Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 12, 2020

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View COVID-19 News and Resources

[Guidance Overview]

2021 ACA Payment Notice: Implications for Employer-Sponsored Plans

"For 2021, the ACA out-of-pocket maximum (OOPM) limits will be $8,550 for self-only coverage and $17,100 for family coverage ... This is up about 4.9% from the 2020 limits of $8,150 and $16,300.... For 2021, HHS is giving plans the choice to count, or not count, drug manufacturer subsidies toward the OOPM if a medically-appropriate generic is available. However, any treatment must be consistent with state law.... Based on the number in the final rule, [the authors] predict that the 2021 employer mandate penalties will be $2,700 for the (a) penalty and $4,060 for the (b) penalty."

HUB International

[Guidance Overview]

How to Provide Employees Up to $5,250 in Nontaxable Student Loan Repayment Assistance This Year

"Under the [CARES] Act, employers can now make nontaxable payments of up to $5,250 to employees as student loan repayment assistance, but only if the payments are made by December 31, 2020, under an educational assistance program that meets the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 127. By utilizing such a program, both employers and employees will avoid federal payroll taxes on qualifying payments, and employees will save on federal income taxes that would otherwise apply."

Bradley

51 States and Territories File Suit Accusing 26 Drug Makers of Price Fixing on Generics

"Attorneys general from nearly every state are accusing 26 drug manufacturers of conspiring to raise prices on generic drugs used by millions of people.... [The] lawsuit ... names 10 executives at the companies as individual defendants accused of perpetrating the scheme. Between 2009 and 2016, the companies allegedly made secret agreements to drive down competition on generic drugs while simultaneously raising prices." [Connecticut v. Sandoz, Inc. No. 20-802 (D. Conn. 606-page complaint filed Jun. 10, 2020)]

The Hill

Out-of-Network Air Ambulance Bills: Prevalence, Magnitude, and Policy Solutions

"[The authors] found that less than one-quarter of air ambulance transports of commercially insured patients were in-network. Two-in-five transports resulted in a potential balance bill, averaging $19,851.... [I]n-network rates for transports by independent (non-hospital-based) carriers averaged $20,822, or 369% of the Medicare rate for the same service."

Milbank Memorial Fund

Bereavement Leave May Be the Next Mandated Employee Benefit in California

"[Assembly Bill 2999] would require an employee to be provided up to 10 business days of unpaid leave upon the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or domestic partner. Moreover, employers would be prohibited from interfering or restraining an employee from exercising their rights under the Act.... Employees would not have to take the 10 days consecutively but would be required to take the leave within three months of the family member's passing."

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Conquer COVID-19 Concerns for Benefits Enrollment Season

"[W]hat's most likely to change for your clients is how they communicate and enroll those benefits. The ideal solution may be using high-tech tools that still provide high (virtual) touch capabilities. A silver lining in the pandemic environment is the realization high-tech tools aren't separate capabilities to people, but rather something that can be packaged for a more cohesive, personalized enrollment strategy for your clients."

InsuranceNewsNet.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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