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February 8, 2019 logo logo
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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues New Credit Form for Paid Family/Medical Leave

"The Employer Credit is available for years beginning after 2017 and before 2020, and ranges from 12.5% to 25% of wages paid to a qualifying employee while the employee is on family and medical leave. Employers that qualify may claim or elect not to claim the Employer Credit any time within three years from the due date of their return on either an original return or an amended return."
von Briesen & Roper, s.c.


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Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Join us this month in Orlando to explore health plan management and design options including consumer-driven health care, managed care, value-based strategies, and flexible benefit programs.

[Guidance Overview]

Wellness Programs Continue to Face Compliance Challenges

"On December 20, 2018, ... the EEOC revised its regulations to remove the incentives that had been permitted. What remains in the regulations presently is that a health program that includes disability-related inquiries or medical examinations (such as a health risk assessment or biometric screening) is voluntary as long as the program meets certain requirements[.]"
Jackson Lewis P.C.

How to Get Your Employees Excited About HSAs

"Engaged employees are more likely to use their health plan wisely ... ultimately driving overall healthcare costs down.... The fear of missing out on compounded investment dollars in an HSA can be a compelling case for getting started now.... Keeping HSAs top of mind with continual engagement throughout the year will reinforce with your employees that their health and wealth is a priority for you.... [M]ake it easy for them to enroll and contribute to their HSAs."

Evaluating Employee Benefits Open Enrollment

"[1] Could I easily add a variety of voluntary benefit options in addition to core health plans? ... [2] Was creating a benefit communication strategy easy with available tools and resources? ... [3] Was I able to accurately measure enrollment engagement metrics? ... [4] Was it easy to get accurate enrollment information to my carriers and vendors?"

The Health Plan of Tomorrow: Business Model Transformation Is the Only Way to Adapt to Disruption

"If health plans are to assume the role of steward to members' well-being, they will need to work more closely with care delivery teams.... The traditional role of 'financer' will not suffice for the health plan of the future, and business models will shift to look beyond claim processing and focus on enabling member well-being and care.... Health plans will begin to move beyond using data to support compliance and reporting functions to become data conveners, science and insight engines, and/or data and platform infrastructure builders.... [C]ompanies will develop new revenue streams based on consumer insights, monetization of data, population health initiatives, and customized offerings."


Evaluating Your Employee Health Benefits

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Feb. 27 webinar. Arm yourself with the knowledge to evaluate your plan's funding methods, as well as what ancillary insurance products fit for your company and how best to communicate all of this to the employee population. BenefitsLink discount.

Record-Setting 2018 Enforcement Show Need for Proactive Health Plan HIPAA Compliance

"[HHS] Office of Civil Rights (OCR) [announced] that its 2018 year-end $3 Million Resolution Agreement with California-based Cottage Health increased OCR's already record-setting enforcement recoveries in 2018 to nearly $28.7 million ... Along with acting to ensure their own organization's ability to defend their HIPAA compliance, Covered Entities and their leaders also should take advantage of the opportunity to provide input to OCR on opportunities for simplifying and improving OCR's HIPAA regulations and enforcement[.]"
Solutions Law Press

Benefits in General

Editor's Pick Arbitrability of ERISA Fiduciary Breach Cases

"[A]ssuming that the law evolves to more clearly require courts to enforce those provisions in ERISA cases, employers should give serious consideration to whether they want to include those provisions in their employment agreements and/or plan documents, or attempt to compel arbitration of cases that would otherwise be litigated in federal court under ERISA. The decision is not as straightforward as it may at first seem."
Trucker Huss

EBRI's Financial Wellbeing Research Center Bringing Data Mining to Bear

"EBRI is fortunate in having decades of experience in developing and mining retirement and health benefits data. Leveraging this experience, in 2018, EBRI undertook its initial steps in creating a financial wellness database that it will mine to help employers, policymakers, and the industry better understand how financial wellness initiatives move the dial on employee financial wellbeing.... Over time, our goal will be to demonstrate links to overall wellbeing by tying in claims data as well."
Paul Fronstin, EBRI [Employee Benefits Research Institute]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

DOL Letter to Client Says 5500 Defective Because No Audit Attached, But DOL Web Site Says Otherwise

Client received a EBSA letter today that the Plan's 2017 5500 form filing was rejected for lack of the Accountant's opinion. I went on the EBSA website and the filing is there and contains the correct forms and Accountant's report. The letter tells the client to file an amended filing including the report and then notify them that the amended filing has been posted. Anyone else hear of such a thing?
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Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2019, 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, 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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