Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 19, 2019

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Jobs

Installation Coordinator
July Business Services
in Waco TX / Telecommute

Benefits Advisor (Spanish) (Recent Graduate)
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
in San Francisco CA / Seattle WA / Telecommute

Benefits Advisor (Spanish)
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
in San Francisco CA / Seattle WA / Telecommute

Benefits Advisor (Recent Graduate)
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
in San Francisco CA / Seattle WA / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Administrator
Leading Retirement Solutions
in Seattle WA

401(k) Pension Administrator
Capital Retirement Plan Services, Inc
in Canonsburg PA

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Webcasts, Conferences

New Health Reimbursement Arrangement Rules: Changes, New Options, & Challenges
August 6, 2019 WEBCAST
HRWebAdvisor

Employee Benefits Symposium
September 8, 2019 in LA
ISCEBS [International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists]

►See 134 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1560 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Sets New Deadlines and Contribution Rates for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

"The date for employers to begin withholding PFML contributions from qualifying employee earnings has been moved from July 1, 2019 to October 1, 2019.... The deadline for notice requirements has been extended ... until September 30, 2019 ... The deadline for employers with private leave programs ... to apply for an exemption from the state program has also been extended ... from September 20, 2019 until December 20, 2019."
Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave Releases Final PFML Regs and New Template Worker Notice Forms

"The final regulations confirm that employers may deduct different percentages from the wages of different groups of covered workers ... permit employers to require intermittent leave to be taken in increments not smaller than a designated minimum time period ... [and] have added an exception for employees who are hired for a specific term or only to perform work on a discrete project.... Several of the final regulations' key revisions and clarifications pertain to private plans[.]"
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Editor's Pick Senate HELP Committee Releases Sweeping Legislative Package Targeting Health Care Costs

"Entitled the 'Lower Health Care Costs Act,' the Draft Bill ... takes aim at so-called 'surprise' balance medical bills ... The Draft Bill also proposes a number of measures addressing prescription drug costs, price transparency, and certain public health initiatives.... [T]he efforts to address surprise balance billing have the most widespread support ... Congress could conceivably pass some form of surprise balance billing relief on a stand-alone basis."
Groom Law Group

Senate HELP Committee Hearing: Lower Health Care Costs Act

June 18 hearing on Draft Bill. Page includes video of hearing along with links to testimony by: [1] Sean Cavanaugh, Aledade; [2] Benedic N. Ippolito, American Enterprise Institute; [3] Elizabeth Mitchell, Pacific Business Group on Health; [4] Tom Nickels, American Hospital Association; [5] Frederick Isasi, Families USA; [6] Marilyn Bartlett, Office of the Montana State Auditor.
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, U.S. Senate

Senators Agree Surprise Medical Bills Must Go -- But How?

"Two years, 16 hearings and one massive bipartisan package of legislation later, a key Senate committee says it is ready to start marking up a bill next week designed to contain health care costs. But it might not be easy since lawmakers and stakeholders at a final hearing [on June 18] showed they are still far apart on one simple aspect of the proposal. That sticking point: a formula for paying for surprise medical bills[.]"
Kaiser Health News

[Advert.]

ECFC 32nd Annual Symposium - Cincinnati - August 6-8 - Sign up now

Sponsored by ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

ECFC Symposium is THE premier networking and professional development event for employers, plan sponsors, TPAs and other service providers in the consumer-directed benefits industry. Join us in Cincinnati.


Senate Committee Hearing: The Complex Web of Prescription Drug Prices -- Examining Agency Efforts to Further Competition and Increase Affordability

June 19 hearing; page includes video and links to testimony of witnesses: [1] Demetrios Kouzoukas, Center for Medicare, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; [2] Janet Woodcock, MD, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration; and [3] Vicki L. Robinson, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate

CalPERS Announces Increase in Average Health Care Premiums for 2020

"The CalPERS Pension and Health Benefits Committee [on June 18] approved the health plan rates for 2020, at an overall average premium increase of 4.65 percent. The action also included two health plan changes."
California Public Employees' Retirement System [CalPERS]

Benefits in General

DOL Requires Electronic Filing for Top Hat, Apprenticeship, and Training Benefits

"Failure to submit the top hat plan statement does not result in penalties but does subject the plan to expanded reporting and disclosure requirements. Similarly, welfare benefit plans that provide only apprenticeship or training benefits, or both, are exempt from reporting and disclosure if a notice is [submitted] to the DOL and the plan administrator discloses certain information to employees participating, or eligible to enroll, in the plan.... Effective August 16, 2019, the final regulations require electronic submission of these notices and statements through DOL's website."
Buck

IRS 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan, Third Quarter Update (PDF)

37 pages. Updated March 31, 2019; released June 17, 2019. Employee benefits items begin on page 14.
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Panel Discussion: Current Issues in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

"What EBEC issue has had the greatest impact on your clients in the past 12 months? ... What is the most interesting EBEC matter on your desk right now and what are the issues involved? ... Are there any EBEC issues that are on the horizon that could significantly impact your clients and/or your practice? Can you describe the potential impact?"
Thomson Reuters Practical Law

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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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