Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 6, 2019

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Jobs

Social Science Research Analyst
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
in Washington DC / Telecommute

Employee Benefits Investigator
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
in New York NY / Telecommute

Retirement Contribution Processor
Alerus Financial
in Arden Hills MN

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Webcasts, Conferences

Construction Industry Benefits Conference
September 23, 2019 in MA
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Ascend Conference
October 7, 2019 in WA
Ascensus

►See 139 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1545 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum


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[Guidance Overview]

Newly Expanded New Jersey Paid Family and Medical Leave Law Impacts Employers of 30 or More Workers

"Effective June 30, 2019, employees can now invoke paid family leave for matters involving a foster child, in-laws, siblings and grandparents/grandchildren ... Companies with 30+ employees (down from 50+) are required to provide job protection for their employees and grant leave for up to 12 weeks in a 24-month period as of June 30, 2019."

WithumSmith+Brown, PC

[Advert.]

Establishing Affordable Short-Term Disability Plans

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

August 22 webinar. Dive into the implementation of STD Plans, including necessary documentation and administrative processes to protect your workforce and get your people back to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. BenefitsLink discount.


[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Updates Rules for Paid Family and Medical Leave Contributions

"[T]he Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) continues to issue updated guidance on the practical implementation of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law.... [T]he DFML has now said that contributions will be based on the date that wages are paid, without regard for the date on which the services connected to those wages were performed."

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

Illinois Enacts Protections for Organ Donation Leave

"The Living Donor Protection Act amends the Illinois Insurance Code by making it unlawful to refuse to insure or limit coverage for life, disability, or long-term care insurance, or to charge a different rate for the same coverage, solely because the insured is a living organ donor."

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Washington State Paid Family Medical Leave Amendments and Draft Rules Highlight Supplemental Benefit Options for Employers

"Despite new information assisting employers in decision making regarding existing paid time off benefits, many issues have not yet been addressed, making it difficult to determine exactly how PFML will interplay with both existing employer benefits and other leave laws ... Although the FMLA allows employers to require the use of available paid time off while employees are on FMLA leave, PFML does not."

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Annually Required CHIP Notice, 2019 Edition

"CHIPRA imposes a notice requirement on employers who maintain health plans with participants residing in one or more states providing a premium assistance subsidy. The notice must be provided annually to all employees residing in each premium assistance subsidy state, including employees not enrolled in the plan.... Model notice language, which is periodically updated, is available in both English and Spanish[.]"

Kushner & Company

[Advert.]

Now is a great time to join Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

Sponsored by WEB - Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network helps me connect with thought leaders in the Benefits Industry. Join WEB today at www.webnetwork.org.


Health & Welfare Plan Compliance Issues to Keep on Your Radar

"Review service provider agreements carefully before signing them.... Keep track of any taxable wellness and fringe benefits.... Make sure participant communications are timely, complete and accurate.... Stay on top of ACA employer mandate tracking and reporting."

BenefitsPro; free registration required

ACA Litigation Round-Up: AHPs, Short-Term Plans, CSRs, and Risk Adjustment

"ACA cases are pending before the Supreme Court and federal appellate and district courts across the country. These cases continue even as stakeholders anxiously await a decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on the validity of the ACA following oral arguments in early July. This post covers pending ACA litigation and provides a brief status update on lawsuits over non-ACA plans, cost-sharing reductions, and the risk adjustment program."

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

CMS Releases New Risk Adjustment Amounts After Factoring in Validation

"[T]he 2017 validation scores will be applied to the risk adjustment amounts that plans either owe or will receive for the 2018 coverage year.... [S]ome insurers that initially were expected to receive a risk adjustment payment will now be required to pay into the program and vice versa.... Overall, CMS was expected to receive more than $5 billion from insurers and dole out roughly $5 billion for 2018."

FierceHealthcare

Financial Performance of Medicare Advantage, Individual, and Group Health Insurance Markets

"[T]his brief examines and compares the financial performance of insurers in the Medicare Advantage, individual, and fully-insured group markets, using data reported by insurance companies to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ... [The authors] analyze how insurers’ gross margins vary across the three markets, over time, and among insurers ... The brief also examines medical expenses as a percentage of premiums collected (simple loss ratios) across these three markets."

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Benefits in General

Unbelievable: ERISA's Broken Promise

"This article explores the policy dimension of ERISA disclosure law and chronicles the doctrinal decay of the equilibrium Congress envisioned. From the perspective of workers it is a saga of disappointment, disillusionment, and defeat. The new balance may serve the interests of federal courts (reduced caseload) and some employers (increased flexibility), but it also likely contributes to increasing standardization of employee benefit plans, decreasing their utility as instruments of workforce management."

Peter J. Wiedenbeck, Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law, via SSRN

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Provide an Extended COBRA Period Only for Certain Employee Classes?

Can an employer offer longer COBRA duration, for example 30 months instead of 18 for a class of employees -- executives, or salaried but not hourly? Assume that the employer does not subsidize the premium.

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Fewer Spouses Covered on Employee Benefit Plans
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

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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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