Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 18, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

Deadline Fast Approaching for Self-Funded Plans to Comply with San Francisco Health Care Expenditure Requirements

"Most employers with self-funded health plans (medical, dental, vision, or pharmacy) have until February 29, 2020 to make sure their plans meet the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance [HCSO] health care spending requirements.... The required expenditure varies based on the size and type of the employer.... [It] only applies to employees who are covered by a self-funded plan that pays claims as they are incurred.... [It] does not apply to employees covered by insured plans, employees that decline coverage, or employees that are not eligible for the plan."

HUB International

[Sponsored]

Health Reimbursement Arrangement [HRA] Update

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Apr. 2 webinar will review the benefits of establishing an Individual Coverage HRA or an Excepted Benefit HRA and provide you with what you need to know to establish one or both of them. BenefitsLink discountLearn more


[Guidance Overview]

D.C. Employers Risk Fines for Failing to Comply with Paid Family Leave Notice Requirements

"[C]overed employers were required to post PFL notice at their worksites by no later than February 1, 2020. Failure to comply with this posting requirement subjects an employer to a fine of $100 for each day that PFL notice is not conspicuously displayed at each worksite.... As with posting, failure to give written or electronic PFL notice subjects an employer to a fine -- $100 for each covered employee who did not receive individual notice."

Hunton & Williams LLP

[Guidance Overview]

2020 State Paid Family and Medical Leave Contributions and Benefits (PDF)

13 pages. "As of 2020, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, and Washington, DC, mandate paid leave for an employee's own health condition.... This is the first year that benefits are available through the Washington state and Washington, DC, programs. Massachusetts plans to begin benefits in 2021; Connecticut contributions begin in 2021, and benefits will follow in 2022; and Oregon contributions start in 2022, with benefits first available in 2023. Other states, including Colorado, are likely to enact similar laws in 2020."

Mercer

[Guidance Overview]

Is My Public School, Private School, or College or University Subject to the HIPAA Privacy Rule as to Student Health Records?

"School leaders are often understandably confused as to which law applies to health- or medical-related records in schools: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the [HIPAA] 'Privacy Rule.' Whether you work in a public or private K-12 institution or a college or university, the answer to that question can have many implications.... [R]ecently revised guidance from [HHS and the Department of Education] provides some answers."

Franczek P.C.

Patient Rate Caps for Access to Health Records: Federal District Court Decision Does Not Affect State Law Requirements

"[D]ue to a [recent] federal district court ruling ... the [HIPAA] fee caps on what providers can charge to patients for access to their medical records do not apply when the records are given to a third party rather than to the patient directly.... Note that state law still applies. In Wisconsin, that can require quite a bit of math in determining copy charges in light of state law[.]" [Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar, No 18-040 (D.D.C. Jan. 23, 2020)]

Quarles & Brady LLP

Prescription Drug Importation: A Cure for High Rx Costs?

"In the quest to help employees find the most cost-effective healthcare, some employers are educating their workforces about going outside of their insurance plan to drastically save on prescription drugs from other countries.... When followed properly, there is nothing illegal about purchasing FDA-approved drugs at far lower prices from a drug importer that sources its products from the same overseas manufacturers as those already prescribed in the U.S."

Corporate Synergies

If Lawmakers Can Compromise, Surprise Billing Fix Could Arrive by May

"Legislation to protect patients against surprise medical bills is once again gaining momentum in Congress, with two key House committees voting to advance proposals. However, passage of competing bills by the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee also emphasized the policy divide between lawmakers and stakeholders on the main sticking point: how to decide rates for out-of-network providers."

AISHealth

CPAs Need to Consider Health Care Pricing Rules

"Health care costs in the United States are usually shrouded in mystery for consumers, who often have little idea what charges are coming for care and few ways to shop around to get the best deal. But new rules are designed to make health care pricing more transparent, and CPA financial planners could use that information to help clients make more informed decisions about their health care costs."

Journal of Accountancy

Why Employers Should Care About Their Employee Caregivers (PDF)

"Millions of people in the United States provide un-paid caregiving to their parents, siblings, children and others. A large percentage of those caregivers are employed full-time.... [M]ore than 80% of employees with caregiving responsibilities admitted that caregiving affects their pro- ductivity at work. This article provides insight on how caregiving affects the workplace and offers practical solutions for employers to consider."

Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS]

Benefits in General

Multiemployer Trustee Boards: Takeaways From a New Survey

"Significant expected turnover on multiemployer benefit fund trustee boards and the increasing complexity of serving as a trustee are among the key challenges faced by these boards. To address this changing landscape, trust funds are deploying a wide range of initiatives to recruit, select and retain the next generation of trustees."

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Press Releases

Upcoming Events About Health & Welfare Plans

Feb. 19
Webcast
Employee Assistance Programs
Lorman Education Services
Fee is required
Feb. 19
Webcast
10 Steps Employers Should Follow When Faced With Requests for Leave or Accommodation
Wagner Law Group P.C.
Feb. 20
Webcast
HSA to Z: The Ins and Outs of the Health Savings Account
workforce.com
Feb. 20
Georgia
Demystifying Pharmacy
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Atlanta Chapter
Fee is required
Feb. 20
Ohio
Roundtable Discussion on Innovative Uses of Health Savings Accounts
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Greater Cincinnati Chapter
Feb. 25
Webcast
Reference-Based Pricing "Myths and Realities"
ISCEBS - Pacific NW Chapter
Feb. 25
Texas
Employer's New Perk: Help Repaying Student Loan Debt
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter
Fee is required

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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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