Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 20, 2020

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2020 U.S. Organ and Tissue Transplants: Cost Estimates, Discussion, and Emerging Issues

24 pages. "2020 [per member per month (PMPM)] costs based on billed charges [are estimated] to be $11.22 and $16.48 for the under-65 and 65-and-over populations by age, respectively. These PMPM costs reflect average annual increases of 11.0% and 10.5%.... Average waiting times increased for a number of transplants ... with heart and intestine transplant waiting times increasing by 22 and 43 days, respectively.... [This report also highlights] emerging innovations and issues to consider related to organ viability and organ availability and policy."

Milliman

[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


Important 2020 Wellness Trends

"[1] The whole-person approach ... [2] Financial wellness ... [3] Personalization ... [4] Mental health ... [5] Platforms ... [6] Data security and privacy."

selfhelpworks

For Municipal Employers: Making Sense of Your Retiree Health 'Savings' Plan

"Several municipal clients adopted retiree health savings plans or post-employment health plans... [which] are not always fully explained when they are proposed ... as powerful tax-saving programs.... [T]hese arrangements are all variations of the retiree health reimbursement arrangement, known as RHRA ... [and] may only be funded with employer-paid contributions. They may not be funded with employee contributions ... These arrangements are not any form of HSAs."

Best Best & Krieger LLP

Public-Sector Employers Have Incentive to Keep Retiree Benefits Viable

"Roughly half of public-sector employees surveyed (46%) are worried that the health care benefits they were promised in retirement will evaporate when they need them most ... 78% of Millennials working in state and local government said their health care benefits is one reason they chose a position in the public sector. And if those benefits were cut, 77% say they would be more likely to leave their jobs."

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Evolving Public Opinion About the ACA, 2010-2019

"[W]hile the ACA is now more popular than ever, opinions remain divided, and partisan divisions have gotten larger rather than smaller over time ... [B]etween 2016 and 2019, the share of people who felt that the ACA had helped them and their family increased from 18 percent to 23 percent, while the share who felt that the ACA had hurt them and their family decreased from 29 percent to 23 percent."

Health Affairs

State Health Care Snapshots

"To understand the health care landscape in which the 2020 election policy debates will unfold, these state health care snapshots provide data across a variety of health policy subjects, including health care costs, health coverage -- Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance -- and the uninsured, women's health, health status, and access to care. They also describe each state's political environment."

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Study: To Save on Health Care, Americans Will Make Major Lifestyle Changes

"Nearly 1 in 4 Americans (24%) would work with an artificial intelligence-based technology if it lowered the cost of their health care.... Significant percentages of Americans are willing to make profound lifestyle choices in exchange for lower insurance rates. For example, one-third of Americans would agree to 24/7 personal monitoring by insurance companies or health care professionals if their insurance rates were reduced."

USC News

[Opinion]

Addressing the Prescription Drug Affordability Crisis: A Golden Opportunity for State Lawmakers (PDF)

"Passing legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable requires the backing of a strong outside coalition that represents the voices of multiple stakeholders.... Key design features include: [1] Establish a price threshold to trigger review.... [2] Set an upper payment limit ... [3] Ensure upper payment limits apply across the state.... [4] Enable experts to guide the body, but ensure they do not have conflicts of interest."

Families USA

[Opinion]

How Healthcare Costs Hurt American Workers and Benefit the Wealthy

"Many employees think employer contributions -- the other 71% of the (average) $20,000 family policy -- are free to them. Yet they are not free to the firm, and they affect how much firms are prepared to pay in wages and how many workers they employ.... Americans like to believe that their system is a free-market one, in spite of the fact that the government is paying half of the cost, is paying the prices demanded by pharmaceutical companies without negotiation, is permitting professional associations to restrict supply, and is subsidizing employer-provided health care through the tax system."

TIME

[Opinion]

Why More Employers Are Not Hiring Smokers And What To Do About It

"[T]o solve the problem of hiring discrimination based on habits such as smoking, one key reform will be to eliminate the tax disparity between employer-provided health insurance and individually-purchased health insurance. This would restore a level playing field to the individual insurance market and would go a long way towards uncoupling health insurance from employment."

Paul Hsieh via Forbes

Press Releases

Upcoming Events About Health & Welfare Plans

Feb. 25
Webcast
Reference-Based Pricing "Myths and Realities"
ISCEBS - Pacific NW Chapter
Feb. 25
Webcast
Effectively Managing Pharmacy Benefits: 5 Must Haves
Midwest Business Group on Health
Feb. 25
Texas
Employer's New Perk: Help Repaying Student Loan Debt
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter
Fee is required
Feb. 26
Webcast
Cost Differences for Oncology Medicines Based on Site of Treatment
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]
Feb. 27
Alabama
Regional Benefits Forum
Southeast Benefits Education Network [SBEN]
Fee is required

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

2020 ACA Compliance Checklist
Benefit Revolution

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

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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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