Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 29, 2019

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Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
VA / Telecommute

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Quantech Pensions LLC
Anaheim CA

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Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Washington DC / Telecommute

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State of Minnesota / Minnesota State Retirement System
Saint Paul MN

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Sunwest Pensions
Tempe AZ / Telecommute

View job as DC Plan Administrator DC Plan Administrator

Qualified Pension Professionals, Inc.
Lisle IL

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Webcasts, Conferences

Visualize Retirement
November 5, 2019 WEBCAST
fi360

Deal "Horror Stories" Related to Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
December 3, 2019 WEBCAST
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

►See 104 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1412 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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FAQs: Health Insurance Marketplace and the ACA

"Find answers to over 300 frequently asked questions about buying coverage on the health insurance marketplaces. Over 180 of [these] FAQs are now available in Spanish."
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

[Sponsored]

Free Webinar -- Employee Benefit Plan Technical Hot Topics for 2020

Sponsored by Hall Benefits Law

Do you know the risks and opportunities for employee benefit plans in 2020? The HBL team abated more than $55 million in DOL and IRS penalties this year and will give examples of costly ERISA legal compliance issues and how to avoid them! Join us Nov. 6. Learn more


Window Shopping and Updates on Healthcare.gov

"[CMS] announced that consumers could preview new plans and prices at HealthCare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov. This 'window shopping' allows consumers to consider their plan options without logging in, creating an account, or completing an official application. CMS also summarized operational and other changes to HealthCare.gov for the 2020 open enrollment period."
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

Keeping Score: Specialty Drug Per Employee Cost Trend

"While the average increase of 11% is right in line with benchmarks, the year-to-year price movement for each company is all over the board. Only 15% of the groups in [the] database had a trend rate between 10% and 15%."
Chelko Center for Benefits Management

Employers Are Scaling Back Their Dependence on High-Deductible Health Plans

"As open enrollment gets underway for next year's job-based health insurance coverage, some employees are seeing traditional plans offered alongside or instead of the plans with sky-high deductibles that may have been their only choice in the past. Some employers say that, in a tight labor market, offering a more generous plan with a deductible that's less than four figures can be an attractive recruitment tool. Plus, a more traditional plan may appeal to workers who want more predictable out-of-pocket costs, even if the premium is a bit higher."
Kaiser Health News

An Overview of Health Savings Accounts for Employers

"[M]ost employees you're onboarding will know what an HSA is; they might even already have one from another employer. But no matter what their level of experience with an HSA, your most important job is to make them understand the value. You're going to get the most out of it by empowering your employees to make the most out of it."
Ameriflex

[Sponsored]

Recognizing and Addressing COBRA

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Dec. 10 webinar will cover the legislative rationale that underlies COBRA continuation coverage as well as the nuts and bolts of compliance. BenefitsLink discountLearn more


Walgreens to Shutter Many In-Store Clinics, Add Jenny Craig Sites

"Walgreens will shutter nearly 40% of the clinics in its stores ... The company ... will close 150 Walgreens-run clinics by the end of the year, but it will keep open more than 200 that are run in partnership with health care providers.... [T]he chains have struggled to make money off the clinics, which face growing competition from telemedicine services[.]"
StarTribune

New California Law Aims to Expand Telehealth Coverage and Payment

"On October 13, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 744, marking the latest of many state legislative efforts to modernize health care by ensuring that telehealth services are paid and covered, similar to their face-to-face counterparts. Effective January 1, 2021, the statutory language added by AB 744 requires newly created, amended, or renewed commercial payer contracts to reimburse telehealth services at the same levels as when those services are delivered in-person."
ReedSmith

Jones Day Moves to Dismiss Claims by Supreme Court Clerks, Arguing that Parental Leave Policy Did Not Discriminate

"Jones Day and the plaintiffs fundamentally disagree as to whether, as Jones Day contends, the policy is based on a 'presumption' -- birth mothers are disabled for 8 weeks without having to prove it -- or, as the plaintiffs contend, it is a 'substantive rule' under which birth mothers get 8 weeks of additional leave, and fathers do not." [Savignac v. Jones Day, No. 19-2443 (D.D.C., complaint filed Aug. 13, 2019; reply in support of motion to dismiss, Oct. 17, 2019)]
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Must a Health Plan That Prohibits Coverage of an Occupational Illness Cover a Participant Who Engages in a For-Profit Surrogacy?

"Specifically looking for cases/authorities that would demonstrate that a health plan participants decision to be a surrogate for profit would not be covered under a health plan that prohibits coverage of occupational illness incurred from work for profit, including self employment."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Bereavement Leave Under a VEBA?

"A 'Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plan' is organized under 501(c)(9) to provide life, sickness, accident and similar benefits. It's in the construction trades and vast majority of claims paid are due to periods of temporary unemployment. It also pays benefits in cases of death, disability, etc. Can this 501(c)(9) VEBA pay a stipend in connection with bereavement leave?"
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

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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