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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 29, 2024

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities

 

[Guidance Overview]

Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) Reference Chart (PDF)

11 pages. "The marketplace open enrollment period is the time each year when people can newly enroll in a plan or change to a different plan through the marketplace. But certain events that occur during the year can trigger a special enrollment period (SEP), when a person may be able to newly enroll in a marketplace plan or change to a different plan outside of the open enrollment period. This chart lists the various events that can trigger an SEP in the marketplace, the timing for when people can access these SEPs, and when coverage through a particular SEP becomes effective."  MORE >>

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Change Healthcare Provides Update on 'Impacted Data' Analysis and Notification Plan

"[As of March 27,] CHC is still determining the contents of the 'data that was taken by the threat actor.' ... A third-party vendor has been engaged to assist with data analysis.... It could be some time before CHC announces the scope of data involved.... CHC data has not been found on the dark web.... CHC will be offering to provide notifications for customers 'where permitted.' ... The latest statement from CHC itself does not start any covered entity's '60-day timeline.' "  MORE >>

BakerHostetler

Litigation Update on Selected State Benefit and Leave Laws

"Discussion of state benefit and leave laws tends to focus on the state house, governor’s office and the relevant state insurance and labor departments. But do not overlook state and federal courthouses, where new laws are often weighed and measured to determine if they are valid. Currently, there are at least six cases to consider monitoring."  MORE >>

Mercer

State Employee Health Benefits Study Covering 50 States

"The study covers medical and prescription drug plan design and benefit cost-sharing arrangements offered to full-time active employees in all 50 states for 2023-2024.... Knowing the details about other state employee health benefit plans can help you benchmark your plan design."  MORE >>

Segal; free registration required

Financial Wellbeing and Implications of Rising Health Care Costs (PDF)

"Individuals in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) were a little more likely than those with traditional health coverage to report feeling very secure (19 percent vs. 16 percent) ... Among those experiencing an increase in cost [in 2023], [t]wo-thirds reduced their discretionary spending, while one-half reduced contributions to non-retirement savings. About four in ten increased credit card debt, put off or skipped health care, or had difficulty paying other bills."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Retirement Planning and Health Care Costs (PDF)

15 pages. "[H]ealth care costs are the #1 concern when it comes to retirement finances, higher even than running out of money or inflation.... [R]elatively few have saved anything specifically for the health care costs they will inevitably face in retirement. As a result, many are so worried about unpredictable health care costs that they are spending less and curtailing their lifestyles in retirement."  MORE >>

eHealth

Benefits in General

Strategies to Avoid Burnout for Benefits Professionals

"Upgrade your communications channels to connect with a globally-dispersed, generationally-diverse workforce.... Implement a comprehensive total rewards management platform.... Rely on decision support tools to supplement your team.... Partner with the right compliance experts for your business."  MORE >>

Newfront

IRS Updates Its Priority Guidance Plan

"The IRS recently released its second quarter update to its 2023-2024 Priority Guidance Plan, which contains several significant retirement, executive compensation, and health and welfare initiatives for this year."  MORE >>

Haynes and Boone, LLP

Illinois Temp Agencies Will Not Be Required to Pay Temp Workers Benefits Equal to Directly Hired Employees

"The federal court ... ruled that this benefits cash equivalency requirement is inconsistent with -- and pre-empted by -- federal benefits law (ERISA).... As of March 11, 2024 -- the date of the federal court's injunction -- staffing agencies are no longer required to provide temporary workers with the hourly cash equivalent of benefits." [Staffing Servs. Ass'n. of Ill. v. Flanagan, No. 23-16208 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 11, 2024)]  MORE >>

Taft Stettinius and Hollister Llp

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Third Party Administration Consultant for Modern Wealth Management

Third Party Administration Consultant

Modern Wealth Management

Remote / Overland Park KS / NY / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Specialist for Alerus

Retirement Specialist

Alerus

Remote / MN / ND

View job as Retirement Specialist for Alerus

View job as Business Advisor, Retirement Specialist for Alerus

Business Advisor, Retirement Specialist

Alerus

Fargo ND / Hopkins MN / Arden Hills MN

View job as Business Advisor, Retirement Specialist for Alerus

View job as Retirement Implementation Coordinator for Alerus

Retirement Implementation Coordinator

Alerus

Remote / MN / ND

View job as Retirement Implementation Coordinator for Alerus

Selected New Discussions

Cafeteria Plan Document Eligibility Terms

"Many off-the-shelf cafeteria plan documents that I see from vendors restrict eligible employees to those eligible for the employer's major medical plan. I understand that for certain components (e.g., pre-tax medical premiums, health FSA, HSA) initial and continuing cafeteria plan eligibility should be tied to medical plan eligibility. However, many of those cafeteria plans also cover other benefits, like pre-tax dental, vision, and other insurance premiums, dependent care FSAs, etc. where the underlying eligibility rules are often different from major medical.

"This would seem to cause a problem if, for example, an ongoing employee goes from part-time to full-time during an ACA stability period. They may not be eligible for major medical for several more months (or longer), but would often become eligible for other benefits upon converting to full-time status.

"While the special enrollment rights allow participants to make or change elections, in most documents I have reviewed, the underlying eligibility rules themselves remain the same. In other words, even though the employee would otherwise be allowed to enroll in the other benefits upon converting to full-time, they technically would not be eligible for cafeteria plan participation until they became eligible for major medical. Am I missing something that would otherwise make a blanket eligibility statement like this appropriate in these situations?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

How Do State Employee Health Benefits Compare?

May 1, 2024 WEBINAR

Segal

2024 Workplace Benefits Conference

May 6, 2024 in FL

LIMRA

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

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

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

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

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

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

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

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