Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 13, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Extends Transitional Relief for 2020 ACA Reporting

"Because individuals no longer need information about their health coverage to determine their liability for the individual mandate penalty, the IRS has extended the limited reporting relief announced last year with respect to the requirement to provide a Form 1095-B and the requirement of an 'applicable large employer' to provide a Form 1095-C to a participant who is not a full-time employee for any month of that year. To qualify for this transition relief, the reporting entity must post a notice on its website regarding the availability of the Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C upon request." Icon to read more

Kilpatrick Townsend

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[Guidance Overview]

ACA and HIPAA Excepted Benefits

"Most employer-sponsored dental, vision, health FSA, and EAP plans are excepted benefits that are not subject to certain ACA and HIPAA requirements.... Examples of ACA market reform provisions not applicable to excepted benefits ... Examples of HIPAA portability provisions not applicable to excepted benefits ... [1] Dental plan ... [2] Vision plan ... [3] Health FSA ... [4] EAP." Icon to read more

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

[Guidance Overview]

New California Law Expands Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Requirements

"AB 1867 ... expands California's supplemental paid sick leave requirement to all private employers with 500 or more employees in the United States, and public and private employers of health care providers or emergency responders who were previously excluded from federal emergency paid sick leave requirements.... This provision went into effect on September 19, 2020. It is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020, or upon the expiration of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, whichever is later. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020, although this may be extended as the new year approaches." Icon to read more

Vedder Price

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Delays ACA Reporting Deadline

"Notice 2020-76 does not extend the due date for filing forms with the IRS for 2020. The due date for filing the Forms 1095-B and C with the IRS remains March 1, 2021 (as February 28, 2021 falls on a Sunday), or March 31, 2021, if filing electronically. In addition, this Notice does not address the various state filing requirements to comply with individual mandate laws in those states." Icon to read more

Burnham Benefits

What Will Healthcare Plans Face After the Pandemic? (PDF)

"Employers can help drive the focus back to preventive care and take charge in ensuring chronic conditions are being managed to avoid the inevitable catastrophic healthcare consequences that could follow without intervention.... By focusing on members where intervention can yield a change in future cost, utilization, and outcomes employers may be able to reduce future costs for high-cost claimants. To help close the gaps in screening and avert further unmanaged care consequences, employers should consider [ten action steps]." Icon to read more

Buck

2021 Medical Plan Cost Trends Similar to Pre-COVID-19 Levels

"2020 reductions in health plan costs as a result of pandemic-related suspension of non-essential care more than offset the cost to test and treat patients for COVID-19. Survey respondents project per-person cost trends for open-access PPO/POS plans to be 7.7 percent for 2021. The trend for outpatient prescription drugs is expected to be 7.3 percent for 2021. Double-digit specialty Rx cost trend, mostly driven by price increases and new specialty drugs, continues to be a challenge for plan sponsors." Icon to read more

Segal

2021 Report: Global Medical Trend Rates

39 pages. "At a global level, [Aon is] expecting a lower average Medical Trend Rate in 2021 relative to 2020 reported projections, following the expected global decrease in general inflation. With the exception of North America, the decrease will be echoed through all the regions, particularly in the Latin American & Caribbean region, where net trend is also expected to reduce.... [C]ontrary to the rest of the regions, North America reported a slight increase in the Medical Trend Rates. For both Canada and the US, and despite the lower general inflation expectations, we are anticipating Medical Trend Rates to increase for 2021 relative to 2020 reported projections." Icon to read more

Aon

Critical Illness, Disability Insurance Top of Mind During Open Enrollment

"Employers are also making sure they provide employees with tools and calculators to help them determine the right amount of coverage for themselves and their families ... Now is also an excellent time for employers to educate people about the benefits of a health savings account (HSA), its triple tax advantages and how helpful it can be to cover medical expenses in retirement[.]Icon to read more

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Some Insurers End Broad Telehealth Cost-Sharing Waivers

"For its members in fully insured commercial plans, Aetna will continue waiving cost sharing for virtual and in-person coronavirus-related diagnosis and treatment through Dec. 31. But its previous policy of waiving fees for all types of telehealth visits ended as of June 4... For members of Anthem's individual market or fully insured employer plans, waived cost sharing for non-coronavirus-related telehealth ended Sept. 30.... UnitedHealthcare says ... that for its individual and fully insured group health plan members, 'there is $0 cost-share for non-COVID-19 related telehealth visits with network providers through Sept. 30, 2020. After that date, members will be responsible for any copay, coinsurance and deductible, according to their benefits plan.' " Icon to read more

AISHealth

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

ACA Numbers and Limits 2014-2021 (PDF)
Kaufman & Canoles, P.C.

View COVID-19 News and Resources

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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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