Get This Daily Newsletter by Email

BenefitsLink.com logo
EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com logo

Trusted Since 1995

Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 28, 2024

9 New Job Opportunities 9 New Job Opportunities

 

[Official Guidance]

Text of Agency Final Regs: Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance and Independent, Noncoordinated Excepted Benefits Coverage

237 pages. "This document sets forth final rules that amend the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance, which is excluded from the definition of individual health insurance coverage under the Public Health Service Act. This document also sets forth final rules that amend the regulations regarding the requirements for hospital indemnity or other fixed indemnity insurance to be considered an excepted benefit in the group and individual health insurance markets."  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]; U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]; and U.S. Treasury Department

[Guidance Overview]

CMS Fact Sheet: Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance and Independent, Noncoordinated Excepted Benefits Coverage

"The Departments are amending the federal definition of STLDI to limit the length of the initial contract term to no more than three months and the maximum coverage period to no more than four months, taking into account any renewals or extensions.... These final rules revise the consumer notice that is currently required for fixed indemnity excepted benefits coverage in the individual market and establish a new requirement to provide a consumer notice in the group market."  MORE >>

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

Can a Health Plan Participant Waive the Surprise Billing Protections? (PDF)

"[F]or certain services, a plan need not apply the surprise billing protections, and a nonparticipating provider is not prohibited from balance billing, if the provider has satisfied notice requirements and obtained participant consent.... For each service furnished by a nonparticipating provider relying on the notice-and-consent document, the provider must timely notify the plan that the service was furnished during a visit at a participating health care facility, and, if applicable, provide to the plan or insurer a copy of the signed notice-and- consent document."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Court Permanently Blocks Enforcement of ACA Section 1557 and Title VII Nondiscrimination Rules Against Christian Employer Organization (PDF)

"[W]hile this case was decided under the RFRA (and has relatively narrow applicability), another court has vacated the HHS and EEOC guidance on the grounds that it was arbitrary and capricious. HHS has proposed regulations that would reinstate, revise, and expand prior Section 1557 regulations, including making it clear that 'discrimination on the basis of sex' includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But in the meantime, the agency guidance granting protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity remains vacated." [Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) v. EEOC, No. 21-0195 (D. N. Dak. Mar. 4, 2024)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

ACA Section 1557 Proxy Discrimination Challenge of Hearing Aid Exclusion Proceeds to Trial

"A federal trial court has allowed a proposed class action lawsuit to proceed against an insurer for its health plans' exclusion of all hearing aid devices except cochlear implants.... [A] successful proxy discrimination claim could call into question any plan exclusion of hearing aids or other items and services that are closely associated with a disability." [E.S. v. Regence BlueShield, 2023 No. 17-1609 (W.D. Wash. Mar. 16, 2023)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Medicare Spending on Ozempic and Other GLP-1s Is Skyrocketing

"[T]otal gross Medicare spending on the three newest versions of these diabetes medications that have also been recently approved for weight loss -- Ozempic, Rybelsus, and Mounjaro -- has skyrocketed in recent years, rising from $57 million in 2018 to $5.7 billion in 2022.... [T]he combination of intense demand, new uses, and high prices for these treatments is likely to place tremendous pressure on Medicare spending, Part D plan costs, and premiums for Part D coverage."  MORE >>

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How Insurers Are Communicating About Change Healthcare Security Breach

"Having created significant challenges for both patients and providers, the cyberattack is spurring new questions and actions in the insurance space regarding digital healthcare security. While the industry response is continuing to evolve, we'll likely see increasingly robust notifications efforts from insurers and health systems as they attempt to keep users in the loop."  MORE >>

Corporate Insight [CI]

Benefits Leaders See Opportunities and Concerns in AI

"More than 70% of survey respondents say they believe AI will have a positive impact on benefits administration, with only 6% indicating disagreement.... Health plan recommendations and access to care are among biggest opportunities for AI ... Data security and accuracy lead benefits leaders' concerns."  MORE >>

HealthEquity

Medical Imaging Spending Growth in the U.S. Employer-Insured Population, 2010-2021

"Nominal spending on imaging increased 35.9% between 2010 and 2021, but as a share of total health care spending fell from 10.5% to 8.9%. The 22.5% growth of nominal imaging prices was below inflation, 24.3%, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Other key contributors to imaging spending growth were increased use (7.4 percentage points [pp]), shifts toward advanced modalities (4.0 pp), and demographic changes (3.5 pp)."  MORE >>

Health Affairs Scholar

HSA Analysis Finds Contributions Below Maximum Levels, Most Accountholders Taking Distributions and Few Investing

"Average employee contributions rose to $1,962, while the average employer contribution decreased slightly to $762.... Over one-half of accountholders withdrew funds. The average distribution rose to $1,868, continuing to rise from the COVID-era lows observed in 2020."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

[Opinion]

HR Policy Urges Congress to Strengthen ERISA and Preserve Its Preemption Provisions

"HR Policy reiterated the importance of the national framework provided by ERISA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this framework, employers were able to quickly implement crucial health care services, like telehealth, nationally. The comments urged the Committee to 'reject any attempts to weaken the federal restriction on state-by-state regulation of self-insured employers.' "  MORE >>

HR Policy Association [HRPA]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Further Extends Tax Relief for Hawaii Wildfire Victims

"The [IRS] today further postponed until Aug. 7, 2024, various tax-filing and tax-payment deadlines for individuals and businesses affected by the Aug. 8, 2023, wildfires in Hawaii.... [A]ffected individuals, businesses and tax-exempt organizations will now have until Aug. 7, 2024, to file their 2023 returns and pay any taxes due.... The IRS is offering relief to Maui and Hawaii counties ... Individuals and households that reside or have a business in these localities qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Defined Benefit Consultant  for Loren D. Stark Company (LDSCO)

Senior Defined Benefit Consultant

Loren D. Stark Company (LDSCO)

Remote

View job as Senior Defined Benefit Consultant  for Loren D. Stark Company (LDSCO)

View job as Senior Consultant for Newport, an Ascensus Company

Senior Consultant

Newport, an Ascensus Company

Remote / MA

View job as Senior Consultant for Newport, an Ascensus Company

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Retirement Plan Consultant

FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Remote / IL

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

View job as Client Relationship Consultant for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Client Relationship Consultant

FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Remote / IL

View job as Client Relationship Consultant for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

View job as Sr. Benefits Manager for Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Sr. Benefits Manager

Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Arlington VA / Hybrid

View job as Sr. Benefits Manager for Catholic Diocese of Arlington

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for ERISA Services, Inc.

Retirement Plan Administrator

ERISA Services, Inc.

Remote

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for ERISA Services, Inc.

View job as Retirement Plan Quality Assurance Specialist for ERISA Services, Inc.

Retirement Plan Quality Assurance Specialist

ERISA Services, Inc.

Remote

View job as Retirement Plan Quality Assurance Specialist for ERISA Services, Inc.

View job as Lead Plan Admin Analyst - Retirement Plans for Ameritas

Lead Plan Admin Analyst - Retirement Plans

Ameritas

Remote

View job as Lead Plan Admin Analyst - Retirement Plans for Ameritas

View job as Lead Compliance Analyst - Retirement Plans for Ameritas

Lead Compliance Analyst - Retirement Plans

Ameritas

Remote

View job as Lead Compliance Analyst - Retirement Plans for Ameritas

Press Releases

Equitable Announces New Leadership Appointments

Equitable

Ascensus to Acquire 401(k) Recordkeeping Business from Mutual of Omaha

Ascensus

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Streamlining Benefits Admin: Real-World Wisdom from Industry Vet Maria Yao

RECORDED

bswift

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

CDC Issues New COVID-Related Guidance: What This Means for Employers

Mintz

A First Look at Outcomes Under the No Surprises Act Arbitration Process

The Brookings Institution

Health Reimbursement Arrangements: An Option for Small Employers

Holland & Knight

Unsubscribe  |   Change Email Address

Search Past Issues   |   Privacy Policy

Submit an Article   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise Here

Copyright 2024 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.

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

Links to web sites other than BenefitsLink.com and EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com are offered as a service to our readers. We are not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.