Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 14, 2019

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Jobs

401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator
Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC
in Deerfield IL

Pension Plan Administrator
American Pension Advisors, Ltd.
in Indianapolis IN

401(k) Plan Administrator
Southern Pension Services
in Tampa FL

ERISA Litigation Associate
Robinson+Cole
in New York NY

Conversion Specialist
BlueStar Retirement Services
in Ponte Vedra Beach FL / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

Workplace Benefits Renaissance 2019 Conference
February 20, 2019 in TN
Employee Benefit Adviser

"Leave" Your Leave Headaches Behind: Learn How to Handle, Manage, and Curb Leave Abuse
March 7, 2019 WEBCAST
Clear Law Institute

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
June 19, 2019 in WY
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

►See 159 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1485 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

HHS Proposes 2020 Out-of-Pocket Maximums

"[HHS] has proposed 2020 out-of-pocket maximums for non-grandfathered plans of $8,200 for self-only coverage and $16,400 for other than self-only coverage. These proposed amounts reflect a change in how HHS determines the amount of the adjustment -- a change that, if finalized, would also affect the employer shared responsibility assessment amounts for 2020. In addition, HHS has also proposed rules that would change how amounts paid for brand-name drugs are applied towards the out-of-pocket maximums."
Buck

[Advert.]

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Sponsored by ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

38th ECFC Annual Conference in Washington will feature congressional speakers, in-depth briefings by the ECFC lobbying team, inside the beltway keynote speakers, regulatory agency and technical panels. Includes scheduled meetings on Capitol Hill. Join Us!


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Additional Examples Where Employers May Recover HSA Contributions

"[Information Letter 2018-0033] confirms that where there is clear documentary evidence demonstrating that there was an administrative or process error, the employer may request the return of the contributed amounts, with any correction placing the parties in the same position as if the error had never occurred."
The Wagner Law Group

Democrats Roll Out Bill to Let Americans Buy Into Medicare at 50

"Under [S. 470], consumers aged 50 to 64 could shop for Medicare coverage on the [ACA]'s insurance exchanges, allowing them to compare the program's offerings to plans already available to them ... Consumers would buy the plans at full cost, so the legislation is scored as budget-neutral instead of increasing deficits -- although customers eligible for Obamacare subsidies may use them to defray their Medicare buy-in premium."
InsuranceNewsNet.com

Editor's Pick 2017 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report for Americans Covered by Employer-Sponsored Insurance (PDF)

23 pages. "In 2017, per-person spending reached $5,641, a new all-time high for this population.... Average prices increased 3.6% in 2017. Year-over-year price growth decelerated throughout the five-year period, rising 4.8% between 2013 and 2014 and slowing to 3.6% in 2016 and 2017.... The overall use of health care services changed very little over the 2013 to 2017 period, declining 0.2%.... Out-of-pocket spending per-person increased 2.6% in 2017." [Also available: data download in .CSV file format, HCCI's updated analytic methodology, and a State-level interactive tool.]
Health Care Cost Institute [HCCI]

Healthcare Spending for Employer Plans Hits Record

"Healthcare spending has outpaced gross domestic product growth over the last five years, reaching an all-time high in 2017 ... People are essentially paying more for the same amount of care.... The share of U.S. physician practices owned by hospitals or systems increased from 27% to 48% from 2011 to 2016 ... That led to a 9% price increase in specialist outpatient procedures and a 5% hike in primary-care outpatient procedures[.]"
Modern Healthcare Online; free registration required

2019 ACA Compliance Overview: Cost-Sharing Limits

"Review your plan's out-of-pocket maximum to make sure it complies with the ACA's limits for the 2019 plan year ($7,900 for self-only coverage and $15,800 for family coverage).... For 2019, the out-of-pocket maximum limit for HDHPs is $6,750 for self-only coverage and $13,500 for family coverage.... [C]onfirm that the plan will coordinate all claims for EHBs across the plan's service providers or will divide the out-of-pocket maximum across the categories of benefits, with a combined limit that does not exceed the maximum for 2019."
Strategic Benefit Services

New CVS Health Hubs Are Key Part of Plan to Change How Americans Get Healthcare

"The stores have an increased focus on health services, including a wellness center and more chronic care management for diseases like diabetes, committing about 20% of the physical store space to health endeavors rather than snacks or other convenient store supplies."
Business Insider

Remote Prescribing Trends in Telehealth

"On the federal level, we should expect to see promulgation of regulations by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration outlining the special registration exception as mandated by the SUPPORT Act passed in 2018, allowing a pathway for health care providers to prescribe controlled substances through telemedicine ... On the state level, as telehealth becomes a mainstream mode of health care delivery, we are seeing states attempt to legislate telehealth services in more targeted, and potentially contentious, areas of health care."
Epstein Becker Green

What Did She Say? Dispute Over Content of Voicemails Requires Jury Trial on FMLA Claims

"Ms. Holladay claimed the company interfered with her FMLA rights by not designating her absences as FMLA. The Court concluded that if Ms. Holladay cited migraines as the reason for her absences in the voicemails then the company should have designated her absences as FMLA. If Ms. Holladay only said that she was ill her notice was deficient and her FMLA claim fails. Because there was competing evidence on both sides the Court held that a jury must decide in a trial." [Holladay v. Rockwell Collins, Inc., No. 17-078 (S.D. Iowa Jan. 24, 2019)]
Jackson Lewis P.C.

Press Releases

OneDigital Health and Benefits Acquires Veritas
OneDigital Health and Benefits

National Institute on Retirement Security Names Executive Director
National Institute on Retirement Security

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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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