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DC / 401(k) Plan Administrator
Improved Funding Techniques, Inc.
in NY

Payroll Account Executive
Alerus Financial
in MN

Retirement Contribution Specialist
Alerus Financial
in MN

Retirement Relationship Manager II
Alerus Financial
in NH

Regional Sales / Retirement Plans
United Retirement Plan Consultants
in VA

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[Guidance Overview]

Unpacking the Final 2019 Payment Notice, Part 1
"Despite the accelerated comment period, the 2019 payment rule is being finalized much later than in previous years. This reduces the window of time for insurers to develop or adjust their products in response to changes under the final rule. It also impacts the amount of time that state insurance regulators have to review and approve these new plans before they are certified by CMS in most states.... CMS largely did not alter its final timeline for QHP certification for 2019 and issuers must still submit their 2019 qualified health plans (QHPs) to CMS by June 20, 2018 for approval."
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs


Certificate in Global Benefits Management

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Last Call to Register! From understanding the power of world views to defining your company strategies, the Certificate in Global Benefits Management provides the comprehensive knowledge needed to administer and manage a global benefits program. Learn more.

Handling Common Errors under Employer-Sponsored HSA Programs
"Correction of errors under an HSA program depends on the nature of the error.... Employee was never eligible to establish an HSA ... Employee maintains an HSA and ceases to be eligible during the testing period ... Correcting excess contributions without 6-percent penalty ... Correcting excess contribution with 6-percent penalty."
Thompson Coburn

CVS Rolls Out New Tool to Combat Rising Drug Prices
"CVS' tool, called the Rx Savings Finder, will enable the company's retail pharmacists to find medicines that are the cheapest option for patients according to the insurance plans they are signed up for. Largest U.S. health insurer UnitedHealth Group last month vowed to pass on pharmacy discounts to customers while filling prescriptions via retail pharmacies and home delivery services."

Patient-Centered Formularies: Steps in the Right Direction, But Challenges Remain
"To truly link benefit decisions such as formulary design to value, formularies must incorporate the factors that determine value from patients' perspectives, while also accounting for diversity in covered populations."
Health Affairs

Even Senators Can Have Babies: After Giving Birth, Sen. Tammy Duckworth Presses Senate to Adjust Floor Rules
"[Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)] has said the most problematic rules generally prevent anyone who isn't a senator, a designated aide or other official from being on the Senate floor. Because a senator must be on the floor in order to vote, she argued she should be allowed to bring her young child with her.... The Senate has bent its rules before to make accommodations for senators. Unsurprising for an institution where the average age in January 2017 was 61.8 years, those examples tend to favor senators battling serious illnesses."
Kaiser Health News

Benefits in General

Fifth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits by Overruling Default Deferential Standard of Review
"The Fifth Circuit provided several grounds for its decision to overrule [its quarter century-old holding in Pierre v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Company], including the fact that no other circuit agreed with its interpretation of Firestone. It also rejected as misplaced Pierre's reliance on trust law and its analogies to the deference afforded to agency decisions and the factual findings of district courts to support its interpretation of Firestone." [Ariana M. v. Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc., No. 16-20174 (5th Cir. Mar. 1, 2018)]
Robinson & Cole LLP

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Credit Karma Settles with SEC over Alleged Stock Option Disclosure Failures
"The [SEC] recently instituted a cease-and-desist proceeding against Credit Karma, Inc.... for failing to provide adequate disclosure to its stock option holders pursuant to SEC Rule 701 because Credit Karma did not comply with relevant disclosure requirements for offerings in excess of $5 million.... Credit Karma agreed to a settlement with the SEC and paid a civil penalty of $160,000 -- well above what the disclosures would have cost.... Rule 701 is a safe harbor exemption that excuses certain employee benefit plans, including stock incentive plans, from registering equity offerings and sales under the Securities Act."
DLA Piper

Press Releases

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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 2018, 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.

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