Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 22, 2019

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Senior 401(k) Administrator
Guidant Financial
Telecommute

Senior Pension Consultant
The Ryding Company
in CA

Agile Product Owner
Wolters Kluwer
Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

ERISA is a Friend of Mine - HSAs: I Want to be Sedated Part 1
RECORDED
Lockton

How to Lower Healthcare Costs While Enhancing Member Experience
February 13, 2019 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB]

Absence & Leave: Staying Compliant
February 21, 2019 in GA
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Atlanta Chapter

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Recently Proposed Excepted Benefit HRA Rules Offer Limited Relief

"[T]his proposed excepted benefit HRA ... overlaps significantly with existing excepted benefits.... [U]nder current HRA rules, an employer could offer an HRA that covers dental, vision, and long-term care ... without the $1,800 cap, without the requirement to offer a separate group health plan, and without the 'same terms' requirement.... [W]hat are the remaining available benefits? Essentially they are reimbursement of COBRA and short-term limited duration insurance. Neither appears to offer plan sponsors meaningful utility."
HUB International

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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.


Not All Wellness Compliance Is Eliminated This Year

"[1] HIPAA incentive rules still apply ... [2] EEOC notice still needs to be sent ... [3] GINA spouse notice still needs to be agreed to ... [4] Tobacco differentials still have rules that may frustrate HR professionals."
Frenkel Benefits

Keep Filing, Shutdown or No

"Whether all or only a portion of the government is shutdown, that does not change an employer's compliance obligations. Deadlines still apply. This includes items such as: [1] Filing ACA reporting forms ... [2] Responding to IRS Letters 226J or government audit requests.... [3] Distributing employee communications, like summaries of benefits and coverage (SBCs) or notices of marketplace coverage options."
HUB International

Employer Pays High Price After Court Finds Change in Method of Collecting Premiums is COBRA Qualifying Event

"Because the plan administrator failed to provide the COBRA election notice, the court awarded the plaintiff compensatory damages to pay for her surgery and other medical expenses not covered by her private insurance, less the COBRA premiums she would have had to pay for continuation of coverage under the plan; statutory penalties under ERISA of $50/day from the date the notice should have been provided to the date the plaintiff was covered by other insurance; and attorney fees." [Morehouse v. Steak N Shake, Inc., No. 16-789 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 6, 2018)]
Morgan Lewis

To Cover or Not to Cover? Prenatal DNA Test Creates Quandary for Payers

"As genetic tests become increasingly accessible, they're helping transform health care by connecting patients with more personalized diagnoses and treatments. But it's often challenging for health plans to decide whether to pay for them. One prime example can be found in obstetrics, where cell-free DNA-based noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) has been rising in popularity among patients and clinicians alike, yet payers differ in terms of how they cover it."
AISHealth

[Advert.]

Now is the time to become a member of ECFC

Sponsored by ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

ECFC is dedicated to maintaining and expanding employee benefit programs on a tax-advantaged basis. Members include employers, TPAs, health plan providers, brokers, payers, providers, payment networks, processors, and financial institutions.


Massachusetts Lawmakers Push for Repeal of State Health Care Fees

"Republican lawmakers are pushing for a repeal of fees charged to companies that aren't providing health insurance to a majority of their workers.... [E]mployers are fined up to $750 per employee for those who choose MassHealth or subsidized coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector. Under the [ACA], the state cannot block private sector employees from choosing Medicaid, even if they are also offered employer-sponsored health coverage."
The Daily News of Newburyport

Unlimited Vacation: Wave of the Future or Potential Liability?

"[In] Illinois, like a number of states, employers are required to keep track of employees' work hours as well as their vacation or PTO accruals and usage. The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act requires employers to pay employees for any accrued, unused vacation or PTO remaining to them at the time of termination. But how does that work with an 'unlimited' PTO policy?"
Franczek Radelet P.C.

Benefits in General

Growth Expected in Individual Life Insurance, Technology and Workplace Retirement Savings Plans

"In 2019, LIMRA is expecting U.S. individual life insurance sales to rise three percent to $15.0 billion. This growth will be primarily driven by gains in disposable income and bond rates, coupled with low unemployment.... [T]his year will also see an increase in access to workplace retirement savings plans for private sector employees. This will be due to increased interest in multi-employer plans (MEPs) and the rise of FinTech.... One area [where] LIMRA sees a slowdown in growth is with supplemental benefits."
LIMRA

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Questions Employees Are Asking in 2019 About ACA Form 1095s
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

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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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