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April 16, 2019 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Associate
Shipman & Goodwin LLP
in Hartford CT

Outside Sales Consultant
Bates & Company, Inc.
in FL

Defined Contribution Administrator
Merit Benefits Group, Inc.
in Oak Brook IL

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

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[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Non-Federal Governmental Plans: An Introduction (PDF)

25 presentation slides. Topics: [1] What is a 'Non-Federal Governmental Plan'? [2] Who regulates Non-Federal Governmental Plans? [3] Does the [ACA] apply to Non-Federal Governmental Plans? [4] How does CMS ensure Non-Federal Governmental Plans are compliant with the ACA? [5] Resources and compliance tools.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]


Earn Your Certificate in Global Benefits Management this June

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Employers that work globally must learn to navigate the increasingly complex challenges of international benefits and cultural expectations. Learn from industry experts and international residents while you earn your certificate this June.

New Jersey Requires Employers to Offer Employees Pre-tax Commuter Benefits

"The state's new commuter benefits law requires employers that employ at least 20 persons to offer a pre-tax transportation fringe benefit to all of the employer's employees that are not subject to a collective bargaining agreement.... A pre-tax transportation fringe benefit is a benefit that allows an employee to set aside wages on a pre-tax basis, which is then only made available to the employee for the purchase of certain eligible transportation services, including transit passes and commuter highway vehicle travel."
Jackson Lewis P.C.

Senators Introduce Bill on Association Health Plans

"The legislation, led by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), would ensure the new pathway remains available for small businesses to offer Association Health Plans under the [DOL]'s final rule."
Crossroads Today

Fiduciary Implications of Cross-Plan Offsetting

"Following a federal appeals court rejection of a TPA's 'cross-plan offsetting,' some insurers and TPAs have sought to have SPDs and other plan materials updated to explicitly authorize this practice. While the court's decision did not directly implicate the plan sponsor, cross-plan offsetting may raise fiduciary issues generally; plan sponsors should consult with counsel about potential risks before agreeing to amend plan documents to explicitly authorize the practice."

Healthcare's Impact on Retirement, and What Employers Can Be Doing to Help

"Helping employees bridge the gap between retirement healthcare needs and what they may have saved can start out with something as simple as providing additional retirement literature or supplemental information sessions ... [E]mployees with high-deductible health plans can use [HSAs] to store pre-tax funds to be used either before or during retirement for qualified medical expenses.... Employers can help employees avoid future healthcare-related financial struggles by offering retirement workshops that lay out the specifics of Medicare and other retirement healthcare opportunities[.]"


New ERISA Regulations for Disability Claims and Appeals

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Apr. 18 webinar will explain what new practices to follow, how to change past practices to become compliant with the new regulations, and the risks of non-compliance.BenefitsLink discount.

Telehealth: Healthcare's New Frontier

"Employers and insurers are attracted to telehealth by its relatively low cost as compared to traditional healthcare.... For an employer who is considering offering a telehealth option to its employees, there are some important choices to be made. First, which service model will be offered? Second, will telehealth be offered as a stand-alone benefit or integrated into the existing group health plan?"

Employer-Based Health Insurance Disproportionately Expensive for the Poor

"[F]amilies earning less than twice the federal poverty level who have employer-based insurance will spend nearly twice as much on premiums and out-of-pocket costs as those with ACA coverage, at 14 percent to 8.4 percent. Out-of-pocket costs are comparable, but premiums are much higher for low-income people with employer coverage.... [T]he average worker contribution for a family plan is up to $5,500 a year."

Using Pretax Health Savings to Keep More Money in Your Pocket

"If you have high medical costs, or think you may need high-cost care like surgery or you're planning to have baby -- it pays to put cash aside for those out-of-pocket costs pre-tax. There are two kinds of tax-advantaged savings accounts that let you put money away for health care needs, depending on what kind of health plan you have."

Workplace Wellness Programs Barely Move The Needle, Study Finds

"After 18 months, ... workers participating in the wellness programs self-reported healthier behavior, such as exercising more or managing their weight better than those not enrolled. But the efforts did not result in differences in health measures, such as improved blood sugar or glucose levels; how much employers spent on health care; or how often employees missed work, their job performance or how long they stuck around in their jobs."
Kaiser Health News


Health Care Is So Expensive, So Why Not Let People Deduct It?

"Here's a Band-Aid to help millions of Americans cope with rising health-care costs: Tweak the tax code to allow low- and middle-income taxpayers to deduct all essential medical and dental expenses.... Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., have introduced legislation to roll back the income threshold to 7.5 percent, but why stop there?"

Benefits in General

ASB Approves Exposure Draft of a Revision of ASOP No. 2

"The ASB recently approved an exposure draft of a revision of ASOP No. 2, now titled 'Nonguaranteed Elements for Life Insurance and Annuity Products'.... Notable changes from the existing ASOP include clarification to the scope, expansion and clarification of definitions and guidance, and the introduction of the concept of an insurer's NGE framework, which includes the determination policy, how policy classes are established, and the practices used to determine NGE scales."
Actuarial Standards Board

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

HHS Considers Bringing Healthcare Concierge Services Into Federal Programs
Healthcare Financial Management Association [HFMA]

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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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