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Job Openings

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Alerus Financial
Arden Hills MN / Albert Lea MN / Troy MI / East Lansing MI / Bedford NH

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AssuredPartners Northeast, LLC
White Plains NY

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TD Ameritrade
Denver CO

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Nova 401(k) Associates
Houston TX / Telecommute

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Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]
Atlanta GA / Telecommute

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Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]
Washington DC / Telecommute

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Webcasts, Conferences

Taken By Surprise: State Approaches to Surprise Medical Billing
March 10, 2020 WEBCAST
National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL]

Regional Benefits Forum
April 3, 2020 in SC
Southeast Benefits Education Network [SBEN]

►See 133 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1468 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

It's Time for Health and Welfare Spring Cleaning!

"[1] CA's individual mandate replaces the ACA individual mandate for CA taxpayers ... [2] California expands its definition of domestic partner ... [3] Cadillac tax repealed ... [4] PCORI fees: it's not just your clock that springs forward  ... [5] For employers who took advantage of the employer credit for paid family and medical leave ... it has been extended to 2020."

Trucker Huss

[Guidance Overview]

Thought You Were in the Clear for 2015 Shared Responsibility Penalties?

"The current common law on whether a return has been filed sufficient to start the statute of limitations period is a three prong test, with one of the prongs being that there must be sufficient data to calculate tax liability on the filing. The IRS stated in [Chief Counsel Memorandum 20200801F] that the Forms 1094 and 1095 do not contain sufficient data to calculate the employer shared responsibility tax."


[Guidance Overview]

Amid Coronavirus Concerns, Don't Forget HIPAA Privacy Rules

"A recent bulletin from [HHS] clarified the application of HIPAA's privacy rules, including their exception for public health-related disclosures, in the Coronavirus context. 'The protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency,' but the rule still allows protected health information (PHI) to be used and disclosed 'when necessary to treat a patient, to protect the nation's public health, and for other critical purposes,' HHS's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) explained."

HR Daily Advisor

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick IRS Publication 5137: Fringe Benefit Guide (PDF)

67 pages; rev. Feb. 2020. "This publication covers: [1] How to determine whether specific types of benefits or compensation are taxable. [2] Procedures for computing the taxable value of fringe benefits. [3] Rules for withholding federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes from taxable fringe benefits. [4] Reporting of the taxable value of fringe benefits on Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income. [5] How to contact the IRS with questions on taxation and reporting requirements."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Waive Fees for Coronavirus Tests and Treatment, Health Experts Urge

"New York is among the first states in the country to waive some fees and expenses for people who undergo testing for the coronavirus, as public health officials are increasingly worried that medical bills will discourage the poor and uninsured from getting medical care. The federal government is also considering paying for care for those affected, possibly based on funds available through federal disaster relief programs."

The New York Times; subscription may be required

Weak Payment Reform Limits Impact of ACA Primary Care Initiatives

"Seven primary care initiatives under the [ACA] generated disappointing or mixed results for healthcare spending, hospitalizations, and quality. For most of the initiatives, there was either no effect on spending or relatively small increases in spending. For participants in ACA primary care initiatives, keys to success include buy-in among clinicians and other staff at practices."

HealthLeaders Media

Paid Family and Medical Leave Gains Momentum

"[An] increasing number of Americans have access to paid leave and short-term disability -- as many as 40 percent of families. But advocates argue that with no federal protections the 19 percent of civilian (non-government) workers with access to paid leave through their employer remain vulnerable to having that benefit reduced or eliminated in bad economic times. With federal action still stalled, a debate has emerged about how best to advance paid leave."

Steven Findlay, in Health Affairs

Employers in Colorado Band Together to Directly Negotiate Rates and Lower Costs for Health Care Consumers

"The Center for Improving Value in Health Care ... highlights how Colorado is trying change the way employers purchase, and consumers shop for health care."


Press Releases

Upcoming Events About Health & Welfare Plans

Mar. 5
Integrated Healthcare Delivery, Data Analytics, and Coordinated Care - Reducing the Cost of Care with Kaiser Permanente
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Baltimore Chapter
Mar. 10
District of Columbia
How to Lower Health Care Costs: Competition, Regulation, and Administrative Expenses
Brookings Institution
Mar. 10
District of Columbia
Affordable Care Act Turns 10
Health Affairs
Mar. 10
Taken By Surprise: State Approaches to Surprise Medical Billing
National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL]
Mar. 10
Litigation Lessons and Minimizing Risks
Trucker Huss
Mar. 11
Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 1
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue, Inc.
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Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020, 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, 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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