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Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
Keystone Benefits Group, Inc.
in Greensburg PA

Trading & Corrections Analyst
Aspire Financial Services LLC

Pension Administrator
KB Pension Services
in Sarasota FL

Director, Non-Qualified Client Services
Newport Group
in Lake Mary FL

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[Guidance Overview]

HHS Retreats on Controversial ACA Non-Discrimination Regs

"Covered entities will no longer need to mail beneficiaries, enrollees, and others, notices concerning non-discrimination and the availability of language assistance services (in 15 languages) with every 'significant' publication and communication larger than a postcard or brochure.... Health insurance programs administered by entities not principally engaged in providing health care will only be covered by the rule to the extent those programs receive Federal financial assistance from HHS.... The regulation did not contain a religious exemption ... The revisions add such an exemption."


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[Guidance Overview]

Self-Funded Group Health Plans: Michigan's New No-Fault Law Requires Action

"Employers sponsoring self-funded group health plans with Michigan employees must re-examine their coordination of benefit rules as a result of the new Michigan no-fault reform legislation. And, regardless of whether design changes are made, the law will require employers to educate employees as to their new coverage options and how to make sure they don't have any gaps in their combined coverage."
Miller Johnson

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed ACA Section 1557 Revisions Would Effect Transgender Benefits and Group Health Plan Notices

"Under the revised rule, group health plans will no longer be required by Section 1557 to cover gender transition services, including both prescription drugs and medical procedures.... The proposed revisions also remove the requirement that covered group health plans include notice of their nondiscrimination policies and taglines informing individuals that language assistance services are available in significant publications."
Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

Tobacco Differential Compliance Just Got Trickier

"Where things come into question for employers with tobacco surcharges is under state or local employment/labor laws (i.e., not insurance laws) that limit discrimination against an employee for participating in lawful behaviors when off-duty (such as using tobacco when not working).... An employer that sponsors a plan that provides a tobacco differential could potentially be in violation of [one] NYC labor law should the employee argue their compensation and privileges of employment are affected by their legal, off-premises smoking habit."
Frenkel Benefits

Bill Would Require Health Benefit Brokers to Disclose Compensation

"The Lower Health Care Costs Act was introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. The bill takes aim at a number of issues, including surprise medical bills, high drug prices and public health problems. The bill also would create more transparency around pharmacy benefit managers to ensure they are passing along discounts on drugs to customers."

DIY Mental Health: Survey Finds Employers Taking Action

"Among respondents with 5,000 or more employees, 69% said that workforce depression/anxiety was a concern in their organization, compared to just 28% of employers with fewer than 500 employees.... About half (48%) have enhanced the services offered by the EAP within the last two years, or changed EAP vendors to provide a more robust offering.... Just over a third (37%) have recently implemented a tele-therapy program through the medical offering's telemedicine vendor.... A small number of respondents -- 7% -- have contracted with a third-party vendor to supplement existing providers and broaden access options."

New York City Council to Consider Expanding Earned Safe and Sick Time Act to Require 'Personal Time'

"The New York City Council is considering a bill that would expand the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) to provide eligible employees with 'personal time' that could be used for any reason. The bill would also expand protections and remedies applicable to all leave under the law, including sick and safe time.... While the bill is still in the early stages of consideration and its future remains to be seen, Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed his support for paid personal leave."

Benefits in General

Smallest Businesses Lead the Way with Personalized Benefits Education

"47% of employees who work for companies with fewer than 100 employees report understanding their benefits 'very well.' ... Only 33% of employees who have more than 100 coworkers report understanding their benefits that well.... Nearly 25% of employees at the smallest businesses say individual meetings with benefits experts are available to them, compared to just 14% at employers with more than 100 workers. And 37% of the smallest employers have group meetings with HR professionals to discuss benefits, compared to just 29% of larger employers."
Colonial Life

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Text of HHS Fact Sheet: Direct Liability of Business Associates
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

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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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