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Reduce Health Costs by Nurturing the Sickest? A Much-Touted Idea Disappoints

"Researchers tested whether pairing frequently hospitalized patients in Camden, New Jersey, with nurses and social workers could stop that costly cycle of readmissions. The study found no effect: Patients receiving extra support were just as likely to return to the hospital within 180 days as those not receiving that help."

Kaiser Health News

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Study Points to Better Ways to Cut Health Care Waste

"It's widely believed that making so-called super-utilizers even a little healthier -- for example, giving them extra help once they're out of the hospital to prevent a quick return there -- would yield substantial savings.... A rigorous study ... makes clear it's not so easy.... The answer isn't necessarily to pick a patient- or system-focused approach to reforming health care, but to do both effectively."

The New York Times; subscription may be required

Editor's Pick Managing Multiple HSAs for Couples

"Compliance with [HSA] rules can become especially complex when married couples are collectively covered by more than one high-deductible health plan. Both spouses may want to take advantage of the benefits of HSAs, but must coordinate with each other in the process."

Watko Benefit Group

California Looks to Launch Its Own Prescription-Drug Label

"California would become the first state in the nation to launch its own prescription drug label under a plan proposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that aims to use governmental purchasing power to control rising health-care costs. The plan ... would allow California to contract with generic-drug manufacturers to make the medicines available for sale to all Californians ... The proposal is likely to face opposition from the pharmaceutical industry[.]"

The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

New Developments in Parental Leave

"[T]he National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020  ... included a new paid parental leave benefit for federal workers.... This is a generous length of paid time off -- and a generous wage replacement -- compared with what is voluntarily offered by private employers.... Over two dozen states introduced paid leave bills in 2019."

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Understanding the Statute of Limitations for ERISA Claims (PDF)

15 pages. Topics: [1] Introduction to ERISA statute of limitations issues; [2] ERISA statute of limitations for benefit claims; [3] Resetting a statute of limitations, tolling, waiver, and estoppel; [4]  Statute of limitations standard for breach of fiduciary actions; [5] Intel Corp. case expected to crystallize the actual knowledge test.

The Wagner Law Group

2019 Year in Review (PDF)

63 presentation slides. Topics include: [1] ACA marches on during appeals; [2] HSA updates; [3] 401(k) plan quick updates; [4] California state law updates; [5] San Francisco ordinance updates.

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Fringe Benefits -- Can I Use Special Accounting Period?

"Our HR department just brought over a list of employees that received vouchers for Fitbits. They received the vouchers in late December. Are we able to use the Special Accounting Period for vouchers? I keep seeing it can only be used for noncash fringes, but was wondering if someone had experience correctly applying that rule to cash/gift cards/vouchers for wellness initiatives."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Employer Is Subject to Davis-Bacon Act; How to Pay HRA Funds After Participant's Death?

"Single participant with no spouse or dependents dies with large balance in HRA account. Employer is subject to Davis Bacon Act so funds cannot revert back. Employer contributions to HRA are held in trust. HRA plan document does not provide for payment of dependent medical expenses after the death of the participant. What do we do with the funds in the participant's HRA account after his death?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue, 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

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

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