Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 25, 2019

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Northeast Professional Planning Group, Inc.
Red Bank NJ / NY

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Planned Retirement Consultants & Administrators, LLC
Ridgewood NJ / San Diego CA

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Nova 401(k) Associates
Scottsdale AZ

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Loren D. Stark Company
Houston TX / Telecommute

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Loren D. Stark Company
Houston TX / Telecommute

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Loren D. Stark Company
Houston TX / Telecommute

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Loren D. Stark Company
Irving TX / Telecommute

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[Guidance Overview]

Nevada Releases Guidance on Paid Leave Mandate

"Nevada's labor commissioner has released an advisory opinion that provides important clarifications on the state's mandatory PTO law, slated to take effect on January 1, 2020.... Under the new law, employers must allow employees to accrue paid leave during the benefit year or they can frontload the employee's total leave accrual on the first day of each benefit year.... Employers will be permitted to cap an employee’s usage at 40 hours per benefit year and set a minimum increment of use not to exceed four hours."

Buck

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Court Blocks San Antonio Paid Sick Leave Law

"Mere days before San Antonio's Sick and Safe Leave ordinance was set to go into effect, the law was once again put on hold.... Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai temporarily delayed the start of the paid leave ordinance, which was set to take effect on December 1."

Fisher Phillips

Mental Health, Addiction, and Sustaining Wellness in the Legal Field

"What should law firms be doing to better address wellness concerns among their lawyers? How can they move toward a preventative approach? ... Are there wellness efforts -- either in the legal profession or elsewhere -- that have been particularly successful? What differentiates them from less successful attempts?"

Quarles & Brady LLP

Reduce Healthcare Costs by Cutting Administrative Costs

"A recent study of 1,240 physicians determined that the costs in time and money were an average of $1,000 per practice per month or nearly $3 billion annually for the administrative task of updating the health plan information for their average of 20 contracts. And still as much as half of this information may be inaccurate."

Frenkel Benefits

The New Transparency Regs: Will Consumers Finally Be Able to Shop for Healthcare?

"Some economists expect that transparency would lead to price compression, with smaller providers demanding higher prices and larger providers getting squeezed....  Both hospitals and insurers contend that the administration has greatly under-estimated the cost and burden of implementing these rules."

Mercer

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Global Health Care Benefit Cost Increases Will Vary Widely in 2020

"[M]ental health conditions are expected to become one of the most significant cost factors over the next five years.... 40% of all respondents expect medical costs will continue to increase at a higher rate over the next three years. Asia Pacific insurers are the most optimistic, with 32% agreeing there will be a moderate increase over the next three years, while 12% believe costs will be lower. Conversely, more than half (54%) of Middle East and Africa insurers believe medical expenses will increase, and virtually none anticipate lower costs."

Willis Towers Watson

ACA Round-Up: Latest Enrollment Numbers, New CSR Decision, and More

"On November 18, Anthem Blue Cross filed a new lawsuit ... asking for $107 million in unpaid risk corridor payments from 2014 through 2016. Like the many insurers before it, Anthem asserts that it is entitled to these payments under the ACA and that HHS's failure to make the payments is a breach of its implied-in-fact contract with Anthem.... In the meantime, related litigation over unpaid CSR payments continues to proceed." [Blue Cross of Calif. v. United States, No. 19-1770 (Fed. Cl. complaint filed Nov. 18, 2019)]

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

Benefits in General

How Work, Rewards and Benefits Have Evolved Over the Past Century (PDF)

14 pages. "By exploring key forces of change, and through the lens of [Buck's] own history, this paper will show how the present-day employer-employee relationship has evolved, what lessons were learned that built the workforce of the 21 st century, what challenges are looming, and how some employers, including Buck, are responding to them. Call it the new social contract for the still-new century."

Buck, via WorldatWork

[Opinion]

ACLI Comment Letter to EBSA About Proposed Regs for Electronic Disclosure by Employee Pension Benefit Plans Under ERISA

"Expand the safe harbor to include welfare benefit plan required disclosures ... Include a definition of 'electronic address' ... Provide additional flexibility in delivering the notice of internet availability ... Broaden the rule to allow for the direct electronic delivery of documents ... Maintain ERISA's current 'readability' standard ... Clarify the paper delivery/opt-out requirement ... Modify the notice consolidation provision ... Modify the applicability date ... IRS/Treasury should quickly adopt electronic disclosure rules that align with the department's final rule."

American Council of Life Insurers [ACLI]

Press Releases

PEI Launches New Website
Portfolio Evaluations, Inc.

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

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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

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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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