Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 22, 2020

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View COVID-19 News and Resources

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Sets Dollar Limits for Individual-Mandate Coverage (PDF)

"For 2021 plan years, [Administrative Information Bulletin 05-20] sets the maximum [deductibles for Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC)] as $2,700 for individual coverage, and $5,400 for family coverage. If the plan has a separate prescription drug deductible, the individual/family amounts for 2021 can't exceed $330/$660. The overall maximum deductible applies."

Mercer

Supreme Court Holds Employers Cannot Discriminate Against LGBTQ Employees: Are Your Employee Benefit Plans Up to Snuff?

"The Final Regs [under ACA Section 1557] are not directly impacted by the Court's ruling in Bostock. Nevertheless, it is likely they will be challenged citing Bostock as evidence that HHS wrongly concluded that 'sex' for purposes of Section 1557 does not include sexual orientation or gender identity." [Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., No. 17-1618 (S. Ct. June 15, 2020)]

Snell & Wilmer

2021 Health Insurance Premiums: What to Expect

"Rate changes in 2021 are likely to be driven by factors including shifts in insurance enrollment. In the individual market, there's likely to be an influx of people who lost their employer-sponsored coverage. But others may exit due to lack of affordability, or may become eligible for Medicaid."

Treasury & Risk; free registration required

Wellness Programs Show Modest Benefits, as Employer Efforts Pivot to 'Well-Being'

"Workplace wellness programs only modestly affect participating employees' health and health care use, a two-year study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found. While the results have bolstered wellness program critics, others say that wellness initiatives can improve employee engagement and productivity, especially when programs address broader 'well-being' issues such as stress management and debt reduction."

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

What Employers Should Know about ACA Shared Responsibility Payments

"[A recent] TIGTA report shows a wide gap between the ACA shared responsibility payment amounts the IRS initially predicted would be assessed in 2015 and 2016 (approximately $17 billion) and the actual amounts assessed once employers were given a chance to contest the proposed amounts ($749 million). The TIGTA also estimates that longer term revenue from these payments will fall very short of the amount estimated by Congress. For the 10-year period starting with fiscal year 2016, the Joint Committee on Taxation's earlier projection was that the shared responsibility payments would generate revenue of $167 billion. Using the actual assessment rates, the TIGTA's projection for this same period is approximately $8 billion. The TIGTA's report also identified areas where IRS procedural issues or improper employer reporting resulted in an inaccurate initial calculation."

Proskauer

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Key Compliance Deadlines and Reminders for Third Quarter 2020

"[In this article] you'll find various filings due in the coming summer months that may or may not be applicable based on your plan's characteristics. Of specific note is the July 15 extended deadline for filing Form 5500, for plans with original or extended Form 5500 deadlines falling between April 1 and July 15, 2020. The deadline to provide the associated Summary Annual Report has also been extended."

Lockton

Most Employers Don't Have Formal Work from Home Policies

"In spite of the record number of employees now working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most employers (70%) do not have a formal policy for their workforce who are required to work from home (versus voluntary request).... Only 25% of employers ... offer monetary allowances to purchase equipment or supplies for employees permanently working from home.... Employers ... offered reimbursement or an allowance for equipment including laptop (66%), monitor (43%), cell phone (40%) and a printer (15%).

Midwest Business Group on Health

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

EEOC Will Advance New Wellness Regs
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

Text of DOL Proposed Updates to 2020 MHPAEA Self-Compliance Tool; Request for Comments (PDF)
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

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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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