Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 13, 2019

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Jobs

Senior Auditor - PBGC
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
in Washington DC / Telecommute

Quality Assurance Manager
Nova 401(k) Associates
in Houston TX / Dallas TX / Austin TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

Assistant Team Leader
Nova 401(k) Associates
in Houston TX / Dallas TX / Austin TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Analyst (DC Administrator)
Trinity Pension Consultants, Inc.
in Akron OH

Actuarial Analyst
Newport Group
in Chicago IL

Retirement Plan Services Administrator
Hancock Whitney Bank
in Gulfport MS

Account Manager / Client Service - 401k Plans
ABG Retirement Plan Services
in Peoria IL / Telecommute

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[Official Guidance]

Text of HHS Proposed Regs: Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs or Activities

200 pages. "The Department projects that the proposed rule would result in approximately $3.6 billion in cost savings (undiscounted) over the first five years after finalization.... Specifically, the proposed rule would repeal requirements on covered entities 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. The Department projects additional savings from eliminating the requirement for OCR to weigh the presence or absence of language access plans, and from repealing provisions that duplicate disability and sex discrimination regulatory requirements concerning covered entities establishing grievance procedures."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Advert.]

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Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

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[Guidance Overview]

Maine Earned Leave Act: Maine Really is the Vacation State

"[A] new statute [requires] Maine employers (even small businesses) to provide paid time off beginning January 1, 2021. The law is the first of its kind in the nation to require paid time off, for any reason, including vacation time. Unfortunately, for employers, the law is short on specifics, leaving it to the state labor department to ... issue rules that will assist employers with many open questions about the their rights and obligations under the act."
Littler

[Guidance Overview]

HHS Proposes to Narrow Scope of ACA Nondiscrimination Regs

"Among the proposed changes are the following: [1] Re-focus on existing civil rights laws.... [2] Repeal and replace the covered entities definition.... As a result, the proposed rules would be inapplicable to most self-insured plans.... [3] Repeal the mandatory notice and tagline requirements.... HHS now estimates that the annual burden of these requirements, which was originally estimated at $7.2 million in one-time costs, is now somewhere in the range of $147 million to $1.34 billion."
Proskauer

Massachusetts Delays Paid Leave Employee Notice and Funding Requirements

"Following several days of negotiations between state officials, regional business organizations, and employee organizations, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has agreed to extend the deadlines for employee notification and contribution funding requirements.... The deadline to apply for a Private Plan Exemption will still be September 20, 2019. The deadline for the release of final regulations continues to be July 1, 2019."
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Complexity of Health Care Poses Challenges for Small Business Owners

"Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents say the process of selecting health insurance plans is time consuming, and one in every five small business owners say they do not have enough information to make informed decisions about health care options. When they begin to seek out guidance about health care options, these small business owners most commonly turn to brokers, consultants or agents (32%), with fewer depending on online search engines (9%) or seeking advice from other business owners (7%)."
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

States Continue to Make Efforts to Lower Health Care Prices Paid by Private Insurers

"States, which can often legislate more rapidly and with more flexibility than the federal government, can thus serve as important laboratories to inform federal action. [This article discusses] approaches states are taking: [1] targeted price regulation, [2] promoting competition, and [3] investing in alternative payment models."
The JAMA Network

Senate Package Targets Healthcare Costs, Surprise Medical Bills

"A broad array of proposed reforms aims to lower drug prices, increase transparency, foster greater electronic exchange of health information and improve public health. The provisions targeting surprise medical bills and drug prices join a growing list of similar proposals in Congress."
Mercer

Providers Push Arbitration Approaches Used in Some State Surprise-Bill Laws

"As healthcare industry advocates and legislators clashed over draft federal legislation to end such billing disputes, both sides highlighted state experiences they viewed as bolstering their preferred approach. The major differentiator among state laws and competing federal proposals remains the method used to determine provider payment."
Healthcare Financial Management Association [HFMA]

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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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