Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 6, 2019

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Webcasts, Conferences

Mental Health Parity for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: New Disclosure Forms, Treatment Requirements, and Federal Enforcement
RECORDED
HRWebAdvisor

Navigating the Puerto Rico Leave Management Maze
March 5, 2019 WEBCAST
Jackson Lewis LLP

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 1
March 12, 2019 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 2
March 13, 2019 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 3
March 14, 2019 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

PlanSource Eclipse
July 16, 2019 in UT
PlanSource

►See 172 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1476 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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[Guidance Overview]

HHS Proposes New Rules to Eliminate Drug Rebates and Encourage Direct Discounts

"The proposed rule has the potential to cause significant disruption to the status quo of the drug supply chain. PBMs interact and affect all stakeholders throughout the prescription drug supply chain and markets, including prescription drug benefit plans ... pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies."
Foley & Lardner LLP

[Guidance Overview]

HHS OIG Proposes Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor Amendments to Regulate and Restrict the Provision of Manufacturer Remuneration to Plan Sponsors and PBMs

"As rebates paid by pharmaceutical manufacturers to health plan sponsors and PBMs are a central feature of the U.S. drug distribution and reimbursement system, the Proposed Rule represents a groundbreaking reform measure that could dramatically impact consumers and supply chain stakeholders. If finalized, the Proposed Rule would go into effect on January 1, 2020."
Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

The Impact of Individual Coverage HRAs on PTC Eligibility and the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate (PDF)

"[IRS Notice 2018-88] states that anticipated guidance will make it clear that employers offering individual coverage HRAs will be entitled to use the HHI safe harbors ... [which] apply to the required contribution for the plan offered by the employer.... [T]he anticipated guidance will clarify that the plan used to determine each employee's required contribution is the HRA affordability plan or the affordability plan using the safe harbors described in the notice."
Boutwell Fay LLP

Caregiving Benefit Resources and Tips for Employers

"In 2013, approximately 40 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated 37 billion hours of care. The estimated value of their unpaid service was approximately $470 billion. Many caregivers are in the 45 to 64 year-old age group.... Nearly 17 percent of today's workforce in the United States provides some level of care for a family member or friend."
The Alliance

DOL Announces Increased Health Plan Violation Penalties (PDF)

A chart outlines the 2019 adjustments, which are effective for penalties assessed after January 23, 2019 with respect to violations occurring after November 2, 2015.
EPIC

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What Do Employee Benefits Clients Expect in 2019?

"[T]hose in the benefits delivery space, which includes benefits enrollment technology, strategic communications and administrative support... [will be expected to] [1] innovate the mobile technology/smartphone benefits engagement experience, and take it up several notches this year.... [2] help our clients execute a more effective benefits administration 'machine.' ... [3] help our clients optimize and appreciate the time that employees give to their employee benefits plans."
California Broker

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Still the Most Popular Option

"[M]ost people that have coverage through their employer are more concerned about deductibles, drug prices, premiums and 'surprise medical bills' than they are universal coverage[.]"
BenefitsPro

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Notice AK-2019-01, for Victims of Earthquake in Alaska

"Victims of the earthquake that took place on Nov. 30, 2018 in Alaska may qualify for tax relief from the [IRS].... Individuals who reside or have a business in the Municipality of Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula Borough and Matanuska-Susitna Borough may qualify for tax relief.... [C]ertain deadlines falling on or after Nov. 30, 2018 and before April 30, 2019, are granted additional time to file through April 30, 2019."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Prioritizing Where to Spend Growing Benefits Communications Budgets

"Once your strategy is in place, you've identified the gaps, and you've prioritized spending, you'll also need to budget accordingly for ... [1] Communication experts ... [2] Building and maintaining digital channels ... [3] Ongoing campaigns ... [4] Printing and postage ... [5] Images."
Segal Benz

Unpacking the Settlor-Fiduciary 'Two Hat' Principle (PDF)

"[E]mployers should take proactive steps to protect themselves from the consequences of unintended fiduciary acts.... [1] Distinguishing, and memorializing the distinction between, settlor and plan administrator/fiduciary duties: in service provider agreements; in plan documents ... [and] in plan governance ... [2] [Separating] settlor and fiduciary administrative communications with participants and third parties. [3] Ensuring that settlor communications with counsel are separate so as to protect the attorney-client privilege between settlor and counsel."
Boutwell Fay LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Overpayment of Dependent Care FSA

One of our employees was overpaid in 2018 for Dependent Care FSA. She is going to pay this back in 2019. For tax reporting in 2018, should this be included as taxable income? How would it be treated in 2019 (the payback)?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Is the Proposed Expansion of HRAs a Game Changer for Employers? (PDF)
Epstein Becker Green, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal

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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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