Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 17, 2018 logo logo
Search   ·   Past Issues   ·   Get Message Boards Digest   ·   Get Retirement News


Retirement Plan Advisor
Carlson Capital Management
in MN

401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator
Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC
in IL

►See 133 Jobs

►Post a Job

Webcasts, Conferences

Effective Communication Across the Organization
June 13, 2018 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

Form 5500 Update: New Issues and Best Practices for the 2017 Filing Season
June 21, 2018 in NY
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

►See 155 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1386 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

This Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

Message Boards Digest:
Subscribe Now

[Official Guidance]

Text of CMS Quick Start Guide: Web Form for Federally-Facilitated Marketplace User Fee Adjustment (PDF)

19 pages. "This document is a step-by-step guide to log in, complete, and submit the FFM User Fee Adjustment web form....[T]he FFM User Fee Adjustment web form link will be emailed to a CMS-specified list of FFM issuers and TPAs/PBMs who participated in this adjustment previously. If you did not participate in this process for a prior benefit year, you can locate the web form link in this guide[.]"
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]


Thomson Reuters Advanced Cafeteria Plans and Benefits Conference

Sponsored by Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Learning

Leading attorneys address best practices, legislative and regulatory developments, and advanced compliance issues for employer health and cafeteria plans, account-based plans, and wellness programs. Join us in Seattle, July 10-12.

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Announces HSA and HDHP Limitations for 2019

"Note that the [ACA] also applies an out-of-pocket maximum on expenditures for essential health benefits.... [T]he HDHP and ACA out-of-pocket maximums differ ... First, ACA out-of-pocket maximums are higher than the maximums for HDHPs.... Second, the ACA requires that the family out-of-pocket maximum include 'embedded' self-only maximums on essential health benefits."
Proskauer's ERISA Practice Center

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Announces 2019 HSA Limits

"The HDHP out-of-pocket maximum includes in-network deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, but does not include premiums or balance-billing for out-of-network services.... Employers are advised to begin updating payroll and plan administration systems to reflect the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments.... [E]mployers should incorporate the 2019 HSA limits into all relevant participant communications[.]"
The Wagner Law Group

Direct Contracting 101: Collaborations Between Employers and Health Care Providers (PDF)

"As employers continue to encounter escalating health care costs, many are exploring ... direct service and pricing negotiations with health care providers. While the direct contracting opportunity represents potential cost savings, these arrangements are highly complex ... [This] White Paper provides an overview of direct contracting, outlines the benefits for employers and plan participants, and describes the practical and legal considerations involved"
Jones Day

Managing Health Benefits for Employees with Fluctuating Hours

"When a new employee is hired, an applicable large employer (ALE) must make a reasonable determination whether the employee is and is expected to remain full-time.... Employers generally may use a safe-harbor method that includes a measurement period selected by the employer, referred to as the 'standard measurement period'.... An ongoing employee is generally an employee who has been employed by the employer for at least one complete standard measurement period."
HR Daily Advisor


Sponsored by

For over 20 years, we've helped employers find the best-informed candidates to fill their benefits job openings -- learn more!

CMS Releases 2019 Medicare Part D Benefit Parameters

"The standard benefit parameters will increase by approximately 1.5 to 2.5%, with the OOP threshold increasing by 2%. Plan sponsors that want to remain qualified for the employer retiree drug subsidy will have to determine if their 2019 prescription drug coverage is at least actuarially equivalent to the standard Medicare Part D coverage."

IBM Employees Can't Use Removable Storage Anymore: A Strategy for Lowering HIPAA Liability Risk?

"[IBM's global chief information security officer, Shamla Naidoo] explains, 'the possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost or misused removable portable storage devices must be minimised.' ... USB sticks and SD cards are very easy to forget or lose, and whoever finds them will usually check what they contain. Removing them from the equation completely solves that problem, but the cloud access replacing it needs to be rock solid."
PC Magazine

Nine States and Counting: The Employers' Burden of the Loss of the Individual Mandate Tax Penalty

"[T]here are currently 9 states (MD, DC, NJ, CT, HI, VT, RI, MN, WA) considering State individual mandate legislation to replace the loss of the federal individual mandate. State mandates will apply to people who live in a state regardless of the location of their employer plan."
Hill, Chesson & Woody

ACA Section 1557 Litigation Casts Doubt on Status of Current 1557 Regs

"In support of their request for a stay, the defendants also noted that the Trump administration has indicated that it will modify or eliminate the challenged regulations. In denying the motion for a stay, the district court concluded: [1] The participants' claims relied on the Section 1557 statute itself, rather than the Section 1557 final regulations.... [2] A stay would not simplify the issues in question or reduce the parties' litigation burden.... The participants in this litigation also appear to have contemplated new regulations in the 1557 space, and argued that their claims are based on the Section 1557 statute and therefore would not 'rise and fall' with the existence or enforceability of the current Section 1557 regulations." [Boyden v. Conlin, No. 17-264 (W.D. Wis. May 11, 2018)]
Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Benefits in General

A Persona-Based Approach Can Make a Big Impact on Your Organization

"When you develop 'real-life' personas, you're better prepared to: [1] Assess the impact and likely reactions of employees to your total rewards offering -- and any changes you're considering; [2] Identify which programs are likely to be 'sticky' with different groups of employees; [3] Develop a multi-media approach to communication with the right mix for each target persona; [4] Support a culture of inclusion within your organization where employees feel valued and respected."

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Gap Between Equity Comp Aspiration and Action Shows Need for Employee Education and Financial Advice

"[O]nly 24% of [survey participants] have actually exercised employee stock options or sold shares acquired from equity comp. Among the rest, 34% admit to being worried about selling in adverse market conditions, and another 34% say they fear the tax consequences of making an uninformed or bad decision. These findings are all the more remarkable because over a third of the participants (36%) actually report that stock comp was one of the reasons why they took their current job to begin with."

Press Releases

HERO Hires Mary Imboden as Membership Manager and Research Associate
Health Enhancement Research Organization [HERO]

Connect   LinkedIn logo   Twitter logo   Facebook logo, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

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.

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers; we were not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.

Unsubscribe | Privacy Policy