Health care cost increases remain steady in 2019, but this is not necessarily good news

Employers and insurers expect health care costs to increase 6 percent, consistent with the 5.5 percent to 5.7 percent increases seen over the past five years, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute. However, the report, Medical cost trend: Behind the numbers 2019, noted that employers continue to struggle to contain their employee coverage costs. And, […]

Democrats, industry group push back on Trump Administration’s ‘abandonment of ACA’

Senate Democratic Leaders are pushing back against the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will no longer defend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), saying among other things that although President Trump has promised people with preexisting conditions would retain the protections provided to them by our current health care system, he is yet […]

Benefits under AD&D policy due where diabetes not a substantial factor in leg amputation

An insured whose left leg was amputated several months after it was injured in an automobile accident was entitled to accidental death and dismemberment benefits under his wife’s employee welfare benefit plan, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled. The record showed that although the insured’s preexisting diabetes was a complicating factor, […]

Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – June 22, 2018

  About this Newsletter The Spencer’s Benefits Reports is a summary of the week’s news items posted in the WHAT’S NEW pages of Spencer’s Benefits Reports Online. For questions regarding this email service, contact Customer Service at (800)449-9525. NetNews Subscription Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail? Sign Up / Unsubscribe Resources Online Store […]

Increasing brand-name drug costs to blame for rising Part D reimbursement

A review by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that Medicare Part D reimbursement has increased drastically since 2011 and will continue to rise. The OIG cited increasing manufacturer prices for brand-name drugs, particularly expensive maintenance drugs used to treat chronic, long-term conditions, as the reason for the increase. The OIG expects reimbursement to […]

Successor not liable for misrepresentations by past fiduciaries regarding retiree health care

The current contractor providing security services at a nuclear complex was shielded from liability for alleged misrepresentations committed by past fiduciaries with regard to health care benefits for retirees, ruled a federal district court in Tennessee. Retired security guards had brought suit seeking to restore health care benefits to prior levels, alleging that they were […]

IFEBP provides tips on managing specialty drugs

The retail price of specialty drugs increased by almost 10 percent in 2015, following nine years of increases, according a study from the AARP. In the report, No Magic Pill to Cure Specialty Drug Costs (But Some Preventive Measures), the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) provided tips for employers to help manage the […]

IRS properly assessed tax and penalties on employer that improperly calculated annual benefit limit

The IRS properly assessed tax deficiencies and penalties on an employer that improperly calculated the annual benefit limitation, resulting in nondeductible contributions, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis (CA-8). The court affirmed the Tax Court’s ruling that the method used by the IRS for determining the annual benefit limit accorded with […]

RWJF reports on ACA performance variances among states

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) report provides a comparative review of market performance variations among the states that offer the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). The report highlights state winners and losers under the ACA by examining the 2017 and 2018 statistical data related to enrollment numbers, affordability and carrier […]

Senate Democrats challenge DOL to defend fiduciary conflict of interest rules

Senate Democrats with long established backgrounds in consumer advocacy have sent a highly charged letter to Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, challenging the Department of Labor to appeal the Fifth Circuit decision invalidating the fiduciary conflict of interest rules to the United States Supreme Court. In addition, the Senators request information on the protections the […]