Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 12, 2019

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Jobs

Pension Plan Administrator
American Pension Advisors, Ltd.
in Indianapolis IN

Retirement Plan Administrator
Nicholas Pension Consultants
in Rancho Cordova CA / Corona CA

Wealth RPS - Participant Education Specialist
Johnson Financial Group
in Milwaukee WI / Madison WI

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

Employee Benefits Investigator
Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
in San Francisco CA / Seattle WA / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Consultant
The MandMarblestone Group, llc
in Philadelphia PA / Telecommute

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[Official Guidance]

Text of CMS Key Priorities for Federally-Facilitated Exchange Web-Broker Direct Enrollment Compliance Reviews for Plan Year 2019 (PDF)

"[This document] lists the regulatory standards governing web-broker operational requirements that [CMS anticipates] including as part of the Web-broker DE compliance reviews for plan year 2019.... The compliance reviews that are the subject of this document are separate from other audits and reviews that may be conducted to ensure compliance through other CMS oversight mechanisms."

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

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[Guidance Overview]

Individual Coverage HRAs May Offer Simpler Means for Compliance with Employer Mandate

"For small employers not subject to the ACA employer mandate, and/or for employees who are not considered full-time for ACA purposes, individual coverage HRAs may be a viable means for an employer to provide some level of employer-provided health benefits, without concern about the restrictions imposed on stand-alone HRAs by prior agency guidance."

Bond, Schoeneck & King

Second Circuit Holds Employer to Promise of Lifetime Retiree Medical Benefits

"The court determined that the [effects bargaining agreement (EBA)] language stating that the retires and their surviving spouses shall continue to receive full medical coverage for the life of the retiree or surviving spouse manifests the intent to secure medical coverage for qualifying retirees’ lifetimes. The court rejected Honeywell’s argument that the cancellation clause in the Supplemental Agreement permits it to terminate Plaintiffs’ vested medical benefits." [Kelly v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., No. 17-675, 17-2075 (2d Cir. Aug. 7, 2019)]

Kantor & Kantor

American Airlines Challenges New York City's Paid Sick Leave Law

"Among American Airlines' arguments are that several federal and local laws preempt New York City's Paid Sick Leave Law as they pertain to its flight and ground crews, that the law interferes with employees' collective bargaining agreements benefits and that the law could 'adversely' impact airline prices, routes and services, according to the suit." [American Airlines v. NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs</a>, No. 19-4424 (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed Aug. 1, 2019)]

LegalNewsLine.com

New San Francisco HCSO Amounts, Annual Legal Notices, and ACA Update

"The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) recently released the updated 2020 HCSO required health expenditure rates. Under the HCSO, employers with 20 or more employees (50 or more for non-profits) in any quarter are required to make a minimum level of health care expenditures for certain employees performing work in San Francisco for that quarter."

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Puerto Rico Enacts Law Providing Unpaid Leave and Reasonable Accommodation for Victims of Abuse

"Act 83, in general terms, provides employees with 15 days of unpaid leave per year for instances of gender or domestic violence, abuse of minors, sexual harassment in employment, sexual assault, lewd acts or aggravated stalking. This special leave also extends to family members, and allows employees to request reasonable accommodations, or flexible work conditions, to address these situations. Employees may request to take this leave through apportioned, flexible, or intermittent schedules."

Littler

Anti-Discrimination Laws and the Effect on Employee Benefit Packages

"Employers looking for savings might wonder whether they can save money by providing certain benefits only to certain employees. And while there are situations when employers are able to offer specified benefits to certain employees, employers should have a good understanding of federal and state anti-discrimination laws or seek professional guidance."

Employee Benefits Report

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

ERISA Advisory Council to Meet on August 27-29

"The 197th meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held on August 27-29, 2019.... The Advisory Council will study the following topics: [1] Beyond Plan Audit Compliance: Improving the Financial Statement Audit Process; and [2] Permissive Transfers of Uncashed Checks from ERISA Plans to State Unclaimed Property Funds."

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Benefits Fair Best Practices to Boost Employee Engagement

"Benefits fairs are arguably one of the best opportunities to reach employees. The in-person interaction facilitates engagement, establishes credibility and helps showcase the big picture of your benefits program. ...  [1] Solicit feedback ... [2] Build your team ... [3] Get logistics in order and consider timing ... [4] Diversify your vendors ... [5] Incorporate activities like health screenings ... [6] Brand your benefits fair and communicate ... [7] Offer giveaways to draw a crowd."

Benefitfocus

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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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