Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 2, 2019

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Jobs

Retirement Plan Relationship Manager
AEPG Wealth Strategies
in Warren NJ

General Attorney (Tax) - Health and Welfare Branch
Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury
in Washington DC

General Attorney (Tax) - Executive Compensation Branch
Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury
in Washington DC

General Attorney (Tax) - Exempt Organizations
Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury
in Washington DC

General Attorney (Tax) - Qualified Plans Branch
Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury
in Washington DC

General Attorney (Tax) - Employment Taxes
Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury
in Washington DC

Employee Benefits Investigator
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
in Atlanta GA

Daily Valued Plan Administrator
Rudd and Wisdom Inc
in Austin TX

ESOP Administrator
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
in Charlottesville VA / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

CSR Data Submission for Benefit Year 2018 and Benefit Year 2017 Restatements
May 21, 2019 WEBCAST
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

CSR Data Submission for Benefit Year 2018 and Benefit Year 2017 Restatements
May 23, 2019 WEBCAST
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

CSR Data Submission for Benefit Year 2018 and Benefit Year 2017 Restatements
May 28, 2019 WEBCAST
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

CSR Data Submission for Benefit Year 2018 and Benefit Year 2017 Restatements
May 30, 2019 WEBCAST
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

►See 174 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1520 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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[Official Guidance]

Text of CMS FAQs: Blueprint for Approval of Affordable State-Based Exchanges (PDF)

28 pages. "This revised Exchange Blueprint ensures that any states seeking to operate an SBE or SBE-FP for coverage years beginning on or after January 1, 2019 have the continued ability to apply through the Blueprint application.... Additionally, the revised Blueprint is intended to reduce burdens on states wishing to apply to become an SBE or an SBE-FP.... Finally, ... the revised Blueprint is intended to support states considering State Relief and Empowerment Waivers (also referred to as section 1332 waivers or State Innovation Waivers)."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

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[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts DFML Announces Extension Notice and Exemption Application Deadlines

"The [Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML)] extended the deadline for employer notice to employees from May 31 to June 30, 2019. Because the notice must include the proportion of the contributions being deducted from employees as of July 1, 2019 and whether the employer will apply for an approved private plan, this extension provides employers another month to evaluate and finalize those decisions.... The DFML announced ... that for Quarter 1 only (July - September 2019), ... the deadline to file for a private plan exemption in time to avoid first quarter contributions for PFML has been moved from June 30 to September 20, 2019."
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Minnesota Court Upholds Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance for Employees Working in Minneapolis

"Although Minnesota has a state statute addressing sick leave, the Court of Appeals held that the state law does not preempt the Ordinance because the Ordinance does not directly conflict with the state law and does not regulate a matter solely of state concern.... The Court of Appeals also held that the Ordinance does not have an improper extraterritorial impact because the Ordinance was amended to apply only to employees only when working within the geographic boundaries of Minneapolis." [Minn. Chamber of Commerce v. City of Minneapolis, No. A18-0771 (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 29, 2019)]
Faegre Baker Daniels

Only 4 in 10 Employees Protect Their Paychecks with Disability insurance

"Roughly 4 in 10 working Americans (41%) report they have employer-sponsored disability insurance coverage ... Of the 64% of working Americans who report not having voluntary disability coverage, just under half (47%) say it is because their employer does not offer it; among them, nearly 3 in 5 (58%) say if their employer was to offer it, they would be likely to purchase it."
OneAmerica

Voluntary Benefits: Satisfying the Safe Harbor to Ensure Exemption from ERISA

"[T]he employer offered disability insurance in such a way that the employees were not clear it was a third party offering. Instead, there was evidence that the employer endorsed the program by stating that the program was offered by an industry leader and further, that the program had been chosen by the business to provide disability insurance. The court found that, because of the endorsement by the company and the fact that a reasonable employee would believe the program was being offered by the business and not a third party, [the program] fell under the protections of ERISA." [McCann v. Unum Provident, No. 16-2014 (3d Cir. Oct. 5, 2018)]
Hall Benefits Law

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Editor's Pick CBO Report: Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System

"This report describes the primary features of single-payer systems, and it discusses some of the design considerations and choices that policymakers will face in developing proposals for establishing such a system in the United States.... This report does not address all of the issues that the complex task of designing, implementing, and transitioning to a single-payer system would entail, nor does it analyze the budgetary effects of any specific bill or proposal."
Congressional Budget Office [CBO]

DOJ, Plaintiffs File Briefs in Texas v. United States

"The brief is the first time that the DOJ has explained the dramatic shift in its position on the validity of the ACA.... [T]he DOJ largely embraced the plaintiffs' arguments and the district court's rationale."
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

AHA Urges DOJ to Scrutinize Centene-WellCare Merger

"[T]he American Hospital Association [AHA] urged antitrust regulators to investigate Centene Corp.'s proposed acquisition of WellCare Health Plans. The AHA said the Centene-WellCare merger could undermine competition in Medicaid Managed Care and Medicare Advantage for 'tens of millions of consumers across broad swaths of the country.' The planned acquisition, valued at $17.3 billion, doubles down on Centene's business strategy of growth through government-backed health insurance."
HealthLeaders Media

Telemedicine Linked to Increase in Antibiotic Prescriptions

"Researchers examined data from 340,000 visits that insured children had for acute respiratory issues between 2015 and 2016. They found that children were prescribed antibiotics during more than half of telemedicine encounters; by contrast, 42% of urgent-care visits and 31% of physician office visits resulted in antibiotic prescriptions."
Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law

Your Anti-Work-from-Home Policy May Be Costing You a Fortune

"[N]early half of employees surveyed said a prospective employer's remote work policy is considered an important factor when looking for a job.... [Of] those who wish their current companies allowed remote work scenarios, 37% have considered looking for a job that does, and 14% are actively looking.... 40% of employees said they'd consider taking a pay cut for the option to work remotely.... 53% of employees surveyed say they will switch jobs if a new employer offers them the option to work from home at least some of the time, while 31% of employees said they'd switch jobs if a new employer offered them the option to work from home."
HR Daily Advisor

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick DOL Proposes Clarifications to FLSA 'Regular Rate of Pay' Exclusions with Potential Implications for Employee Benefits

"The [March 29] proposed rules fail to clearly exempt certain common employer-sponsored benefit arrangements from having to be taken into account for purposes of the FLSA's overtime rules.... Key employee benefits-related proposals [include:] [1] Exclusion of payments for unused leave ... [2] Clarification that wellness programs, tuition benefits and similar benefits offerings may be excluded ... [3] For bona fide plans, clarification of the types of benefits that may be excludable ... [4] Clarification regarding discretionary bonuses ... [5] Examples are not exclusive."
Groom Law Group

Press Releases

OneDigital Acquires The Benefit Group, LLC
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

DOL Appeals Association Health Plan Ruling
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

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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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