Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 11, 2019

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How the US Opioid Epidemic is Impacting Employers and What You Can Do to Mitigate Its Effects to Your Workforce
March 7, 2019 in MD
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Baltimore Chapter

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
March 20, 2019 in LA
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Medicare and Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Know the Rules and Avoid Problems
April 23, 2019 WEBCAST
HRWebAdvisor

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[Guidance Overview]

Text of IRS FAQs on the Premium Tax Credit

Updated Feb. 8, 2019. Topics: [1] Basics [2] Eligibility; [3] Computing the Amount; [4] Reporting, Claiming and Reconciling.
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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[Guidance Overview]

Proposed Regs Implementing Massachusetts' Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

"Covered employers will be required to file quarterly reports with the Department that provide the name, social security number and compensation of each employee and contracted service provider.... An employer's average number of employees will be determined by counting all full-time, part-time, seasonal and temporary employees on the employer's payroll during each pay period and dividing by the number of pay periods in the previous calendar year.... Contract workers for whom employers file IRS Forms 1099 must also be included in this count."
The Wagner Law Group

Editor's Pick Medicare Part D Disclosures Due by March 1 for Calendar Year Plans (PDF)

"Employers with health plans that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D are subject to certain disclosure requirements. Plan sponsors must complete an online disclosure form with CMS within 60 days after the start of the plan year, or March 1, 2019, for calendar year plans."
Cowden Associates, Inc.

Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits are No Longer Deductible

"Prior to 1/1/2018 the ... employee would exclude these benefits from their total taxable wages, while the employer would receive a tax deduction ... Under the TCJA, qualified transportation fringe benefits are still excluded from an employee's taxable wages; however, no deduction is allowed to employers for qualified transportation fringe expenses incurred or paid after December 31, 2017."
WithumSmith+Brown, PC

Ninth Circuit Revives Employers' State Law Claims Against Health Insurance Companies for Hidden Surcharges and Kickbacks

"First, the court held that when Defendants collected and concealed allegedly excessive insurance premium surcharges from the employers, they were not exercising discretionary authority over plan management, and thus, were not acting as ERISA fiduciaries. Second, the allegedly excessive insurance premium surcharges paid by the employers for coverage under fully-insured health plans were not 'plan assets' ... [and thus] Defendants were not acting as fiduciaries when collecting, concealing, or spending the surcharges." [The Depot, Inc. v. Caring for Montanans, Inc., No. 17-35597 (9th Cir. Feb. 6, 2019)]
Kantor & Kantor

Ohio's New Cybersecurity Requirements for Insurance Companies, Agencies and Agents

"Ohio's version of the NAIC Model Law, [signed on Dec. 19, 2018, now] requires Ohio licensees (individuals or non-governmental entities required to be authorized, registered or licensed pursuant to the state's insurance laws) to implement plans to safeguard business and personal information from cyberattacks and develop response plans in the event a cyberattack does occur.... Ohio [becomes] one of the first states in the country to implement cybersecurity requirements specific to the insurance industry."
Thompson Hine

Senate Committee Hearing: How Primary Care Affects Health Care Costs and Outcomes

Feb. 5, 2019. Includes video and written testimony by: [1] Joshua J. Umbehr, M.D., Atlas MD; [2] Sapna Kripalani, M.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center; [3] Katherine Bennett, M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine; [4] Tracy Watts, Mercer.
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, U.S. Senate

No Private Right of Action for Termination, Cancellation of Coverage Under ACA

"The individual asserted that she had a private right of action because of the tax penalty that applied to her as a result of the cancellation. However, the court was not persuaded by her argument, as the individual's complaint does not challenge the federal government's imposition of the tax penalty. Furthermore, the application of the tax penalty did not create and does not reflect an intent to create an implied right of action." [Rosenberg v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc., No. 18-2648 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 31, 2019)]
Wolters Kluwer; free registration required

Fitbit's New Health Tracker Can Be Accessed Only Through Insurer or Employer

"These special trackers are exclusively available through the corporate affiliates of Fitbit, wellness partners, insurance health plan providers and also health system partners. Price details of the product have not been mentioned as yet as it may vary between employers and service providers but Fitbit clarified that the Inspire it its cheapest product as yet."
Daily Global Insights

Benefits in General

Court Overturns Arizona Law Which Prohibited Municipal Employee Benefits Ordinances

"The ruling reinstates a portion of a 2006 law that permits Arizona municipalities to pass local ordinances requiring employers to provide employment benefits more favorable than those provided under statewide laws. However, federal law, such as [ERISA], still imposes limits on how much these local ordinances may compel employers to do." [Meyer v. Arizona, No. 18-0031 (Ariz. Ct. App. Feb. 5, 2019)]
Ogletree Deakins

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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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