Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 16, 2019

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[Guidance Overview]

Key HSA Features -- 2020 Compliance (PDF)

"Due to an HSA's potential tax savings, federal tax law includes strict rules for HSAs, including limits on annual contributions and HDHP cost sharing. This Compliance Overview summarizes key features for HSAs, including the contribution limits for 2020."
Cowden Associates, Inc.

U.S. Public's Perspective on Prescription Drug Costs

"Over the past 20 years, US drug spending has increased by 330% compared to a 208% increase in total US health expenditures. A large majority (78%) of the public see drug company profits as the top contributor to higher health care spending.... While most adults (59%) say prescription drugs have made their lives better, many (79%) also say the cost is unreasonable. Three in 10 report they have not taken medications as prescribed in the past year because of the cost."
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Survey Reveals Benefits Professionals Have Yet to Promote the Full Advantage of HSAs (PDF)

"36% of benefits professionals think it's not important to focus on investing rather than saving or spending. Meanwhile, 65% of employers responded that a focus on investing was important.... 74% of benefits professionals encourage their account holders to save. While 40% of employers encourage HSA account holders to invest as a retirement option."
HealthSavings Administrators

Benefits in General

Corpus Linguistics and ERISA Litigation

"While the meaning of the statute was plain to the entire panel, Judges Stranch and Thapar quarreled over the evidence that a court might rightly consider when interpreting a statute -- in this case, ERISA. Judge Thapar argues that '[c]ourts should consider adding [corpus linguistics] to their tool belts.'... . [T]his is one more of the many reasons to make serious efforts to compose plan documents and communications clearly and with as little jargon or odd usage as possible. When jargon can't be avoided, the potential judicial use of corpus linguistics in interpreting a document provides even more reason to define clearly such terms or phrases." [Wilson v. Safelite Group, Inc., No. 19-3408 (6th Cir. Jul. 10, 2019)]
Covington & Burling LLP

Cybersecurity and Employee Benefit Plan Professionals

"Some companies have created a standard data privacy and security template agreement for all compensation and employee benefit plan agreements. Such a template agreement could include, among other items, requirements related to access and security controls, encryption, storage of PII on removable devices, audit rights and notification and indemnification provisions in the event of a data breach, and would be tailored to the specific risks and requirements of the company’s plans (employee retirement, 401(k) and group health benefit plans are similarly at risk)."
Winston & Strawn LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Does a Plan Sponsor Have an Affirmative Legal Obligation to Correct a Mistake on a Previously Filed Form 5500?

I anticipate the answer is yes but I am wondering if anyone can cite me to authority that requires this. I know the Form 5500 instructions require the plan sponsor to provide accurate information, but I can't find anything that states it has an affirmative obligation to correct a previously filed 5500 that is inaccurate.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

California Adopts Confusing FSA Notification Requirement
Kilpatrick Townsend, via Lexology; free registration 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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