Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 23, 2019

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Jobs

Defined Contribution Account Manager
Nova 401(k) Associates
in Houston TX / Dallas TX / Austin TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Consultant
Independent Retirement
in Portland OR / Telecommute

Senior Pension Administrator
Primark Benefits
Telecommute

Sr. Paralegal
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
in Washington DC / Dallas TX / Houston TX

Retirement Analyst
Dunbar Bender & Zapf, Inc.
in Pittsburgh PA / Telecommute

Senior Retirement Analyst
Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.
in Pittsburgh PA / Telecommute

ESOP Administrator
Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.
in Pittsburgh PA / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

2019 Legislative Update
September 5, 2019 in MD
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Baltimore Chapter

Anatomy of an Employment Agreement
September 12, 2019 WEBCAST
Trucker Huss

►See 130 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1547 Recorded Webcasts


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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2019-29: 2020 Updates for ACA Applicable Percentage Table and Employer Required Contribution Percentage (PDF)

"This revenue procedure ... updates the applicable percentage table in Section 36B(b)(3)(A)(i) ... for calendar year 2020. This table is used to calculate an individual's premium tax credit. This revenue procedure also updates the required contribution percentage in Section 36B(c)(2)(C)(i)(II) for plan years beginning after calendar year 2019. This percentage is used to determine whether an individual is eligible for affordable employer-sponsored minimum essential coverage under Section 36B.... For plan years beginning in calendar year 2020, the required contribution percentage ... is 9.78%."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Departments Finalize Regs on Individual Coverage and Excepted Benefit HRAs

"Future guidance will address how to apply the ACA employer mandate to an ICHRA. This guidance will be important because employers could satisfy the employer mandate by offering an ICHRA to at least 95% of their full-time employees (and dependents). Furthermore, an employer could avoid the employer mandate penalty by offering full-time employees an ICHRA that is affordable (which would meet the minimum value requirement), regardless of whether the employee enrolls in the ICHRA."
Willis Towers Watson

Should You Offer Telemedicine as a Benefit?

"Telemedicine visits are much cheaper than relying on after-hours care, like urgent care centers or emergency rooms, for medical needs outside of work hours. Telemedicine visits are also usually cheaper than a standard office visit and are often possible all hours of the day.... Despite the benefits, employers that offer this service often find it difficult to get employees to utilize it. These may be some of the reasons[.]"
HR Daily Advisor

Although Insurance Availability Expanded Under ACA and Medicaid/Medicare, Use of Hospitals Didn't Increase

"[E]nactment of the two most sweeping health reform laws in American history -- Medicare and Medicaid in 1966 and the [ACA] in 2014 -- did not spur a surge in overall hospital use, which remained stable in the wake of both expansions.... [This] research demonstrates that the effect of insurance expansions on hospital use is a matter of redistribution rather than increase."
Morning Consult

Senate Hearings On Drug Prices: Many Questions, Few (Useful) Answers

"The first congressional inquiries on drug prices date back to 1959 and 1960, and similar hearings have been held every decade since then.... In the current landscape, ... in which confidential rebates are a major reason behind rising drug prices, congressional hearings could serve a key role -- that of data collection."
Health Affairs

A Sigh of Relief for Employers Subject to Potential ACA Disparate Impact Discrimination Claims

"The specific meaning and scope of the ACA's anti-discrimination provision Section 1557 was recently tested in a Sixth Circuit decision ... [T]he Sixth Circuit's ruling, aligns with HHS' new position on Section 1557, articulated in proposed rule changes on May 24, 2019, which would eliminate the rights of private individuals to challenge alleged violations of Section 1557 in court and to obtain money damages ... [T]he Court's decision effectively limits the availability of ACA Section 1557 disparate impact discrimination claims in the Sixth Circuit and forces future litigants to narrow and isolate their claims to one of the three 'adventures' that the Court coined." [Doe v. BlueCross BlueShield of Tenn., Inc., No. 18-5897 (6th Cir. June 4, 2019)]
The Wagner Law Group

Average Cost of Healthcare Data Breaches: $6.5 Million

"Healthcare companies pay $429 per lost or stolen record on average. That's nearly three times higher than the cross-industry average of around $150 per lost or stolen record. For healthcare organizations, the total cost of a breach and the cost per record has risen 5% and 3.5%, respectively, over the last year."
FierceHealthcare

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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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