Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – August 10, 2018

 

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Providing health benefits nears $15,000 per employee

With the cost to provide health care benefits expected to approach $15,000 per employee next year, large U.S. employers are increasingly playing an activist role in changing the health care delivery system and reexamining existing models, according to recent research from the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). The survey also found a majority of employers believe virtual care and technology will play a major role in how health care is delivered in the future and that new entrants will be necessary to disrupt the market in a positive way.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

New York law not preempted by DOL’s AHP rule, DFS reminds insurers

New York’s Department of Financial Services has issued guidance reminding insurers, health maintenance organizations, insurance agents and brokers that the recent DOL rule on association health plans (AHP) does not preempt New York Insurance law, which strictly limits the associations or groups of employers that may sponsor a health insurance plan.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Rubio unveils bill that trades Social Security benefits for new parent leave

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Representative Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) have unveiled proposed legislation that would establish a national paid parental leave program within the Social Security Administration that would provide partial wage replacement for workers who temporarily need to take time off from their jobs to care for and bond with a newborn infant or newly adopted child. Rubio introduced the legislation in the Senate on August 1. Wagner plans to introduce her House bill in September.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Purpose of association health plan rule is to thwart ACA’s consumer protections, lawsuit alleges

Twelve Attorneys General have filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor’s association health plan (AHP) rule, alleging it “upends a decades-old understanding of a foundational employee benefits law for the purpose of exempting a significant portion of the health insurance market from the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections.” The suit, which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the Attorneys General of New York, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, California, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

CMS reissues, with additional analysis, the methodology for the ACA risk adjustment program

CMS has issued a final rule reestablishing, with a fuller explanation, the risk adjustment program methodology previously established for transfers of amounts collected from insurers of low-risk populations to insurers of relatively high-risk populations for the 2017 benefit year. The risk adjustment program, required under §1343 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to stabilize the health insurance markets. The final rule, due to publish in the Federal Register on July 30, 2018, addresses the problem created on February 28, 2018 when the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico invalidated CMS’ use of the statewide average premium in the risk adjustment transfer formula established under the ACA for the 2014–2018 benefit years.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

House approves bipartisan health care-related tax packages

The House has cleared two bipartisan health care-related tax packages. The packages, combining several bills, aim to expand health savings accounts (HSAs) and the health insurance premium tax credit, as well as delay the so-called “health insurance tax,” among other things.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »