Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 16, 2019

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Jobs

Supervisory Health Insurance Specialist

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Bethesda MD

Implementation Team Leader

Nova 401(k) Associates
Houston TX / Dallas TX / Austin TX / Scottsdale AZ / Telecommute

Retirement Plan Advisor

Chemung Canal Trust Company
Elmira NY

DC Retirement Plan Consultant

EGPS, Inc.
Laguna Hills CA / San Diego CA / New York NY / Jacksonville FL / Telecommute

DB Retirement Plan Consultant

EGPS, Inc.
Laguna Hills CA / San Diego CA / New York NY / Jacksonville FL / Telecommute

Onboarding Specialist

EGPS, Inc.
Laguna Hills CA / Telecommute

Senior Qualified Plan Administrator

Clark Schaefer Hackett
Miamisburg OH

Relationship Manager

Newport Group
Los Angeles CA

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[Guidance Overview]

The Impact of ERISA on the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

"The threshold question that any paid leave law presents is whether the law establishes an ERISA-covered plan.... Provisionally at least, ... employers subject to the MAPFML should not be faulted for failing to conform their programs to ERISA.... The question of the extent to which, if any, state paid leave laws are preempted by ERISA is best described as an 'emerging' area of the law."
Mintz

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[Guidance Overview]

Health Sector Does Not Completely Avoid the CCPA by HIPAA Exemption (4 Months to Go)

"[The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)] can apply to businesses even if they do not have offices or employees in California. It can also reach activities conducted outside of California.... [H]ealthcare entities, health plans and other businesses operating in the healthcare sector likely create, maintain or otherwise process personal information that falls outside these exemptions. Therefore, businesses should evaluate data processing activities across operations to identify any such outliers."
Womble Bond Dickinson

Ninth Circuit Holds that Hawaii Statutes Restricting Insurers' Subrogation Recovery Rights Are Saved from ERISA Preemption

"[T]he Ninth Circuit determined that the Hawai'i Statutes are saved from preemption under [ERISA Section 514], ... because the laws are specifically directed toward entities engaged in insurance and they substantially affect the risk pooling arrangement between the insurer and the insured. Lastly, the Ninth Circuit determined that the statutes supply the rule of decision for Rudel's reconfigured ERISA claim. This is because they are saved from preemption under Section 514 and they do not impermissibly expand the scope of liability under Section 502(a). In other words, Rudel does not get a remedy that could not be awarded under Section 502(a).' [Rudel v. Hawai'i Management Alliance Association, No. 17-17395 (9th Cir. Sept. 11, 2019)]
Kantor & Kantor

Eighth Circuit Finds Single Document Can Serve as ERISA Plan Document and SPD

"The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ... has held that a self-insured medical plan is entitled to reimbursement because its [SPD] was also the plan document. With this ruling, the Eighth Circuit has joined the Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit Courts in concluding that the Supreme Court's ruling in Cigna v. Amara does not prevent an SPD from functioning as the plan document in the absence of a 'formal' plan document." [MBI Energy Services v. Hoch, No. 18-1539 (8th Cir. Jul. 3, 2019)]
The Wagner Law Group

Amazon's Whole Foods to Cut Health Benefits for Part-Time Workers

"Whole Foods, the grocery chain owned by Amazon, plans to cut health benefits for its part-time workers.... [T]he changes take effect Jan. 1 and would affect 2% of Whole Foods' workforce, or approximately 1,900 employees."
USAToday

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Considerations for Separate Account BOLI Owners

"Banks have been using separate account [bank-owned life insurance (BOLI)] as informal offset to employee benefits costs since the late 1990s.... Policyholders unhappy with the current and projected performance of their separate account BOLI performance should consider alternatives including: [1] Investment sub-account reallocation ... [2] Surrender/redeploy ... [3] 1035 Exchange."
Newport Group

Benefits Education Is Time Well Spent

"Half of employees who felt highly or moderately cared about by their employer understood their benefits moderately to very well. Nearly one-third of employees who understand their benefits very well intend to stay with their employer for more than 10 years. Almost half of employees who understand their benefits very well feel highly satisfied with their current job."
Grooms Benefit Solutions

Benefits in General

ERISA Fiduciary Acts May Include Failing to Accurately Advise Plan Participants and Beneficiaries

"[The Fourth Circuit] held that NCG's alleged role in verifying employee eligibility was sufficient to state a fiduciary breach claim ... The court also held that the complaint adequately alleged that, by responding to the plaintiff's request for assistance and offering her tailored advice regarding whether to appeal the denial of benefits, one of NCG's officers was acting as a functional fiduciary when he advised her not to appeal the insurer's denial of her claim." [Dawson-Murdock v. National Counseling Group, Inc., No. 18-1989 (4th Cir. Jul. 24, 2019)]
Slevin & Hart, P.C.

District Court Determines Atrium Hospital Benefit Plans Are Governmental Plans Exempt from ERISA

"The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has dismissed the complaint against Atrium, a health care system in North Carolina, after the U.S. District Judge determined the retirement and health plans offered to Atrium employees were 'governmental plans' that are exempt from [ERISA]." [Shore v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, No. 18-961 (M.D.N.C. Aug. 30, 2019)]
Ice Miller LLP

Press Releases

Lyra is Certified for Investment Advisor Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

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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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