Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 9, 2019

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Jobs

Retirement Plan Administrator
Watkins Ross
in Grand Rapids MI

Senior 401(k) Plan Administrator
Ascensus
in Philadelphia PA / Philadelphia NJ / Telecommute

Employee Benefits Attorney
Howard & Howard
in IL / MI

Retirement Plan Admin / Pension Underwriter
DIETRICH
in Plymouth Meeting PA

Health Plan Vendor Relations Manager
Wespath Benefits and Investments
in Glenview IL

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California's Data Privacy Law Excepts HIPAA-Covered Group Health Plans

"California's sweeping new data privacy law, effective Jan. 1, 2020, gives the state's residents new rights over the use of their personal information.... The law applies to a broad spectrum of personal information but specifically carves out an exception for medical information and health care providers governed by the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CCMIA) as well as protected health information (PHI), covered entities and business associates subject to [HIPAA's] privacy, security and notification rules[.]"
Mercer

[Advert.]

Register for Health Care Management Today and Save

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

How will potential health care system changes directly impact your fund? This conference addresses those questions and more through meaningful discussions and direct access to industry experts. Gain insight into the complex world of health care.


Senate Bill Would End Drug Rebates in Employer Plans

"The Drug Price Transparency Act (S. 657) ... would put the onus on group health plans and insurers to ensure that rebates between PBMs and drugmakers are passed along to participants and beneficiaries at the point of sale. Any remuneration between a drugmaker and a PBM would have to take the form of a flat fee for PBM services and meet transparency standards that [HHS] would develop."
Mercer

Liability Issues Unique to Welfare Plans (PDF)

42 pages; ABA EBC 2019 Midwinter Meeting Report. Detailed decsriptive outline of recent litigation involving welfare benefit plans.
Employee Benefits Committee [EBC], American Bar Association

Regulation of Employee Health Care Benefit Plans (PDF)

8 pages; ABA EBC 2019 Midwinter Meeting Report. Outline of statutory and regulatory issues affecting health care benefit plans; includes brief summary of recent litigation
Employee Benefits Committee [EBC], American Bar Association

Tax Treatment of Welfare Benefits for Employees and Beneficiaries (PDF)

7 pages; ABA EBC 2019 Midwinter Meeting Report. Outline of tax consequences for employees of various welfare benefits, including recent statutory and regulatory developments for transportation fringe benefits, and reporting of health care benefits.
Employee Benefits Committee [EBC], American Bar Association

Innovative Health Offerings: 24 Considerations for Your Plan

"Coverage for autism treatments and bariatric surgery, transgender-inclusive benefits and fertility benefits are among the nontraditional health benefits organizations are adding ... By offering innovative benefits, organizations are seeking to stand out among competitors in their recruitment and retention efforts. The growth of the gig economy is also forcing them to revisit the concepts of worker and workplace. And the presence of four generations in the workforce has highlighted a need for flexibility in benefits."
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Employers Widen View of Inclusion and Diversity to Include Workplace Culture and Benefit Programs

"Leave of absence programs will continue to be a starting point to reinforce inclusion and diversity through benefits. In fact, three-quarters (75%) of respondents have either taken actions on their leave of absence programs or plan to this year or next, giving more employees opportunity to balance their unique work/life situation.... Employers ranked their top inclusion and diversity priorities over the next three years as financial planning, e.g., health, emergency savings, retirement (37%); core medical and/or pharmacy benefits (30%); maternity & family planning/infertility benefits (27%); and mental health and substance abuse treatment (27%)."
Willis Towers Watson

[Opinion]

American Benefits Council Comment Letter to HHS on Proposed Regs for Prescription Drug Rebates and Safe Harbors

11 pages. "As a general matter, employers do not support the current rebate structure as it is complex and opaque, hiding the true prices of drugs and the true value of how the rebate is calculated. The Council is concerned, however, that the Proposed Rule will not do enough to change the incentives for entities in the drug delivery chain that lead to higher list prices and larger rebates."
American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

Administration's 2020 Budget Proposal Addresses Retirement, Health Care and Paid Leave

"The budget proposes to 'shift the [PBGC] premium burden to underfunded plans' by increasing the cap on variable-rate premiums to $900 per participant in 2020.... The [budget] proposal would allow participants covered under a health plan with an actuarial value of up to 70% to contribute to HSAs.... [The proposal] also aims to reduce prescription drug costs by accelerating the development of generic alternatives and making other changes.... The budget proposes to provide six weeks of paid family leave to new parents. Using the unemployment insurance program as a base, states would be required to design and administer paid leave programs."
Willis Towers Watson

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Engagement Letters for Employee Benefits Attorneys (PDF)
Employee Benefits Committee [EBC], American Bar Association

Insurance Contracts and SBCs Are Not SPDs for Your Health or Other Welfare Benefits Plan
Dickinson Wright, via Lexology; free registration required

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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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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