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July 16, 2019 logo logo
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Client Service Manager
LT Trust Company
in CO

Plan Administrator
Noble-Davis Consulting, Inc.
in Solon OH / Telecommute

Benefits Specialist
Kennedy Krieger Institute
in Baltimore MD

Statistician (Health)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
in Woodlawn MD / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

Individual Coverage HRAs: New Guidance and What It Means for Your Clients
August 6, 2019 WEBCAST
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

Caregiver Support as a Benefit for Employees
August 14, 2019 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

Establishing Affordable Short-Term Disability Plans
August 22, 2019 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
August 27, 2019 in OH
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

►See 137 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1537 Recorded Webcasts


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[Official Guidance]

CMS Releases State Relief and Empowerment Waiver Application Resources

"[CMS] released new resources to support states with improving their health insurance markets and making coverage more affordable through State Relief and Empowerment Waivers, also known as section 1332 waivers. These new resources include a checklist of required waiver elements and model templates designed to help states better understand and navigate the section 1332 waiver application process."

Overview of Waiver Concept Templates and Papers

Checklist for Section 1332 State Relief and Empowerment Waivers Applications (PDF;12 pages)

Concept Papers and Application Templates:

  • State Specific Premium Assistance Waiver Concept (PDF; 10 pages) and Template (DOCX)
  • Adjusted Plan Options Waiver Concept (PDF; 10 pages) and Template (DOCX)
  • Account-Based Subsidies Waiver Concept (PDF; 11 pages) and Template (DOCX)
  • Risk Stabilization Strategies Waiver Concept (PDF; 11 pages) and Template (DOCX)

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]


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.

[Guidance Overview]

DC Paid Family Leave Tax is Here

"The first collection of paid family leave tax began on July 1st with contributions based on gross or total wages paid to 'covered employees' during the period April 1, 2019-June 30, 2019 ... [T]here are no exemptions for employers providing their own paid leave benefits."
WithumSmith+Brown, PC

[Guidance Overview]

Digging Into the New HRA Regs: ERISA Implications

"In order to qualify for the safe harbor [exemption from ERISA] for individual insurance coverage, all of the following conditions must be satisfied: [1] The purchase of any individual health insurance coverage is completely voluntary for employees.... [2] The employer, employee organization, or other plan sponsor does not select or endorse any particular issuer or insurance coverage.... [3] Reimbursement for non-group health insurance premiums is limited solely to individual health insurance coverage ... [4] The employer, employee organization, or other plan sponsor receives no consideration in the form of cash or otherwise in connection with the employee's selection or renewal of any individual health insurance coverage.... [5] Each plan participant is notified annually that the individual health insurance coverage is not subject to ERISA."

What Do the Latest HRA Rules Mean for Employer Healthcare Offerings?

"Employers should consider whether the following applies: [1] I need to provide coverage to a population that may not be eligible for our employer sponsored group health plan. [2] I'd like to offer coverage to new hires after a designated effective date. [3] I'd like a new way to meet our financial objectives. [4] I have a Gig population. [5] I have a growing contingent workforce and am looking for ways to attract and retain them. If you checked any of [those boxes], your organization may want to explore the new HRA options[.]"
Alight Solutions

Third Circuit Upholds Nationwide Injunction Blocking ACA Contraceptives Final Rules

"For the time being, the Third Circuit's decision puts a hold on the expanded exemptions under the Trump Administration's November 2018 final regulations, until the states' APA-based challenge can be heard on the merits. The Third Circuit stopped short of vacating the regulations altogether -- though that was the ultimate remedy sought by the states. Entities that could have used the final regulations' expanded exemptions will not be able to do so." [Pennsylvania v. President of U.S., Nos. 17-3752, 18- 1253, 19-1129, 19-1189 (3d Cir. Jul. 12, 2019)]
Thomson Reuters Practical Law

A Deep Dive Into Student Loan Repayment Assistance Benefits

"Four percent of responding organizations already offer some sort of student loan repayment assistance benefit.... Large employers (9.3%) are much more likely to offer loan repayment assistance than small (1.7%) and midsized (3.7%) organizations.... [P]otential barriers and challenges to implementing a student loan repayment program include cost (48.9%), uncertainty/complexity of implementation (31.4%), and potential resentment among workers who have already paid off loans (29.8%) or have ineligible loan debt (25.0%)."
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]


Prediction: Congress Won't Whack the Cadillac

"In this installment of Congressional drama the supermajority will ... [say] that they can't kill the tax without offsetting revenues. They will again claim to be good stewards of our tax dollars and voice how much they dislike the tax. But when the dust has settled the Cadillac Tax will live."

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Married Employee Ages Out of Parent's Health Care Plan

We have an employee who is married and was covered by his parent's employer's health care plan. Coverage ended on 6/30/19. He wanted to use his special enrollment period to enroll not only himself but also his spouse (who has no qualifying loss of coverage). I told the employee he couldn't enroll his spouse, at this time, but I'm getting some pushback and want to make sure I'm not mistaken.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Abacus Wealth Partners is Certified for Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

OneDigital Acquires Valley Benefits
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

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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