Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 22, 2020

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Flexible Benefits Systems Inc.
Telecommute / Cleveland OH

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[Guidance Overview]

ACA Employer Mandate 2021

"In preparing a pay or pay analysis for the 2021 renewal, begin to use the updated Section 4980H(a) and (b) penalties. Remember when setting premium contributions for a 2021 renewal, to use the newly set affordability percentage to calculate premium contributions. If offering an ICHRA, be sure to determine affordability based on primary residence or primary work location." Icon to read more

HUB International

[Guidance Overview]

Revised DOL Regs Necessitate Job-Specific Assessment by Health Care Providers for Potential FFCRA Leave Entitlement

"[A]ffected health care providers should immediately conduct a position-specific analysis of their employees ... to make a reasoned determination regarding whether their services are truly integral to the provision of patient care. Gray areas will likely include patient food service and EMR-related services.... Employers should take care to document their decision-making process in this regard before denying leave requests to such employees." Icon to read more

Nexsen Pruet

[Guidance Overview]

California's New Sick Leave Law Provides Supplemental Coverage for Employees Affected by COVID-19

"Employers outside the food sector are required to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (CSPSL) as of September 19, 2020 ... For food sector workers, the leave requirement is retroactive to April 16, 2020 ... The CSPSL provisions expire on December 31, 2020 or the expiration of the FFCRA (including any extension); whichever is later." Icon to read more

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

New California Leave Law Impacts All Companies with 5 or More Employees; and New COVID-19 Law for Large Employers

"The CFRA will apply to much smaller employers -- those with five or more employees (down from 50, or 20 employees for new parent leave).... [T]he new law eliminates the requirement that employees work within 75 miles of a worksite.... AB 1867 also immediately established supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave for private employers with 500 or more employees anywhere in the nation, as well as public and private employers of first responders and health care employees who opted out of the leave under the federal law." Icon to read more

Quarles & Brady LLP

Answers to Common Employee Open Enrollment Questions

"Most employers believe they offer clear benefits communications, but many overestimate their efforts. The truth is that 30% of employees do not think their company's benefits communications are easy to understand. When employees approach open enrollment informed and in a proactive nature, they can make choices that fit them better. [This article provides] a list of the most commonly asked employee questions [with answers]." Icon to read more

OneDigital Health and Benefits

Aflac Survey: Pandemic Has 49% of Employees Rethinking Benefits

"[N]early half (49%) of employees said the pandemic has been a wake-up call to invest more time researching and selecting the best coverage options for their situation. This represents a significant shift in employee behavior considering a vast majority of employees (92%) choose the same benefits year after year and on average spend 33 minutes on the task -- statistics that haven't changed meaningfully over the years of the survey." Icon to read more

InsuranceNewsNet.com

Neglecting Mental Health Screenings Leads to Catastrophic Disability Costs

"Though depression impacts 16.2 million Americans, ... only 1 in 10 people get the recommended screening for a diagnosis. Depression costs employers an estimated $44 billion each year in lost productivity ... Closing these screening gaps can be a major savings opportunity for employers, by preventing disability leaves in the most severe cases[.]" Icon to read more

Grooms Benefit Solutions

Hacker Group's Impermissible Access to ePHI Leads to $1.5 Million HIPAA Settlement

"HHS's investigation revealed that the CE failed to: [1] Prevent the unauthorized disclosure of electronic protected health information (ePHI) of more than 208,500 individuals. [2] Maintain copies of its HIPAA policies and procedures. [3] Implement certain technical safeguards. [4] Enter into business associate (BA) agreements with three of its BAs. [4] Provide HIPAA training to all workforce members. [5] Conduct an accurate and thorough risk analysis concerning the ePHI in its possession. [6] Implement sufficient security measures to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to the ePHI in its possession." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Benefits in General

Overpaying and Undersaving: Correlated Mistakes in Retirement Saving and Health Insurance Choices (PDF)

10 pages. "A large majority picks one of two more expensive plans, even when, for all possible spending realizations, lower costs are more likely in the cheapest plan. Employees who do not choose the low-cost plan overpay for health insurance by nearly $1,700 in expectation.... About one-third of employees forgo matching contributions, and a large majority saves below reasonable benchmarks.... People who spend too much on health insurance are 23% more likely to forgo matching contributions than are people who choose the low-cost plan." Icon to read more

TIAA Institute

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of EBSA Request for Nominations to Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans
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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