Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 3, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality and Usefulness iconCompendium of State Regulatory Materials for Health Insurance Operations and Coverage Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)

15-page hyperlinked list of administrative materials, organized by jurisdiction, issued by state insurance departments to provide guidance to both the insurance industry and consumers relating to health insurance coverage and COVID-19. Icon to read more

Sidley Austin LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Extends Payroll Tax Exemption for Insured Plans Under Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

"Employers with an insured plan that currently have an exemption for the period beginning October 1, 2019, and ending September 30, 2020, have had their private plan exemptions extended through December 31, 2020. Because of this extension, applications for renewal of the exemption will not be accepted before November 30, 2020. There is no extension of the exemption for employers with self-insured plans, so their exemptions are still due to expire on September 30, 2020.Icon to read more

The Wagner Law Group

New 'Care Compare' from CMS Empowers Patients when Making Important Health Care Decisions

"Today, ... [CMS] launched Care Compare ... [which] provides a single user-friendly interface that patients and caregivers can use to make informed decisions about healthcare based on cost, quality of care, volume of services, and other data. With just one click, patients can find information that is easy to understand about doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care services instead of searching through multiple tools." Icon to read more

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Controlling the Rising Costs of Health Benefits

"The COVID-19 pandemic promises to constrain budgets while driving healthcare costs even higher.... [One analysis] projects that rising healthcare claims could drive benefits cost increases as high as 7 percent -- outpacing the 5 percent increase previously anticipated for the year.... [1] Create a culture of wellbeing ... [2] Help your people make better benefits decisions ... [3] Evaluate your programs with data ... [4] implement cost-saving strategies in your benefits program." Icon to read more

HealthEquity

Some COVID Cost-Sharing Waivers Would Expire Soon

"80% of enrollees in the individual and fully insured group insurance markets were in plans that voluntarily waived out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 at some point during the pandemic.... 20% of individual and fully insured group plan enrollees are in plans where a cost-sharing waiver for COVID-19 treatment has already expired, and another 16% are in plans where the waiver is scheduled to expire by the end of September." Icon to read more

AISHealth

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconOCR Cybersecurity Newsletter Highlights HIPAA Benefits of IT Asset Inventories

"The Summer 2020 OCR Cybersecurity Newsletter ... describes how the IT asset inventory can improve an organization's risk analysis through increased understanding of how electronic PHI is created and enters, flows through, and leaves the organization. The newsletter explains that it may also be beneficial for the inventory to include assets that do not store or process PHI since those assets may present a method for intrusion into IT systems." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

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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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