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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 2, 2023

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Section 139 Relief Period Scheduled to End: What Employers Need to Know

"With just over two months before the conclusion of the national emergency, employers that continue to provide assistance on the basis of Code Section 139 should ... [1] Coordinate with tax, human resources, and third-party fringe benefits service providers to determine how to adapt personal and living expense-related benefits offerings to a post-national emergency setting.... [2] Communicate forthcoming changes to affected employees ... so that employees have sufficient time to adapt to the changes in fringe benefits offerings, out-of-pocket cost, or net tax impact."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

Agencies Provide Guidance on Gag Clause Prohibition for Health Plan Agreements, Including Annual Attestation Requirement

"The gag clause prohibition took effect upon enactment of the CAA, 2021 in December 2020, so problematic provisions should already have been excised from agreements. In preparation for the first attestation deadline, plan sponsors and insurers should review the instructions and technical guidance -- and confirm that no prohibited provisions remain in their agreements."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Lilly Cuts Insulin Prices and Caps Patient Insulin Out-of-Pocket Costs

"Eli Lilly and Company ... announced price reductions of 70% for its most commonly prescribed insulins and an expansion of its Insulin Value Program that caps patient out-of-pocket costs at $35 or less per month. Lilly is taking these actions to make it easier to access Lilly insulin and help Americans who may have difficulty navigating a complex healthcare system that may keep them from getting affordable insulin."  MORE >>

Eli Lilly and Company

CRS in Focus: Selected Issues in Pharmaceutical Drug Pricing (PDF)

"Congress has repeatedly attempted to address high drug prices through legislation, including bills that seek to increase generic competition, lower prices for certain health care entities ... and regulate drug price negotiations through the Medicare program. Congress has also proposed to cap out-of-pocket Medicare costs, increase drug price transparency, permit more drug importation, and regulate pharmacy benefit managers. This In Focus reviews several issues affecting drug prices of potential interest to the 118th Congress." [IF12337 Mar. 1, 2023]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Affordability of Healthcare Is Not Enhanced When Providers Form Health Systems

"The efficiencies gained when providers operate as a health system don't always translate to care that is more cost-effective ... Paid prices were 31% higher if a hospital was part of a system ... while payments to system physicians ranged between 12% and 26% higher. The gap especially was pronounced for smaller practices."  MORE >>

Healthcare Financial Management Association [HFMA]; free registration required

States and Feds Signal Big Changes to Telehealth Prescribing

"In the era of abortion regulation and the wind-down of the COVID-19 public health emergency ... new legislation in states such as Utah may be a sign of what is to come for online and telehealth prescribing.... [O]ther states have turned their attention to online pharmacies and telehealth providers.... [R]apidly changing state laws must be read together with existing federal requirements and in the context of other types of guidance released by different federal enforcement agencies, all of which is also in a state of flux."  MORE >>

Health Law Advisor, Epstein Becker Green

Multiemployer Health and Welfare Fund Statistics: 2022 Report

"The average plan could pay for approximately one year and four months of benefits and expenses with its net assets, an increase of approximately two months of total expenses from last year. This is a larger increase than the prior two years' increases. Total income exceeded total expenses by 12.5%.... The average investment return was 10.5% in 2020, compared to 9.0% in 2019."  MORE >>


HHS Resumes Processing Some Surprise Medical Billing IDR Payment Determinations

"The CMS notice advises that disputing parties should continue to engage in all other aspects of the federal IDR process, including submitting fees and offers. The agencies are working to complete guidance and system updates to reflect the February 6th court order while simultaneously battling a backlog of disputes."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Benefits in General

How Employee Benefits Help Growing Businesses

"A record 43% of businesses classify themselves as 'growing.' These businesses are concerned with retaining talented employees and want to offer more employee and key employee benefits. Almost 80% of growing businesses say their benefit package improves the ability to recruit and retain employees. And 74% say it improves productivity."  MORE >>

Principal Financial Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Account Executive
            for U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners

Account Executive

U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners

Rockwall TX / Hybrid

View job as Account Executive for U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant DB/DC
            for Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.

Retirement Plan Consultant DB/DC

Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.

Remote / Huntington NY / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant DB/DC for Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.

View job as Senior Retirement Analyst
            for Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Senior Retirement Analyst

Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Remote / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Senior Retirement Analyst for Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

View job as Retirement Plan Specialist
            for Globe Life

Retirement Plan Specialist

Globe Life

McKinney TX / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Plan Specialist for Globe Life

Press Releases

The ERISA Industry Committee Appoints Melissa Bartlett to Senior Vice President for Health Policy

ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

IslerDare Welcomes Jessica E. Kuester as Counsel

IslerDare PC

Ilene Ferenczy Selected to 2023 Georgia Super Lawyers List

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center LLP

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

The End of the COVID-19 Emergencies: Health Plan Considerations

March 15, 2023 WEBINAR

Thompson Hine LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Effectively Eliminates Paper Filing for Forms 1095-C

Miller Johnson

DOL Moves for Time to Issue Modified Guidance on Health Plans

Hall Benefits Law

Self-Insured Health Plans and Primary Care Physician Practices Find Mutual Advantages of Direct Contracting


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BenefitsLink® Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587.

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