Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 8, 2020

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Webcasts, Conferences

The Caregiving Crisis: COVID-19’s Impact on Working Parents and Employer Support Programs
October 22, 2020 WEBCAST
Disability Management Employer Coalition [DMEC]

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
October 22, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

2020 Top 10 HSA Issues
November 5, 2020 WEBCAST
Ascensus

Ready or Not, Here It Comes! Massachusetts PFML
November 5, 2020 WEBCAST
Disability Management Employer Coalition [DMEC]

FMLA Certifications – A Step-by-Step Guide
November 12, 2020 WEBCAST
Disability Management Employer Coalition [DMEC]

►See All 79 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See All 1627 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Extends Deadline for 2020 Employer ACA Disclosures

"Last year, in Notice 2019-63, the IRS asked for comments on whether an extension of the January 31 deadline for furnishing forms would be necessary for future years. Notice 2020-76 states that the IRS received very few comments. The IRS again requested comments and stated that if no comments are submitted, the relief will not be granted in future years. The comment deadline is February 1, 2021." Icon to read more

Buck

Supreme Court Oral Argument: No Clear Consensus on States’ Authority to Regulate Prescription-Drug Middlemen

"[T]he argument doesn't tell us much about how the justices will decide this case, in part because of the lack of a shared conceptual framework about how to analyze the text of ERISA. The justices did seem particularly dubious, though, of the Arkansas statute's procedural rules about the timing of appeals, updating of lists and the like. We might see a relatively splintered court, looking once again for a clear and reliable method of assessing the reach of ERISA's preemption." [Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Mgmt. Assoc., Nos. 17-1609 and 17-1629 (8th Cir. Jun. 8, 2018; oral arg. Oct. 6, 2020)] Icon to read more

SCOTUSblog

HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Determination Affecting Group Health Plans

"HHS has renewed its determination that a public health emergency exists nationwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, effective October 23, 2020.... The [FFCRA] and [CARES Act] require group health plans to cover -- without cost-sharing, preauthorization, or other medical management requirements -- certain COVID-19-related diagnostic and preventive health services." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Consumers Don't Understand How Health Insurance Covers Virus

"47% of consumers surveyed say they don't understand what their health insurance plans will pay for when it comes to coronavirus testing and treatment. And of the respondents who have been tested or treated for coronavirus, 34% of them say they received a bill that they expected their health insurance to cover." Icon to read more

InsuranceNewsNet.com

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconWhat is a Typical Open Enrollment Period?

"More than nine in ten (95%) responding organizations have an open enrollment period.... More than three in four (77%) responding organizations begin their open enrollment periods in either October (34%) or November (43%).... More than one-half (52%) of responding organizations have an open enrollment period that lasts two weeks.... About three in four (75%) respondents have their workers make open enrollment changes online/virtually, while 12% give their workers the choice between making changes online/virtually or using hard copy documents." Icon to read more

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

[Sponsored]

2021 Onsite Employee Health Clinics Summit (January 28-29, 2021; Scottsdale, AZ)

The Leading Forum on Building & Expanding On-Site Health Clinics – Incorporating Strategies that Reduce Costs, Ensure Employee Satisfaction and Positively Impact Patient Behavior! Register now at 2021onsitehealth.com Learn more

Sponsored by World Conference Forum


2020 Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits Survey

"In 2020, the average annual premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance are $7,470 for single coverage and $21,342 for family coverage. The average single premium increased 4% and the average family premium increased 4% over the past year. Workers' wages increased 3.4% and inflation increased 2.1%. The average premium for family coverage has increased 22% over the last five years and 55% over the last ten years." [Also available: graphing tool which allows users to look at changes in premiums and worker contributions over time for covered workers at different types of firms.] Icon to read more

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Many Have Lost Jobs with Employer Coverage During the Pandemic?

"[Of] workers who had lost jobs with [employer-sponsored insurance (ESI)] during the pandemic, more than half had been temporarily laid off or furloughed and still had ESI through the employer.... By August, the number of temporarily laid-off workers had fallen to 6.2 million ... [but] the number of permanently laid-off workers increased from 2.6 million to 4.1 million ... Although improvements in the labor market since April have been good news for many laid-off workers, a large minority has already lost or remains at risk of losing ESI." Icon to read more

The Commonwealth Fund

Tracking the Uninsured Rate in 2019 and 2020

"Federal data shows that the uninsured rate has been rising since 2016 and rose again in 2019. New analyses of the uninsured population in 2019 show that consumers were struggling with coverage affordability even before the COVID-19 pandemic. And recent surveys and media reports suggest a deepening affordability crisis in 2020 as millions have been laid off from work or lost income." Icon to read more

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Blog

[Opinion]

Payer Coverage to Be Fundamentally Changed by COVID-19 (PDF)

"Payers are experiencing short-term cash windfalls as a result of record-low claims expenses. But, are they preparing for the coming economic recession that will undoubtedly negatively impact health plan revenue through a shifting mix of membership? Health plans should use this crisis to think strategically, not only about their current products and sources of revenue, but about new insurance products and market niches." Icon to read more

Alvarez & Marsal

Benefits in General

How to Design Benefits and Rewards for What Your Employees Need Now

"Expand your definition of benefits ... Allow for flexibility and choice ... Prepare to meet people where they are ... Decide what options are no longer relevant and how to pay the right price for the rest ... Be up front about how rewards are linked to the state of the business ... Help employees use their benefits." Icon to read more

PwC

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

► It's easy to sign up and participate in discussions! Post answers, ask questions, create custom feeds and views. Join your peers (and potential referral sources or customers)—there is no charge.

CARES Act Provision on Mid-Year Change in Insurance Premiums -- Applies to Vision and Dental?

"Does the CARES act provision for changing health insurance coverage mid-year apply to vision or dental insurance? In other words, in a premium-only plan, are these coverages considered 'health coverage' for this purpose, or does the revocation of existing health health coverage or electing to now be covered, only apply to 'health insurance?' " Icon to read more

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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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