Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 4, 2018

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Senior Pension Administrator - Combo DB/DC Plans
Primark Benefits
Telecommute

Compliance Administrator
Milliman
in MN, TX

Plan Manager
Milliman
in MN, TX

Manager, ESOP
Newport Group
in AL, AZ, CA, FL, IA, IL, MN, NC, NY, OH, TX, VA, WI, Telecommute

Actuary - Retirement Plans
Pension Consultants, Inc.
in MN

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Publication 4942: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) / Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Specialty Course -- Health Savings Accounts (PDF)

54 pages. "This course was developed to help volunteers assist taxpayers who have an HSA. HSAs allow individuals with high-deductible health insurance to use tax-deductible contributions to pay qualified medical expenses. The course covers: [1] HSA eligibility, contributions, and distributions; [2] Reporting HSA activity on Form 8889, Health Savings Accounts; [3] Determining the HSA deduction." [Rev. 10‑2018]
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Compliance Obligations Under the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA

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Nov. 28 webinar. Although HSAs have numerous tax advantages, it is easy to inadvertently fail to satisfy the requirements. This webinar will help health plan administrators navigate this sometimes treacherous terrain. BenefitsLink discount.


[Guidance Overview]

New Jersey's Surprise Medical Bill Law: State Agencies Issue Guidance

"This [article] ... summarizes key components of the ... regulatory guidance on claims processing and arbitration, OON billing and cost-sharing waivers, and disclosure and transparency."
Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

New Jersey Department of Labor Proposes Regs Implementing Sick and Safe Leave Law

"The proposed regulations generally track the provisions of the Act and address how sick leave must be accrued, used, paid, paid out, and carried over from year to year. In addition, the proposed regulations echo the Act's notification and recordkeeping requirements, as well as its prohibitions against retaliation and discrimination. The regulations, like the Act, incorporate the state's Wage and Hour Law with regard to penalties and the administrative procedures for addressing alleged violations."
Epstein Becker Green

IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave

"Employers of all sizes may qualify for the credit, even employers that are not subject to the federal FMLA. For 2018 tax years, employers may retroactively adopt written policies for paid family and medical leave. Amounts paid by a state or local government (or required by state or local law) do not qualify for the credit.... The tax credit applies to wages paid in taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. It does not apply to wages paid in taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2019."
Chelko Center for Benefits Management

Medicare Part D Notice Required Before Oct. 15, 2018

"Employers who sponsor a health plan offering prescription drug benefits must provide an annual notice to all Medicare-eligible participants that explains whether the prescription drug benefits offered under the plan are at least as good as the benefits offered under the Medicare Part D plan. The only employers exempt from this requirement are those that establish their own Part D plan or contract with a Part D plan."
Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

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ACA Compliance Remains a Concern for Employers

"Employers may be receiving an unwanted letter in the mail, if they haven't already. The final stage of the 2015 [ACA] tracking and reporting process has hit employers in the form of penalty letters from the IRS."
Workforce magazine

What Every Open Enrollment Communications Plan Should Include

"[S]nail mail... [is] hard for employees to ignore, it's tactile and it's portable. On the other hand, it could be costly to produce and mail compared to electronic communications.... When you use email, you're operating in an increasingly crowded space.... [A] focus on mobile for open enrollment communications is critical.... [V]ideo is arguably the most effective and engaging form of communication you have at your disposal."
Benefitfocus

Employees Missing Out on the Benefits of Health Savings Accounts

"While HSAs can be a high-value option to help employees prepare for health care costs in retirement, most employees use them primarily as spending accounts for immediate health expenses. Two-thirds of respondents (65%) use their HSA money for current health care needs, large and small, while 8% focus on saving their funds for the future. Because employees regularly use HSAs to pay for current health costs, less than half (45%) have more than $5,000 saved."
Willis Towers Watson

2018 Costs For Employee-Sponsored Family Health Coverage

"This year's premium increases are comparable to the rise in workers' wages (2.6%) and inflation (2.5%) during the same period.... Since 2008, average family premiums have increased 55 percent, twice as fast as workers' earnings (26%) and three times as fast as inflation (17%).... [T]he burden of deductibles on workers continu[es] to climb over time in two ways: a growing share of covered workers face a general annual deductible, and the average deductible is rising for those who face one."
Health Affairs

Exposure to Out-of-Network Bills Is High and Rising in the Individual and Small Group Markets

"In the individual market in particular, there has been a steep decline in the percent of plans that offer [out-of-network (OON)] coverage, from 58 percent in 2015 to 29 percent in 2018. The decline in the small group market has been far less sharp, and probably tracks more closely to what is happening in larger employer plans.... [In] the individual market, the median OON deductible is approximately $12,000. In about 30 percent of individual market plans with OON coverage, the deductible is greater than $20,000. The small group market is quite different, with a median deductible of about $6,000 and virtually no deductibles higher than $20,000."
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Press Releases

DOL Litigation Results in Atlanta Trust Company Paying $4.5 Million in Restitution to Employee Stock Ownership Plan
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Results of the 2018 Employer Health Benefits Survey
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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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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