Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 23, 2019

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Jobs

Senior Pension Administrator

Primark Benefits
Telecommute

ERISA & Employee Benefit Specialist / Paralegal

AIG
New York NY

Installation Coordinator

Goldleaf Partners
Telecommute

Relationship Manager

Benefit Plans Plus, LLC [BPP]
Henderson KY

Retirement Plan Administrator

The Finway Group
West Des Moines IA / Telecommute

Senior Enforcement Advisor

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]
DC / Telecommute

Benefits Advisor - Recent Graduate

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]
Silver Spring MD / Telecommute

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Publication 5164: Test Package for Electronic Filers of ACA Information Returns (PDF)

25 pages. Oct. 2019; Processing Year 2020. "[This publication] contains general and program specific testing information for use with ACA Assurance Testing System (AATS).... Software Developers must pass IRS AATS test scenarios for the forms and tax years that the software package will support.... Transmitters and Issuers must pass a one-time communication test for the forms they will file."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Advert.]

Gain The Knowledge You Need at HBCE This January

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

The 29th Annual Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE) is happening January 20-22, 2020. Get the knowledge that you need to make sure you are up to date on the latest trends and topics. Register by December 19, 2019 to save!


[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts New Paid Family Medical Leave Law: What You Need to Know

"On or before September 30, 2019 employers must provide employees with notice of the PFML and of the rates and contributions for 2019. The Department has provided a template poster in multiple languages, ... because employers must provide the poster in English and in each language which is the primary language of 5 or more individuals in its workforce.... [An] employer must give each member of its workforce the opportunity to acknowledge or decline to acknowledge receipt of this notice."
Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

What to Do If Your Company Is Close to the ACA's 50 Full-Time Employee Threshold

"If the company will be an ALE in 2020 ... [1] Confirm that the company's payroll system gathers the data necessary to prepare Form 1095-C for each full-time employee.... [2] Review the company's health plan eligibility rules and determine if coverage needs to be extended to variable hour employees who previously were not offered coverage.... [3] Confirm that the employee's cost for employee-only coverage as of January 1, 2020, meets one of the ACA's affordability safe harbors."
Dickinson Wright

Editor's Pick A Painful Pill to Swallow: U.S. vs. International Prescription Drug Prices (PDF)

77 pages. "The United States spent $457 billion in 2016 on combined retail (dispensed at the pharmacy) and non-retail (dispensed in physician offices) drugs.... In the five years between 2011 and 2016, drug spending nationwide grew by 27 percent -- more than 2.5 times the rate of growth in inflation.... This report examines patterns of drug pricing in the U.S. relative to other international comparator countries through a six-part analysis examining price differentials among 79 drugs sold in 11 countries and the U.S. in 2017 and 2018."
Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives

Reducing Healthcare Costs

"Implement employee wellness initiatives ... Consider paying for international medical care ... Offer smoking-cessation assistance ... Provide information for employees about where to seek medical help ... Encourage preventive care.... Consider offering a plan that includes telemedicine ... Consider changing to plans that are priced per person ... Consider offering a healthcare concierge."
HR Daily Advisor

[Advert.]

Best Practices for Navigating Employee Benefits After Termination

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Sept. 30 webinar covers different arrangements available after employment terminates related both to retirement and health, including COBRA, life and disability insurance, and various retirement plan arrangements. BenefitsLink discount.


Percentage of Private-Sector Employers With at Least One Self-Insured Health Plan Has Decreased

"[In] 2016, 40.7% of private-sector establishments reported that they self-insured at least one their health plans -- an increase of 26.5% since 1999. In 2018, the percentage of private-sector establishments reporting that they self-insured at least one of their health plans decreased to 38.7%.... [By] 2018 the percentage of small establishments that self-insure at least one health plan had reduced back to the pre-ACA level of 13.2%."
American Journal of Managed Care

'Value' of Care Was a Big Goal. How Did It Work Out?

"Medicare has achieved greater success with programs that have raised the stakes -- ones that have put hospitals and health care organizations at greater risk of financial loss or have offered prospects for larger financial gain. One popular approach, called 'bundled payments,' pays health providers one amount for all of the care for a certain condition within a certain period -- like 90 days for hip replacement care. There is evidence that some of these programs can save money without reductions in quality, although design details matter."
The New York Times; subscription may be required

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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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