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[Guidance Overview]

EBSA Updates Medicaid/CHIP Premium Assistance Notice

"EBSA recently revised its Model Notice for Employers Regarding Premium Assistance Opportunities and made current as of January 31, 2020. The revised notice differs from the model notice issued in July 31, 2019, as follows: [1] With regard to program changes, contact information for California's Medicaid Program has been added. In Iowa, the state adds contact information about its CHIP program. And in Kentucky, the state has expanded contact information relating to its Medicaid programs. [2] The contact information for various Medicaid offices has changed."



39th ECFC Annual Conference -- Washington DC -- March 18-20, 2020

Sponsored by ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

The 39th ECFC Annual Conference in Washington DC will feature congressional speakers, in-depth briefings by the ECFC lobbying team, inside the beltway keynote speakers, regulatory agency and technical panels. Join Us! Learn more

Factors Impacting HSA Menu Size Decisions

"The case for limiting the number of funds on a menu often stems from research in retirement plans, some of which has shown investors may respond to overly large investment menus through lower participation rates, or greater acceptance of the default investment option.... HSAs aren't subject to some of the limitations of retirement plans as a result of several key factors associated with the HSA marketplace[.]"


One Defensive Strategy Against Surprise Medical Bills: Set Your Own Terms

"What few patients realize is that admission and financial forms serve as contracts detailing that the hospital will provide certain services and patients will pay for them. Those forms often specify that patients are responsible for 'total charges.' And therein lies the problem for those who find themselves at an out-of-network facility or are seen by an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital.... [By] writing in their own limits, patients might have leverage in negotiations or even in courts if out-of-network payment disputes arise, or at least proof they didn't agree to pay the total charges[.]"

Kaiser Health News

How to Equalize Risk in Healthcare Systems

"In many healthcare systems and health insurance markets around the world where risk rating is not allowed, risk equalization is used to enhance consumer protection and market stability.... This is generally achieved by the transfer of payments through a risk equalization pool, or similar mechanism. In this paper [the authors] have set out a 'how-to' guide to risk equalization, or risk adjustment."


The Retailization of Healthcare (PDF)

"Population health initiatives are attempting to shift the focus of healthcare from simply treating sick people to proactively keeping entire populations of people well, while at the same time reducing costs of delivering care. In order to achieve these goals, providers are being forced to pay attention to patient satisfaction metrics and are beginning to provide healthcare services in more comfortable and convenient environments. This means diverting many traditional non-acute healthcare services away from the acute care setting and into comfortable and easily accessible buildings in the neighborhoods where their patients live and work."

Winstead PC

Despite All of Its Efforts to Insure Everyone and Control Health Costs, Things Are Getting Worse in Massachusetts

"Despite significant initiatives, the state reports slippage in many metrics, including burdensome cost increases for employers and their employees. The report points to issues that now vex healthcare policy makers in every state, including medical debt burden, unaffordable premiums and cost shift to employees through plan design and premium share."

Bob Laszewski's Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review


ERIC Testimony for House Subcommittee Hearing on Expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act (PDF)

"[S]tate laws which are meant to expand paid leave benefits to their citizens are having the opposite effect for employees of large, multistate employers. The Subcommittee has an opportunity to address this problem and support paid leave programs without placing the burdens directly on taxpayers by exempting employers that already provide paid leave benefits from federal and state program rules."

The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]


President's Paid Leave Proposal Would Push Costs to States, Produce Stark Disparities

"The budget includes few details about the proposal's design, but it would leave almost all important details to states, including financing, eligibility, benefit levels, and administration. Letting states create their own program standards -- as the [unemployment insurance (UI)] system does -- would likely produce stark disparities across states in the size of benefits and scope of coverage. Under UI, workers in poorer states generally receive lower benefits and face more restrictive eligibility rules than workers earning the same wages in more affluent states. Giving states similarly broad flexibility for their paid leave programs would likely produce similar results."

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

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