Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 4, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

New Hampshire Targets Rx Costs, Joins Other States to Add Insulin Cap

"A comprehensive New Hampshire law sets price limits for insulin, requires coverage for certain prescription drugs, establishes a prescription drug affordability board to set pricing targets for public sector plans, creates a 'competitive prescription drug marketplace,' and authorizes a wholesale importation program to purchase prescription drugs from Canada, subject to federal approval." Icon to read more

Mercer

BLS Factsheet: High Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts

"While household healthcare insurance expenditures nearly doubled between 2010 ($1,831) and 2018 ($3,405), employer healthcare costs increased by 22.3 percent. This factsheet highlights High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) estimates for private industry workers from the National Compensation Survey (NCS)." Icon to read more

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]

How Should Employers Think About Resetting Health Benefits Post-Pandemic?

"[U]nit cost pressure ... utilization pressure ... [and] the rapid expansion in digital health ... point to the emergence of a stronger seller's market in health care, even more than before COVID-19. That's if employers and others representing the payers' and patients' interests fail to act. So what can we do to prepare in anticipation of a potential spike in both unit cost and utilization in the coming years?" Icon to read more

Willis Towers Watson

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Private Letter Ruling Allows Employees to Choose Between Future 401(a) Plan Contributions and Future HRA Contributions

"Recognizing that there are distinct advantages of both HRAs and 401(a) plans, it is often difficult for public employers and their union bargaining partners to settle on the right 'mix' of the plans and benefits. The new IRS private letter ruling specifically gives individual employees the ability to choose the amounts of future employer contributions to an HRA or to a 401(a) plan." Icon to read more

Best Best & Krieger LLP

A 'Vaccine' for COVID-19 ERISA Litigation

"[An] employer-sponsored retirement plan ... is likely to suffer from market volatility.... [E]mployer-sponsored health and welfare plans will see upticks in claims issues ... and coverage (or no coverage) for novel treatments is sure to generate litigation.... Practice the 'Three Ds' = Deliberate, Decide, and Document.... Communicate responsibly with participants.... Review the distribution terms of your plans and stay in contact with your record keeper." Icon to read more

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP

Compensation Impacts of COVID-19

"Designing, implementing and analyzing compensation strategies as a part of an employer's total rewards strategy requires agility and stamina. Most importantly, organizations must utilize strong data to back a thorough understanding of what it takes today and will take in the future to balance business needs with the ability to attract, retain and reward employees using every total rewards tool, including compensation." Icon to read more

Findley

When and How to Negotiate Benefits with Workers and Job Seekers

"[A]lmost 60 percent of workers said it was either extremely or very important for an employer to be open to benefits negotiations.... Although the Paychex survey found that 401(k) matching or discretionary contributions are the most desired benefit (cited by 75 percent of respondents), employers must tread carefully when considering these requests so that they do not run afoul of IRS nondiscrimination requirements. Similarly, the 47 percent of surveyed workers who requested subsidized insurance premiums may not realize that employers face a thicket of tax, legal and regulatory issues if they give some employees, and not others, certain health benefits." Icon to read more

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

Press Releases

OneDigital Acquires DS Benefits Group
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

New 'Care Compare' from CMS Empowers Patients when Making Important Health Care Decisions
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

View COVID-19 News and Resources

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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

Article submission: Online form, or email to news.editor@benefitslink.com

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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