Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – July 12, 2019

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Interest rates for funding calculations, 6/19 (101.2.-7)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: HSAs, 6/19 (356.-5)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: ACA coverage for dependents, 6/19 (512.1.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Association health plans, 6/19 (517.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Denial of request to extend otherwise exhausted FMLA leave into next calendar year may have been unlawful

    A nursing home employee who exhausted 12 weeks of FMLA leave during the last few months of 2016 for medical conditions related to an ultimately unsuccessful pregnancy, and was then fired 11 days after she requested additional leave to recover from a hysterectomy, sufficiently alleged violations of the FMLA and pregnancy discrimination under Title VII. A federal court in Pennsylvania found it plausible that the employer utilized a calendar-year method for calculating FMLA leave, thereby entitling the employee to 12 more weeks of FMLA-protected leave. Moreover, the close temporal proximity, combined with the fact that the employer had responded to her original request for intermittent pregnancy-related leave by requiring her to take full-time leave, allowed a reasonable inference of discrimination based on her pregnancy-related medical condition. The employer’s motion to dismiss was denied.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Pennsylvania governor signs health insurance reform legislation creating state-based exchange

    Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf today signed into law House Bill 3, a historic reform to health insurance that creates an online exchange operated by the state in lieu of the federal government. The legislation provides for lower premiums and increased access to health insurance by developing a state-based health insurance exchange and a new reinsurance program. The state-based exchange is expected to save money for those purchasing plans on the exchange.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    PHI may be shared for case coordination and used to inform individuals about other health plan options

    Under certain circumstances, a health plan can share protected health information (PHI) about individuals in common with a second health plan for case coordination purposes, pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. HHS explained the HIPAA rules in a press release and related frequently asked questions (FAQ) document clarifying how and when the Privacy Rule permits PHI to be shared. Additionally, the Privacy Rule allows, under certain circumstances, the use of PHI received for other purposes by a covered entity, to communicate to an individual about other available health plans.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    California enacts health care mandate with shared responsibility penalty

    Beginning in 2020, California will impose an individual health care mandate. Residents must obtain health care coverage, unless they qualify for an exemption. Those who fail to obtain coverage may owe a penalty on their California income tax returns.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    SHRM’s annual benefits survey reveals uptick in student loan repayment, paternity leave, standing desks and telemedicine

    While the United States’ stable job market and regulatory environment have kept employee benefits offerings steady, some benefits such as student loan repayment, paternity leave, telecommuting, standing desks and telemedicine are gaining notable upward traction, according to SHRM’s latest Employee Benefits Survey, released June 25, 2019. Companies are also conducting extensive research on their specific employee demographic to find a unique benefits package that resonates with the majority of their employees’ needs and stage of life.

            (Read Cheetah) »