Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 13, 2019

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Assistant Team Leader
Nova 401(k) Associates
in Houston TX / Dallas TX / Austin TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

Quality Assurance Manager
Nova 401(k) Associates
in Houston TX / Dallas TX / Austin TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

Staff Attorney
Pension Rights Center
in Washington DC

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Slams Employers with Aggressive Penalties for Late ACA Filings

"Late last week and early this week a number of employers received a Notice 972CG from the IRS. The Notice 972CG proposes penalties under IRC section 6721 for late or incorrect filings.... [T]his article explains the Notice 972CG and the basic steps employers who receive this letter should follow."

Accord

[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]

Final Regs Expand Use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements

"While more likely to be used by small and mid-sized employers, the final regulations may also provide large employers an opportunity to subsidize the cost of individual health insurance (in or out of the ACA marketplace) for specific employee groups who previously may not have been offered health coverage."

Buck

Circuit Courts Grapple With the Permanence of Retiree Health Benefits Under Collective Bargaining Agreements

"[B]ecause the [effects bargaining agreement (EBA)] contained affirmative language stating that retiree medical benefits will continue 'for the life of the retiree or surviving spouse,' this language trumped any durational limitation of the CBA more generally.... [This] decision stands in stark contrast to three other federal appellate court decisions decided in 2018 and 2019 regarding Honeywell’s alleged obligations to provide retiree health benefits." [UAW v. Honeywell Int'l Inc., No. 11-14036 (E.D. Mich. July 25, 2018)]

Littler

Follow the Scripts: Trends in ERISA Litigation Against PBMs

"[S]everal plaintiffs' law firms believe that the manner in which pharmacy benefit managers set cost-sharing amounts and receive rebates from network pharmacies is at least partly to blame [for rising drug costs], and have filed litigation against PBMs under [ERISA] in response. This article looks at recent ERISA lawsuits filed against PBMs, the success of those claims, and some issues those litigants have encountered along the way."

Bloomberg Law

Large Employers Double Down on Efforts to Stem Rising U.S. Health Benefit Costs

"Employers identified implementing more virtual care solutions (51%) and a more focused strategy on high cost claims (39%) as their top initiatives for 2020.... [M]anaging prescription drug benefit costs remains a high priority for employers in 2020.... [T] he total cost of health care is estimated to be $14,642 per employee this year, and projected to rise to an average of $15,375 in 2020.  Employers will cover nearly 70% of costs while employees will bear about 30%, or nearly $4,500."

National Business Group on Health [NBGH]

What is Your State Doing to Affect Access to Health Insurance?

"Select a state on the map and an action ... to learn what the individual insurance market stabilization strategies states may be pursuing."

The Commonwealth Fund

Trends in Social Security Disability Insurance

"After a period of growth, disability incidence and prevalence rates ... have been in decline.... This paper discusses recent disability incidence and prevalence rate trends and projections, describes the factors that might drive them, and summarizes disability research that might improve our understanding of the trends."

U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA]

Press Releases

Nominations Now Open for NTSA 2020 Elite Advisor Award
National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

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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