Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – April 27, 2018


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Featured This Week


New Reports





Departments committed to reviewing employer plans for MHPAEA compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury (the Departments) plan to devote resources to the review of employer-sponsored health plans and the extension of widespread correction for Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) compliance, including the re-adjudication of improperly denied claims. The Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Action Plan also noted that dedicated MHPAEA enforcement teams will be conducting investigations of behavioral health organizations and insurance companies for MHPAEA compliance.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA health investigations remained steady last year, more than half involved mental health parity

EBSA closed 347 health investigations in FY 2017 (compared to 330 in FY 2016), according to the FY 2017 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) Enforcement Fact Sheet. Of these 347 closed investigations, 187 involved plans subject to MHPAEA and were, therefore, reviewed for MHPAEA compliance. The fact sheet also notes that of these 187 investigations where MHPAEA applied, EBSA cited 92 violations for MHPAEA noncompliance.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA issues array of guidance on mental health parity

EBSA has released an array of guidance on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), including proposed Frequently Asked Questions, an enforcement fact sheet, a self-compliance tool, and a revised draft disclosure template. In addition, the DOL has released a report to Congress that outlines its current implementation and enforcement actions in furtherance of the MHPAEA.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Working with multiple benefits vendors can be confusing for employees

More than 40 percent of employees find that dealing with multiple vendors to access their benefits is confusing, according to recent research from HealthAdvocate. The survey, Driving Benefits Engagement: Strategies to Optimize Employee Health and Well-Being Programs, found that working with multiple benefits vendors also leads to a fragmentation of vendor/partner/internally developed tools (43 percent). Other issues with utilizing multiple vendors are lack of utilization (40 percent) and technology issues with integrating systems (35 percent).

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

New fathers take under a week of paid parental leave if any at all

While a majority of Americans support fathers receiving paid parental leave, few men take advantage of such programs, and those who do take only one week or less, according to a new study from Ball State University. “Paid Paternity Leave-Taking in the United States,” a study led by Ball State sociology professor Richard Petts, found current U.S. paternity leave policies seem to limit access and contribute to inequality between men and women.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

CMS streamlines, simplifies, empowers, unburdens exchange regulations

The HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019 adopts payment parameters and provisions related to the risk adjustment and risk adjustment data validation programs, cost-sharing parameters, and user fees for federally-facilitated exchanges (FFEs) and state exchanges on the federal platform as described in the advance release and fact sheet for the final rule. The amendments to the regulations advance the Administration’s goals to streamline state and issuer requirements, simplify eligibility and enrollment processes for consumers, increase state flexibility, improve affordability, strengthen program integrity, empower consumers, promote stability, and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the individual and small group health insurance markets. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register (82 FR 51052) on November 2, 2017.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »