Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 6, 2020

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Webcasts, Conferences

It's Not You, It's Healthcare: What's Next for Access & Employee Education
March 12, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefit Adviser

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
March 25, 2020 in NV
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Intermittent FMLA Leave: Curbing Abuse
March 31, 2020 WEBCAST
Business Watch Network

Update on MA Paid Family and Medical Leave
April 16, 2020 in MA
New England Employee Benefits Council [NEEBC]

►See 135 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

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Discussions

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[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Proposed Price Transparency Rules for Health Care Plans: What Employers Need to Know About Required Disclosures

"The information required to be disclosed falls into seven categories. [1] Estimated cost-sharing liability ... [2] Accumulated amounts ... [3] Negotiated rates ... [4] Out-of-network allowed amount ... [5] Items and services content list ... [6] Notice of prerequisites to coverage ... [7] Disclosure notice ... Methods for disclosing cost-sharing liability ... Delegation of cost-sharing disclosure duties for insured plans."

Thompson Coburn LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

"Beginning January 1, 2020, a qualified employee is entitled to a maximum combined amount of leave of up to 16 weeks per year ... For the period beginning January 1, 2019 and ending December 31, 2020, the total premium rate for the program is 0.4% of an employee's gross wages, with the employer paying 36.67% and the employee paying 63.33%.... Small employers who employ fewer than 50 employees can opt out."

CBIZ

Reference-Based Pricing and Its Compliance Considerations

"Instead of using a traditional network-based provider model, when a plan adopts RBP, they use a benchmark rate to set the price of health care.... Employers considering reference-based pricing need to think about maximum out-of-pocket limits.... [T]he plan also must demonstrate that participants have adequate access to quality providers at the reference price by meeting [certain] criteria ... Employers need to make sure their plan documents reflect reference-based pricing."

MZQ Consulting, LLC

EEOC Reminds Employers of Pandemic Guidance as Coronavirus Threat Grows

"Although the EEOC assured employers that the ADA and Rehabilitation Act do not interfere with or prevent employers from following guidelines and recommendations for navigating the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace, the EEOC reminded employers of its 2009 guidance document addressing steps employers should take to avoid violating federal disability laws before, during, and after a pandemic."

Franczek P.C.

North American Companies Take Steps to Protect Employees from Coronavirus

"[I]nitiatives include launching employee communication campaigns, expanding the number of employees working remotely, and restricting travel to and from countries deemed to be high risk."

Willis Towers Watson

COVID-19 and Paid Leave: Scenarios to Plan For

"There will be situations where an employee either has yet to be diagnosed or has no reason to believe they're at risk for COVID-19 but are unable to work. The employee may be quarantined by local authorities or by their employer.... [M]ost disability policies will not cover absences of this type.... [I]nstead of being for a fixed duration, the duration of emergency leave in response to COVID-19 may be approved by the employer in weekly increments and on a location-specific basis."

Mercer

Questions at the Intersection of Coronavirus, HIPAA and ERISA

"[I]ssues and considerations plan sponsors and administrators should keep in mind as the coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate.... [1] HIPAA privacy and security: Non-HIPAA medical inquiries.... Health plan disclosures to public health entities.... HIPAA policies -- remote work planning.... [2] Health Plan Coverage: TPA emergency coverage contingencies.... Medical air-evacuations.... What about those surgical masks? ... [3] Disability/leave policies: Will quarantine-related leaves be covered?"

Seyfarth

New Emergency Paid Sick Days Legislation Introduced in House and Senate

"Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) ... and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) ... introduced new, emergency paid sick leave legislation, building off the Healthy Families Act (HFA), to provide paid sick days immediately to workers in light of the coronavirus crisis, and in preparation for future public health emergencies. This emergency paid sick days legislation requires all employers to allow workers to accrue seven days of paid sick leave and to provide an additional 14 days available immediately in the event of any public health emergency, including the current coronavirus crisis."

Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, U.S. Senate

[Opinion]

What to Expect from the New Hospital Price Transparency Rule

"[1] Prices for some hospital services will become more competitive.... [2] Prices will increase for other hospital services.... [3] Some regions may see higher prices overall.... [4] The new dynamics of negotiation will accelerate consolidation.... [5] Some rural and safety-net hospitals will not be able to survive.... [6] Adoption of new technology will slow unless it has a very strong value proposition.... [7] Payers will experiment with new benefit designs and reimbursement models.... [8] Price transparency will add a new dimension to antitrust compliance.... [9] The rule will not affect the majority of consumers, who are insulated from the true cost of health care.... [10] The rule could complicate efforts to advance value-based payment."

Health Affairs

Benefits in General

IRS 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan, Second Quarter Update (PDF)

31 pages, updated Mar. 6, 2020. Employee benefits items begin on page 13.

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Imputed Income for Life Insurance Coverage in Excess of $50,000?

"Are we required to calculate imputed income if we offer life insurance over $50,000?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Upcoming Events About Health & Welfare Plans

Mar. 10
District of Columbia
Free
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
Webcast
Free
Taken By Surprise: State Approaches to Surprise Medical Billing
National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL]
Mar. 10
Webcast
Free
Litigation Lessons and Minimizing Risks
Trucker Huss
Mar. 11
Webcast
Free
Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 1
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor
Mar. 12
Webcast
Free
It's Not You, It's Healthcare: What's Next for Access & Employee Education
Employee Benefit Adviser
Mar. 12
Webcast
Free
Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement and Health Plan Sponsors - Day 2
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor
Mar. 12
Ohio
Annual Legal & Regulatory Update
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Northeast Ohio Chapter

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

IRS Publication 5137: Fringe Benefit Guide (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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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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