Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 12, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

NJ Issues Final Earned Sick Leave Law Regs

"The main substantive change to the final regulations concerns the setting of a benefit year.... [It] remains a violation of the [Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL)] for an employer to require an employee to use ESLL as part of taking FMLA or FLA leave.... [T]he ESLL would apply to union members covered by a CBA at the time of the ESLL's enactment upon expiration of that CBA.... The final regulations will not address how/when out-of-state employees are covered under the ESLL."

Fox Rothschild LLP

[Sponsored]

Take a Benefits Certificate Course This March in Austin

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


[Guidance Overview]

Paid Sick Leave Updates in the Garden State and City of Chicago

"The final [New Jersey] regulations provide that an employer need not establish a single benefit year.... An employer's PTO policy can satisfy the obligations of the law but only if the entire PTO policy complies with each aspect of the Earned Sick Leave law.... In December 2019, [the Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance was amended.] ... Effective July 1, 2020, a covered employer is defined as a person who gainfully employs at least one employee regardless of whether the employer has a Chicago worksite or is subject to business license requirements."

CBIZ

4 in 10 People with Employer-Provided Health Insurance Still Face Affordability Issues

"If you find yourself in a situation where your employer provides coverage but you still can't make the math work when paying for healthcare, there are a few things you can do.... [1] Explore all your options for coverage ... [2] Talk with your benefits administrator about your policy's shortcomings ... [3] Save for care in a dedicated savings account ... [4] See if your doctor has suggestions for saving ... [5] Don't let finances derail your health."

Motley Fool

Editor's Pick Drug Pricing and Pharmaceutical Patenting Practices

45 pages. "[S]ome commentators allege that pharmaceutical manufacturers have engaged in patenting practices that unduly extend the period of exclusivity. These critics argue that these patenting practices are used to keep drug prices high, without any benefit for consumers or innovation.... [S]ome commentators and Members of Congress have proposed patent reforms that seek to limit or curtail these patenting practices, which some perceive as contributing to high prices for pharmaceutical products." [CRS R46221, Feb. 11, 2020]

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

A Pioneer in Health Policy Reform, Massachusetts Eyes Next Frontier: Drug Prices

"Two decades after Massachusetts implemented statewide health insurance reform ... the Commonwealth is now taking aim at one of the nation's most perplexing problems: Skyrocketing drug prices.... Statewide legislation is gaining bipartisan momentum in the state's Senate, House, and governor's office, signaling the potential for another landmark health policy law to get passed this year."

Arnold Ventures

[Sponsored]

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


[Opinion]

Payers and PBMs Profit from Obscure Pharmacy Fees, While Seniors See No Relief in Prescription Costs

"With the advent of DIR Pharmacy fees, and the loophole that allows these fees to flourish, health plans and PBMs are making significant profits on the backs of taxpayers, pharmacies, and seniors. Oversight and change is necessary to ensure that these fees are passed on to seniors instead of lining health plan and PBM pockets. Without a policy intervention, seniors will continue to struggle with the high price of drugs, pharmacies will continue to close and rural markets will be particularly devastated -- losing access to critical medications and also jobs."

XIL Consulting

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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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