Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 15, 2020

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The Importance of Considering Non-Traditional Benefit Offerings

"Understanding what is important to employees is a great way to begin the process of adding non-traditional benefits. Gaining their perspective can help target the benefits you should consider for your organization.... [1] Student debt and housing cost assistance ... [2] An accommodating travel policy ... [3] Financial wellbeing programs."

Gallagher

Budget Spending Deal Contains Changes That Impact Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans

"Beginning in 2017, tax-exempt entities were subject to Unrelated Business Taxable Income on the tax-exempt entity's costs for providing qualified transportation fringe benefits to its employees, which includes certain employee parking. The [SECURE Act] repealed this 'parking tax' as though it never existed.... In 2020, employers remain eligible for a business tax credit for certain employer-paid family and medical leave. Before the Act, this tax credit was set to expire in 2019.... The Departments recently issued a revised template for the SBC. Most of the revisions to the new SBC template are minor (e.g., grammatical and stylistic in nature) to make the SBC more reader-friendly to users."

Miller Johnson

Major Health Care Cuts Looming for Ohio Public Employee Retirees

"The system had planned to earmark 4 percent of the employer contributions to health care, but that never materialized as the fund lowered its investment earnings projections. With no new dollars going into what is now a $13 billion health-care fund, it is believed that it will become insolvent in about 10 years. It could be about 14 years before OPERS might be able to resume contributions into the health-care fund."

The Toledo Blade

Marketplace Premiums and Insurer Participation, 2017-2020

"Following uncertainty and regulatory changes in 2018, ... the average number of participating insurers dropped from 3.7 per region to 3.0 per region.... [L]owest silver premiums decreased on average by only 0.4 percent nationwide in 2019, and decreased on average by 3.5 percent nationwide in 2020.... [I]nsurer entrances and exits in 29 selected markets [shows] increased insurer participation in 2019, with an average of 3.3 insurers per region, and 2020, with an average of 3.9 insurers."

Urban Institute

Questions Employees Are Asking in 2020 About ACA 1095-Cs

"[1] What is the 1095-C form? ... [2] When should I expect to receive it? ... [3] What am I supposed to do with this form? ... [4] What if I live in a state or jurisdiction that requires me to have health coverage? ... [5] Will I get this form again next year? ... [6] I heard the ACA was overturned in federal court. Does that mean it has gone away?"

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

[Opinion]

U.S. Health Care System Reform Is Not Yet at the Tipping Point

"Some candidates in the upcoming presidential election are focusing on various proposals for universal coverage, but the ongoing need for delivery system reform is being neglected. Policymakers, payers, and providers should consider ... [1] Move more quickly to capitated global budgets for a defined population of patients.... [2] Provide more care in lower-cost settings.... [3] Use lower-cost personnel.... [4] Put quality improvement processes 'on steroids' by adopting a radically new and different way of leading and managing.... [5] Address social determinants of health."

The Commonwealth Fund

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL and PBGC Increase Civil Money Penalties for 2020, Effective January 15, 2020

"[A] table reflects the DOL's 2020 annual inflation adjustments to the civil money penalties for violations of certain requirements under ERISA, effective January 15, 2020."

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Topics to Address in the New Year

"[1] Addressing cybersecurity for benefit plans: what to do when it's all at risk ... [2] COBRA notice class action lawsuits offer a cautionary tale for sponsors ... [3] Plan distribution check is taxable even if uncashed ... [4] Balancing student loan repayments and retirement savings ... [5] Mitigating your company's equity plan risk."

Epstein Becker Green

Mandatory Arbitration for Benefit Plan Documents: Prudent or Problematic?

"Requiring mandatory individual arbitration for dispute resolution of all plan-related claims seems to be more efficient and cost-effective, though the plan sponsor and plan administrator should consider a number of factors to customize the dispute resolution provision for a particular plan ... The decision on how to design a particular arbitration provision may be driven by a number of factors, including the type of plan, the number of participants and the federal common law developed that applies to the plan, among others."

Barnes & Thornburg LLP via Lexology; free registration required

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of DOL Final Regs: Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act -- Annual Adjustments for 2020
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

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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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