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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 3, 2024

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Revises Paid Family and Medical Leave Guidance to Provide More Discretion to Employers

"The revised guidance allows employers to apply the terms of their policy to control whether and how employees can use paid time under their policy to top up PFML benefits, eliminating a number of administrative complications and making clear that an employer's leave policy will control whether and how an employee can use employer-paid benefits to top off PFML benefits provided by the Commonwealth."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

California Employers Required to Grant Up to 40 Hours of Sick Time in 2024

"California's sick time entitlements will increase significantly under both the 'frontloading' and 'accrual' methods. The law specifies calculation formulas for both exempt and non-exempt employees, as well as posting and notification requirements. Employers do not need separate PTO and sick time policies, but combined policies can create compliance complications with sick time laws."  MORE >>

Nixon Peabody LLP

2024 Employer Sponsored Health Plan Predictions: GLP-1s, Vendors, Data

"GLP-1 drug prices cost $10,000 a year or more.... Even if it was not so expensive, the overwhelming demand for these drugs would likely impact spending.... Controlling overprescription is possible, as evidenced by the declining prescription rates for both Xanax and opioids. But it took decades of excessive spending to achieve those lower rates. GLP-1s could follow a similar trajectory if healthcare leaders and employers are not careful."  MORE >>

HealthPayer Intelligence; free registration required

Drugmakers Planning to Hike Prices on 500 Drugs

"Big pharma companies including Pfizer are planning to raise prices on more than 500 drugs this month ... The price hikes come ahead of the Biden Administration's announced plan to publish discounted rates for 10 drugs in September as part of its price negotiation program with drugmakers. The discounted rates are scheduled to take effect in 2026."  MORE >>



Flexible Spending Accounts: How They Work and Who Benefits

"FSAs can encourage employees to plan and budget for annual medical expenses. Those expenses don't include the vitamins, healthy food, or gym memberships that we choose to purchase. Should they? Should tax policy encourage and reward ... healthier choices by expanding the use of FSAs? Some companies -- intermediaries between consumers, FSA providers, and health and wellness industries -- think the answer is yes."  MORE >>

Tax Policy Center


Brookings Institution Comment Letter to CMS on Federal Independent Dispute Resolution Operations (PDF)

"While reducing the cost of IDR is desirable ... changes like this may also encourage greater use of IDR, at least partially offsetting any savings from reducing the costs incurred per disputed service. The Departments' proposed changes may also disproportionately reduce the costs that providers bear in IDR, which may give providers more leverage in negotiations with insurers and raise negotiated prices."  MORE >>

The Brookings Institution

Benefits in General

Offering Competitive Benefits Amid Budget Constraints: A Balancing Act for Plan Sponsors

"[It] is crucial for companies to conduct frequent benchmarking and measure their benefits offerings against their industry peers. However, offering a competitive suite of benefits is often a juggling act for plan sponsors, as budgeting concerns come into play, and placing too much of a cost burden on the employee or the employer can be detrimental to the organization as a whole[.]"  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as ESOP Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

ESOP Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


View job as ESOP Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

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

Employee Benefits Account Manager

U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners


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

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

The Future of Digital Health and What it Means for Your Workforce in 2024

January 25, 2024 WEBINAR

SHRM [Society for Human Resource Management]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

2024 Compliance Guides for Health and Welfare Plans


Text of 2024 IRS Publication 15-B: Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

DOL EFAST2 Website Updated for 2023 Plan Year Filings

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

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BenefitsLink® Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595.

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