused earned sick leave at the end of a benefit year."
The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

[Opinion]

Congress Needs to Rethink the ACA's Single Risk Pool to 'Stabilize' the Individual Market
"Throwing money at the status quo will simply slow a market decline, which could leave millions with no access to affordable coverage. Splitting subsidized lives from nonsubsidized into two different risk pools could provide structural relief that allows markets to stabilize longer term. By splitting the risk pool, a viable market is created to catch the population that is paying all or most of their premiums and prevent many of them from going without insurance."
Health Affairs

[Advert.]

Online Learning Course: COBRA

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Even with ACA coverage easier for individuals to obtain, group health plans must continue to offer COBRA coverage. This course explains technicalities of COBRA, including who is entitled and how to administer.


Benefits in General

New Integration Software Melds Clients with Advisers
"[Human capital management (HCM)] and payroll companies struggle ... with handling all the complexities of employee benefits information.... [T]his type of complexity requires a robust benefits system that can be readily reconfigured -- not an all-purpose HCM system that wasn't specifically designed for benefits administration.... [W]eb-based APIs can make such a system far more flexible.... [T]he next logical step will be to simplify and standardize API formats[.]"
Employee Benefit Adviser

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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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