Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 2, 2020

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Editor's Pick Supreme Court Grants ACA Petitions

"The justices announced today that they had granted two petitions involving the ACA -- one by California and a group of states, the other by Texas and a different group of states -- asking the Supreme Court to review a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that struck down the mandate.... The two petitions will be consolidated for one hour of oral argument. The oral argument will likely be scheduled for October of this year, in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, although the justices almost certainly will not issue their ruling until after the election -- and probably even the inauguration." [California v. Texas, No. 19-840; Texas v. California, No. 19-1019 (cert. pet. granted Mar. 2, 2020)]

SCOTUSblog

Editor's Pick Annual Report of ABA Subcommittee on the FMLA: 2019 Court Cases (PDF)

This 171-page report describes, and organizes by topic in detail, approximately 250 FMLA decisions of federal and state courts from November 1, 2018 through October 31, 2019.

American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Committee on Federal Labor Standards Legislation, Subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act

Expanding Workplace Wellness to Mental Health

"[I]deas include offering on-site stress management exercises, posting information to inform employees of suicide prevention and other resources, bringing in speakers to discuss stress in the workplace, offering adequate time off and flexible scheduling, and designating areas in the office that are designed for employees to decompress ... [A] focus on mental health should be infused throughout the entire organization, and championed by leaders."

BizTimes

Public Concerns and Experience with Surprise Medical Bills

"About two-thirds of Americans say they are either 'very worried' (35%) or 'somewhat worried' (30%) about being able to afford unexpected medical bills.... About half of insured adults say they worry about being able to afford their health insurance deductible (49%) and four in ten (40%) worry about being able to afford their premiums. More than four in ten adults overall worry about affording prescription drug costs (45%)."

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Push Telehealth to the Tipping Point?

"[Telehealth can be] an effective first step to managing the virus because it prevents both infected patients and people with other health issues that can be treated via telehealth from congregating in healthcare facilities where the virus could be contracted or passed on. However, it's important to ensure your vendor doesn't over-promise and under-deliver and to make sure they have the proper protocol for handling a virus like this. If you are confident in the vendor/carrier system, there will never be a better time to communicate its availability to your employees."

Mercer

Apps Can Help Employees with Health Care

"Nearly half of U.S. workers (48 percent) surveyed said they would have more confidence in digital health tools, such as apps to locate a doctor, if they were offered by their employer. Twenty-six percent said they would be more likely to stay with an employer that offered digital health tools."

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

Sign Me Up, or Not for Me? Workforce Digital Health Personas

"[W]orkers can be divided into four distinct segments.... [1] 'Sign Me Up' workers make up more than a third of U.S. workers.... [2] The 'Impress Me' segment accounts for slightly less than one in five workers in the U.S. and nearly half are Millennials.... [3] Those in the 'Get Me Comfortable' category make up four out of 10 U.S. workers.... [5] 'Not for Me' consists of older tech skeptics, weighted towards Gen Xers and Baby Boomers; they make up only 5% of the U.S. sample."

Mercer

Physician Opinions on Healthcare Issues

"74% said they believe the law will remain in place despite recent court rulings ... a jump from the 60% of respondents in 2019 who believed the country would retain the ACA.... The majority of respondents predict no change at all occurring in U.S. healthcare in 2020. Nearly 30% predict rising drug prices in 2020 ... 55% of physicians advocated for pharmaceutical companies to spend less on marketing, including direct-to-consumer advertising, as a way to reduce costs.... Only 4% expect greater transparency in pricing in the coming year."

FierceHealthcare

[Opinion]

American Benefits Council Comment Letter to HHS on Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2021

"[T]he Council supports the department's modification of the regulations ... to allow, but not require, group health plans and issuers to count the enrollee's cost-sharing portion associated with the value of drug manufacturers' coupons toward the annual limitation on cost sharing.... [T]he Council is supportive of federal policies and rules that support and enhance value-based insurance design."

American Benefits Council

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

12/31/2019 Deferrals Were Remitted Late -- Use 2019 Version of Form 5530? Or 2020 Version?

"We have a company that did not remit its 12/31/2019 deferrals on time. Using the 7-business day rule, they were due 1/10/20. So do I use a 2020 Form 5330? Can I use a 2019 form? They had 2 other late payrolls during the middle of 2019, so I'm filing a 2019 form anyway."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

AES International is Certified for Fiduciary Excellence
Centre for Fiduciary Excellence [CEFEX]

ProCourse Acquires Valeo’s Qualified Plan Practice
ProCourse Fiduciary Advisors, LLC

Upcoming Events About Health & Welfare Plans

Mar. 4
Texas
IRA and HSA Seminar
Ascensus
Mar. 4
District of Columbia
Healthcare Coverage and Costs: Assessing Medicare-Based Approaches
National Academy of Social Insurance [NASI]
Mar. 4
Ohio
What To Do When Culture Sucks
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Greater Cincinnati Chapter
Mar. 5
Maryland
Integrated Healthcare Delivery, Data Analytics, and Coordinated Care - Reducing the Cost of Care with Kaiser Permanente
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Baltimore Chapter

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@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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