Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 15, 2019

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[Guidance Overview]

Is Your Business Complying with New Jersey's Earned Sick Leave Law?

"The sick leave law took effect on October 29, 2018.... Employees earn one hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per benefit year ... PSL is paid at the same rate of pay with the same benefits as the employee normally earns.... Employers must keep all records documenting hours worked by employees and earned sick leave accrued/advanced, used, paid, paid out, and carried over for five years."
Goldberg Segalla

[Advert.]

The Must-Attend Event for Those Working with Multiemployer Plans

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Still time to register - Attend the Trustees and Administrators Institutes to receive timely and relevant education on the issues that face the benefits industry including the opioid crisis, cybersecurity, pharmacy benefits and mental health.


[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Offers Further Clarification on Its Paid Family and Medical Leave Law: What Employers Should Know

"The Department has now clarified that the contribution will be limited to 63% on the first $128,400 of an individual's annual earnings ... [T]he Department has clarified the starting dates as follows: [1] On January 1, 2021, employees can begin claiming benefits for bonding with a child or newborn; service-member related events; and dealing with the employee's own serious health condition; and [2] On July 1, 2021, employees can begin claiming benefits to care for a family member with a serious health condition."
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Second U.S. Judge Blocks Trump Administration Birth Control Rules

"U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia issued a nationwide injunction preventing the rules from taking effect, a day after another judge issued a more limited ruling blocking their enforcement in 13 states and the District of Columbia. The rules would let businesses or nonprofits lodge religious or moral objections to obtain exemptions from the Obamacare mandate that employers provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance with no copayment." [Pennsylvania v. HHS, No. 17-4540 (E.D. Penn. Jan. 14, 2019)]
Reuters

Lower-Wage Workers Pay More Than Higher-Wage Workers for Employer-Provided Medical Care Benefits

"In March 2018, private industry workers earning an average wage in the lowest 10 percent paid an average of $151.78 per month for medical care plans for single coverage. That was $25 more than the average monthly contributions of private industry workers with an average wage in the highest 10 percent ($126.82)."
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]

HHS Medicare Drug Shift Plan Could Reduce Costs Overall But Raise Them for Some

"At 2018 prices, Part B spending for the 75 brand-name drugs with the highest Part B expenditures was estimated to be $21.6 billion annually. Under the proposed policy, total Part D drug spending for these drugs would fall to an estimate in the range of $17.6 billion and $20.1 billion after rebates, corresponding to a 6.9% to 18.3% decrease in drug spending in Part D compared with Part B costs."
American Journal of Managed Care

[Advert.]

Utilizing Opt-Out Incentives to Cut Health Care Costs

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Jan. 29 webinar. Although these programs may seem simple enough, they are rife with multiple 'compliance landmines' that can trip up unwary employers. Learn how to spot problem spots and develop compliant and effective programs. BenefitsLink discount.


Three Ways Employers Can Provide Student Loan Support

"Employers can support debt burden employees in three ways: [1] Provide information to employees about services and support available to negotiate or consolidate the debt; [2] Offer debt counseling for student loans through a retained service provider; [3] Provide employees with additional income toward their student loan payments through student loan support programs.... [P]roviding employees with additional income toward their student loan payments is currently taxable as income."
Hill, Chesson & Woody

Considerations for Comprehensive Employee Wellness Programs

"[1] Stress relief ... [2] Mental health ... [3] Emotional self-care ... [4] Lifestyle wellness ... [5] Flexible work ... [6] Financial health."
HR Daily Advisor

Benefits in General

Long-Awaited Employee Benefit Plan Audit Standard Final Balloted

"Changes to the form and content of the auditor's report on the financial statements and the ERISA required supplemental schedules are among the most significant changes resulting from the new standard.... Auditors are required to perform procedures sufficient to ensure that amounts received and disbursed as reported by the trustee or custodian were determined in accordance plan provisions.... Auditors are required to read the draft Form 5500 and identify material inconsistencies, if any, with the audited financial statements prior to dating the auditor's report."
Schneider Downs

Press Releases

Lestna Retirement LLC is Certified for Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Public Retirees Being Shifted to Private Insurance Exchanges
Physicians for a National Health Program [PNHP]

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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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