Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 3, 2019

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in CT

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Guidance Addresses Tax Cost of Providing Parking to Employees, Even for Tax-Exempt Employers

"[Notice 2018-99] provides a special opportunity for organizations to retroactively reduce or eliminate the tax cost of employee-reserved spots for 2018. Employers have until March 31, 2019 to change their parking arrangements to decrease or eliminate the number of employee-reserved parking spots, which will be given retroactive recognition as of January 1, 2018."
Vorys

[Guidance Overview]

New Jersey Sick Leave Law Became Effective October 29: Are You Compliant?

"Current employees began earning (or accruing) sick time on October 29, 2018 ... Employers should have determined their benefit year of 12 consecutive months.... Employees began accruing one hour of sick time for every thirty [30] hours worked, with a maximum of forty [40] hours for the year.... The Act applies to any business entity in NJ with one or more employees."
WithumSmith+Brown, PC

Michigan's New Sick Leave Law

"Under the new paid sick leave law, which only applies to employers employing 50 or more people, employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked. On this accrual system, employees are permitted to carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick leave."
Foley & Lardner LLP

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Bereavement Leave Legislation in New York

"The paid bereavement leave benefit was scheduled to begin in 2020 ... Shortly before the start of 2019, however, Governor Cuomo vetoed the bereavement leave bill ... [T]he New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo may revisit this topic in 2019."
Goldberg Segalla

Taking the Pulse of New Association Health Plans

"States have reacted to the final rule in dramatically divergent ways. Some states believe that AHPs will make it finally possible for small employers to offer affordable healthcare options for their employees. Other states worry that AHPs will destabilize the individual insurance marketplace. They predict that healthy people will join AHPs because they are less expensive than other insurance options, and this shift will leave sicker people in a smaller pool with higher premiums."
Crowell & Moring LLP

ACA Litigation Round-Up: CSRs, Risk Adjustment, AHPs, and Short-Term Plans

"January 2019 ... will bring at least two hearings over whether insurers are entitled to unpaid reimbursements for the cost-sharing reductions they are required to provide lower-income Marketplace enrollees under the ACA, as well as a hearing on the multi-state challenge to the Trump administration's rule on association health plans. The federal government will appeal a challenge to its risk adjustment methodology to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and it received a temporary stay in litigation over the final rule on short-term plans (where a hearing is currently scheduled for February)."
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

ACA Strike-Down: Salvaging the BPCIA via Severability

"Should appellate courts uphold Judge O'Connor's decision, the [Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA)] may have to be reauthorized. Although there would be tremendous pressure for Congress to reenact the BPCIA because the BPCIA has the potential to create savings in the billions of dollars for Medicare alone, a second look at the BPCIA would almost certainly result in renewed debate regarding its more controversial aspects and lobbying efforts by industry and consumer protection groups alike."
Foley & Lardner LLP

2015 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Annual Chartbook and Slides

The MCBS 2015 Chart Book is now updated to include two new sections with information on the use and cost of health care services reported by survey beneficiaries. This release will supplement the information in Version 1 of the MCBS 2015 Chart Book which included information on beneficiaries' satisfaction with care, usual source of care, functional status, and health and well-being.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Opinion]

American Benefits Council Comment Letter to IRS on Proposed Regs for HRAs and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans

16 pages. "We support the Proposed Rule's goal of expanding the availability of HRAs and permitting their use in combination with policies purchased on the individual insurance market and welcome the increased flexibility it provides for both employees and employers.... In order for the Proposed Rule to achieve its goals, it is vital that the individual market be stable and well-functioning, otherwise, employers will be unwilling to utilize this expanded flexibility."
American Benefits Council

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Divorce Paperwork Required to Prove Occurrence of Qualifying Event

An employee has submitted paperwork to show his divorce as a Qualifying Event. But he didn't submit a divorce decree. It's a "Partial Mediated Settlement Agreement." Is that sufficient? Even if it is, can I require a divorce decree instead?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

HERO Elects Karen Moseley as President
Health Enhancement Research Organization [HERO]

ECFC Announces New Health Savings Account (HSA) Expert Certification
ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

NAPA Unveils the Top Retirement Plan Advisors Under 40
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Employee Benefits Trends to Watch in 2019
OneDigital Health and Benefits

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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 2019 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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