Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 7, 2020

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5 Trends Shaping HR and Benefits in 2020
January 16, 2020 WEBCAST
OneDigital Health and Benefits

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January 23, 2020 WEBCAST
OneDigital Health and Benefits

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[Official Guidance]

Editor's Pick Text of 2020 IRS Publication 15-B: Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits (PDF)

34 pages. "What's New Cents-per-mile rule. The business mileage rate for 2020 is 57.5 cents per mile.... For 2020, the monthly exclusion for qualified parking is $270 and the monthly exclusion for com muter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes is $270.... For plan years beginning in 2020, a cafeteria plan may not allow an employee to request salary reduction contributions for a health FSA in excess of $2,750."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Sponsored]

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Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Certificate Series offers comprehensive education in each area of total compensation. Take a single course to learn about a specific topic, or take three courses to earn a Certificate of Achievement in the discipline of your choice. Learn more


[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Opinion Letter FMLA2020-1-A: Whether a Combined General Health District Must Count the Employees of the County in Which the Health District Is Located for the Purpose of Determining FMLA Eligibility for Its Employees (PDF)

"The health district you represent manages its own budget and does not rely on any funds from the County. In addition, the County has no part in the hiring, firing, or supervision of the health district's employees, and the board of directors of the health district is largely independent from the County.... Based on the facts presented here, the vast majority of factors, including the longstanding interpretation of Ohio state law by the courts and the state attorney general, support the conclusion that the County and health district are separate entities of the Ohio government."

Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Guidance Overview]

It's Time to Post the DC Paid Family Leave Notice to Employees

"By February 1, 2020, DC employers must conspicuously post the Notice to Employees at all DC worksites and distribute a copy to all DC employees. In addition, employers are required to give a copy to employees annually, upon hire, and within a reasonable time after they request leave which may be eligible for PFL benefits. Translated versions of the Notice are not online yet, but are forthcoming."

Keller Benefit Services

[Guidance Overview]

New California Law Requires Additional Flexible Spending Account Notices

"Under a California law that took effect on January 1, 2020, employers will have to provide extra notices to California employees enrolled in flexible spending accounts (FSAs) explaining the 'use it or lose it' federal tax rules that apply to those FSAs.... [Although the language] could be read to apply only to mid-year deadlines to withdraw funds, such as in the case of termination of employment, the limited legislative history suggests that the author was actually concerned more generally with funds remaining in an account at year-end being forfeited."

Ogletree Deakins

Seventh Circuit Holds Retiree Medical Coverage Vested for Life

"Finding the underlying [collective bargaining] agreement unambiguous, the Seventh Circuit panel nonetheless discussed the extrinsic evidence in support of its holding, including the significant testimony of a former benefits manager who participated in negotiating the 2002 agreement, and advised participants that their medical benefits were vested for life if they retired under that agreement." [Stone v. Signode Industrial Group LLC, No. 19-1601 (7th Cir. Nov. 20, 2019)]

Hodgson Russ LLP

Combining Medical, Pharmacy and Behavioral Benefits Delivers Savings

"On average, those with fully integrated benefits in the 2019 study: [1] Saved $207 annually per customer and $867 annually per individual with an identified health improvement opportunity (about 16 percent of the population). [2] Saw annual medical cost savings of $7,372 for individuals with conditions requiring a specialty medication, such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. [3] Showed savings of more than $11,679 for customers with an oncology diagnosis and 24 percent lower oncology in-patient costs."

Cigna

Editor's Pick Healthcare Affordability State Policy Scorecard

"[The] Healthcare Affordability State Policy Scorecard identifies areas where states are doing well and areas where it can improve. As the scorecard shows, state policymakers have a robust toolset they can use to ensure all residents have affordable coverage that features consumer-friendly cost-sharing and whose premiums reflect the efficient delivery of healthcare and fair healthcare pricing."

Altarum

The Effect of Veterans Health Administration Coverage on Cost-Related Medication Nonadherence

"Although people with VHA coverage were older and in worse health and had lower incomes than those with other coverage, VHA patients had lower rates of cost-related medication nonadherence ... The VHA pharmacy benefit is a model for reform to address the crisis in prescription drug affordability."

Health Affairs

Benefits in General

A Study of Longitudinal Trajectories of Health and Job Demand on Retirement Age

"Workers with health trajectories that involve more health-related events, and in particular hypertension, were actually more likely to retire later relative to their healthier peers. This may reflect better management of hypertension through more frequent outpatient physician visits, or a greater need for health insurance coverage."

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020 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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