Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 25, 2019

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Jobs

ESOP Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
Charlottesville VA / Telecommute

Experienced Plan Consultant

Randall + Hurley
Liberty Lake WA / MT / Telecommute

Manager - North America Benefits

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc
Allentown PA

Consultant and Relationship Manager

Milliman
Minneapolis MN

Health Insurance Specialist

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]
Bethesda MD / Telecommute

Auditor

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

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[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave: Update on 1099-MISC Workers and State-Provided Training

"[P]roperly classified independent contractors who satisfy the first three criteria should not be counted as part of the employer's workforce count for PFML purposes, but workers who meet those first three criteria and do not pass the state standard as independent contractors must be included in the workforce count.... If 1099-MISC workers do not make up more than 50 percent of an entity's Massachusetts workforce, the entity is not required to report payments made to these workers in the quarterly reports submitted to the department. "
Ogletree Deakins

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Telehealth: A Digital Communication Approach to Improving Health (PDF)

13 pages. "Potential benefits include the delivery of needed health care services at reduced cost, access that is more readily available or accessible, and improvement of quality and continuity of care in order to quickly address and treat health conditions.... Certain technological and legislative responses to this area of care could pave the way for a more rapid adoption[.]"
American Academy of Actuaries

Trump Administration Drives Down Medicare Advantage and Part D Premiums for Seniors

"The Medicare Advantage average monthly plan premium is expected to decrease 14 percent to $23.00 (estimated) in 2020 from an average of $26.87 in 2019. Since 2017, the average monthly Medicare Advantage premium has decreased by an estimated 27.9 percent. This is the lowest that the average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan has been since 2007."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Vermont Reissues Employer Health Plan Assessment Reporting Guidelines

"Vermont tax regulators have updated guidance for employers subject to the state's Health Care Fund Contribution Assessment.... The updated guidance outlines which employees count in an employer's FTE calculation, what causes an employee to be considered 'uncovered,' and how employers should report and remit any assessments owed to the state."
Mercer

Gauging the Risk and Rewards of a Benefits Captive Plan

"Sharing risk is attractive to employers. However, this only makes sense if each member of the captive is working equally hard to mitigate risk and keep claims low. There are a few ways to do this.... Though the goal of a captive is to create an environment with visibility into the plan, the opportunity to contain costs and the flexibility to pay claims as they come in, there are some risks, too. The primary risk is not specific to captives, but to self-funding."
Watko Benefit Group

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2020 Onsite Employee Health Clinics Forum (January 23-24; Phoenix, AZ)

Sponsored by World Conference Forum

The leading forum on building & expanding on-site health clinics -- incorporating strategies that reduce costs, ensure employee satisfaction and positively impact patient behavior.


Walmart Pilots Health Center, Pushing Deeper Into Provider Space Ripe for Disruption

"The retail giant opened its first Walmart Health prototype this month, partnering with local providers to offer an array of services, including primary care, lab work, x-rays, EKGs, vision and hearing care, counseling, and more right there at the store, accessible through a separate entrance. It's precisely the type of retail invasion that's been making incumbent hospitals, health systems, and medical groups nervous. And the disruptive influence could spread to other markets, as the company aims to perfect a scalable model."
HealthLeaders Media

Open Enrollment Trends for 2020

"[1] Modest cost increases ... [2] More health plan choices ... [3] Additional virtual care options ... [4] Greater access to decision support tools ... [5] Expansion of mental health benefits ... [6] Increased focus on quality."
National Business Group on Health [NBGH]

Benefits in General

Making Cents of Financial Wellness

"Offer solutions that support employees through all stages of their life and career. Consider offering small loan programs ... to prevent employees from borrowing against their 401k. Investigate the tax benefits for tuition assistance ... There are also non-traditional financial wellness benefits such as Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and parental leave benefits."
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Press Releases

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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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