Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 17, 2019 logo logo
Search   ·   Past Issues   ·   Get Message Boards Digest   ·   Get Retirement News

Job Openings

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator Retirement Plan Administrator

PlanTech, LLP
Birmingham AL / Telecommute

View job as Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Administrator Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Administrator

First American Bank
Elk Grove Village IL

View job as Associate Consultant / Retirement Plan Administration Associate Consultant / Retirement Plan Administration

Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc.
Tacoma WA / Honolulu HI / Fresno CA / Pasadena CA / Telecommute

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator Retirement Plan Administrator

Compass 360, LLC
Stratham NH / MA / ME / VT / Telecommute

View job as Retirement Plan Specialist Retirement Plan Specialist

Albany NY

View job as Institutional Retirement Consultant - Regional Wholesaler Institutional Retirement Consultant - Regional Wholesaler

Unified Trust Company, N.A.
AK / KS / LA / MO / NE / NM / OK / TX

►Get Instant Job Alerts

►View More Jobs

►Post a Job

Webcasts, Conferences

Navigating Paid Family and Medical Leave: MA and Beyond
November 14, 2019 WEBCAST
New England Employee Benefits Council [NEEBC]

Cocktails & Conversation - WEB Dallas Young Professionals Happy Hour
November 21, 2019 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

►See 116 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1564 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

This Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

Message Boards Digest:
Subscribe Now

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed Regs Provide Additional Guidance on Individual Coverage HRAs

"Unlike the rules on ESRP requirements, the latest guidance does not offer a safe harbor on nondiscrimination. If increased contributions to older ICHRA participants disproportionately favor highly compensated employees, those employees may be taxed on what is considered the discriminatory amount."
Ballard Spahr LLP


Now is a great time to join Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB)

Sponsored by WEB - Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network provides a forum for education and information exchange with other Benefits Executives. Join todayLearn more

Employers Face New Penalties Under Washington, D.C.'s Commuter-Benefit Law

"Penalties and fines for noncompliance with a Washington, D.C., law requiring employers to offer commuter benefits to their employees in the district will take effect Nov. 14. The law, which became effective on Jan. 1, 2016, requires employers with at least 20 employees in Washington, D.C., to offer commuter benefits to their covered employees."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

One Federal Government Agency Finds a Way to Provide Paid Parental Leave, and More

"Beginning in January 2020, all FDIC employees will be eligible for six weeks of paid time off per year related to the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. New employees will qualify for the program immediately upon their hiring.... FDIC's budget comes from financial institutions' insurance premiums, not congressional appropriations."
Government Executive

District Court Vacates Parts of ACA Nondiscrimination Rule

"Judge Reed O'Connor, a federal district court judge in Texas ... vacated parts of an Obama-era nondiscrimination rule that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and termination of pregnancy. He concluded that these provisions violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The most recent ruling follows a preliminary injunction issued by Judge O'Connor in December 2016." [Franciscan Alliance v. Azar, No. 16-108 (N.D. Tex. Oct. 15, 2019)]
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

58 Percent of Local Pharmacies May Close in Next Two Years (PDF)

"A substantial majority of independent pharmacies rate the current financial health of their businesses as poor, and the main culprits are pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) ... [D]irect and indirect remuneration, known as pharmacy DIR fees imposed by PBMs in the Medicare Part D Program, are the biggest challenge confronting community pharmacy, with 63% of respondents saying just that."
National Community Pharmacists Association [NCPA]


Reading this on your mobile device? Get the BenefitsLink App!

Sponsored by BenefitsLink

Now available on Google Play and in the App Store, the free BenefitsLink mobile app includes all the same great content as the daily newsletter -- news, jobs, events, message boards -- at your fingertips when you're on the go. Download today! Learn more

How a Healthcare Navigation Service Helps During Open Enrollment

"A healthcare navigation service -- also called health advisory or care navigation service -- is a personalized service that helps employees navigate the healthcare landscape, from choosing an insurance plan to finding a specialist. A high-quality healthcare navigation service will assign a dedicated adviser to each employee. This high-touch adviser will be available via phone or email to offer healthcare guidance, answering any questions about medical, dental, prescription and ancillary benefits."
First Stop Health

California to Provide Financial Boost to Help Buy Health Coverage

"Starting Jan. 1, California will become the first state to offer subsidies to middle-income people who make too much money to qualify for the federal tax credits that help consumers buy health coverage through Covered California, the state's [ACA] insurance exchange.... Covered California estimates that nearly one million Californians could benefit from the new state money."
Kaiser Health News

Pre-Tax Deductions for Qualified Parking Did Not Violate State Wage-Deduction Law

"For employers subject to New York's wage deduction law, this case offers a few insights, including the court's affirmation that the law's 2012 amendment merely clarified the exception for IRS-approved programs. According to the court, the law 'always allowed wage deductions made in accordance with the [Code] and Treasury Department regulations.' But the case also sends a broader message, namely, that failing to meet the minimal requirements for a qualified transportation fringe benefit plan could have repercussions other than a loss of federal tax advantages." [Otitigbe v. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., No. 904767-18 (S. Ct. Albany Cty. N.Y. Sept. 12, 2019)]
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Adjusting COBRA Premiums for Midyear Increase in Insurance Premiums

"[If] your plan is currently charging less than the maximum permissible COBRA premium, it can increase the COBRA premiums during the determination period to no more than 102% (or 150%, in the case of disability extension) of the applicable premium for the determination period. But if your plan is already charging the full COBRA premium amount allowed, it cannot increase the premium until the next determination period, even if the insurer increases its rates during the determination period."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of EBSA Meeting Notice for Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans

"[T]he 199th open meeting of the [ERISA Advisory Council] will be held on November 4-5, 2019 ... At the November 5 afternoon session, the Council members will receive an update from leadership of [EBSA] and present their recommendations. The Council recommendations will be on the following issues: [1] Beyond Plan Audit Compliance: Improving the Financial Statement Audit Process and [2] Permissive Transfers of Uncashed Checks from ERISA Plans to State Unclaimed Property Funds."
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Guidance Overview]

Two New Executive Orders Promise to Impact Retirement and Health Plan Guidance

"These agency memoranda generally limit sub-regulatory guidance with the force and effect of law and signal that agencies should not bring enforcement actions absent an act violating a regulation that was subject to notice and comment or the text of a statute. The Executive Orders have the potential to materially impact how [EBSA], the Department of the Treasury, the [IRS], and other agencies regulate retirement and health plans."
Groom Law Group

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Cost of Health Plan Coverage for Month During Which Employment Ends

I am leaving my company before the end of the month. My coverage will end mid-month on the day I leave the company, but I am being charged my full premium for the month. Is this legal?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Corpus Linguistics and ERISA Litigation
Covington & Burling LLP, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2019, 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, 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.

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers; we were not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.

Unsubscribe  |   Change Email Address  |   Privacy Policy