Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – April 24, 2020

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Private health benefits exchanges, 4/20 (543.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: ACA’s employer mandate, 4/20 (550.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Potential withdrawal liability, 4/20 (620.-15)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Disclosure of multiemployer plan information, 4/20 (620.-29)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    DOL adds Q&As that address array of issues under FFCRA

    The Department of Labor (DOL) has added more questions and answers (Q&As) regarding the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As of April 22, 2020, there are 88 (Q&As) listed by both category and number.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Few firms have cut employee benefit programs in response to COVID-19

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are exploring ways to manage or reduce total rewards costs through changes to health and benefits plans and retirement programs, according to recent research from Aon. However, the survey, Adjusting Total Rewards Programs and Workforce Strategies in Response to COVID-19, found that few firms have executed cost-saving measures in these areas so far. Seventy-six percent of firms have yet to make any changes to health and welfare plans, and 86 percent of firms have yet to make changes to retirement plans.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Bill would cover the cost of health premiums during COVID-19 emergency

    Representatives Robert C. Scott (D-Va.), Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) have introduced the Worker Health Coverage Protection Act to help workers maintain employment-based health insurance coverage in response to an unprecedented wave of layoffs and furloughs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would provide federal assistance to cover the full cost of COBRA premiums for workers who have been laid off or the full cost of health insurance premiums owed by workers who are furloughed.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    FAQs address group health plan coverage under FFCRA and CARES Act

    The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (Departments) have issued a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the FFCRA), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), and other health coverage issues related to COVID-19.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Industry groups ask agencies to waive SBC’s 60-day notice requirement for telehealth changes

    Further guidance is needed to more fully support the efforts of employers and health insurance plans to expand telehealth coverage in the interest of employees and the public health. That’s according to a letter from the American Benefits Council (Council), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and America’s Physician Groups (APG) to the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Self-insured group health plans covered approximately 34 million participants, DOL annual report finds

    The Department of Labor (DOL) has released to Congress its tenth annual report on self-insured group health plans with data from Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, as well as data from certain financial filings of self-insured employers. Approximately 57,800 group health plans filed a Form 5500 for 2017 (the most recent complete data available), an increase of more than 3 percent from the number of plans that filed a Form 5500 for 2016. Of plans that filed a 2017 Form 5500, about 23,500 were self-insured and 3,800 mixed self-insurance with insurance (“mixed-insured”).

            (Read Cheetah) »