Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – June 14, 2019

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Mortality tables through 12020, 5/19 (133.2.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Lump-sum windows, 5/19 (188.-13)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: IRS HSA guidance, 5/19 (356.-51)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: HIPAA privacy standards, 5/19 (502.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Connecticut adopts 12 weeks of paid family leave

    On May 31, the Connecticut legislature finalized a bill that will create and implement a Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FMLI) program to provide wage replacement benefits for certain employees taking leave for reasons permitted under the state’s Family and Medical Leave Act or family violence leave law. Governor Ned Lamont has announced his intention to sign the bill.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Massachusetts challenge to religious, moral exemptions to ACA kicked back to district court

    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was able to show that it has standing to challenge the final rules creating religious and moral exemptions to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, promulgated by the departments of HHS, Labor, and the Treasury. The First Circuit found that the Commonwealth was able to show an imminent financial injury based on the costs it would incur in covering contraceptive care for women who lost coverage as a result of the rules. The court vacated a district court ruling that dismissed the case for lack of standing and remanded it back for further proceedings.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    State Attorney Generals argue Congress intended ACA to continue

    In defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with 19 other states and the District of Columbia, have filed a response in Texas v. U.S.—the case decided in December 2018 that ruled that the tax bill passed by Congress in December 2017 rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional. A stay was granted in the case, stopping the immediate enforcement of the ruling and allowing for appeals. Raoul and other attorney generals argue in their response that all provisions of the ACA remain valid even with the reduction of the tax penalty to zero. “Invalidating any part of the ACA would have devastating consequences for some of our most vulnerable populations, particularly children with preexisting conditions, seniors and people who rely on Medicaid for coverage,” Raoul said.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Justices will take up ESOP duty under Fifth Third Bancorp

    On June 3, the Supreme Court agreed to review a Second Circuit decision that retirement plan fiduciaries contend, if permitted to stand, would allow meritless litigation based only on general economic principles that exist in every case of corporate fraud.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    OCR issues fact sheet covering business associate liability under HIPAA rules

    The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new fact sheet compiling all provisions through which business associates of covered entities, such as health plans, can be held directly liable for compliance with certain Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules in accordance with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. OCR has authority to take enforcement action against business associates for, among other things, failure to provide records and compliance reports or retaliating against individuals who file HIPAA complaints.

            (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 ninth 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 56,200 health plans filed a Form 5500 for 2016 (the most recent complete data available), an increase of 3 percent from the health plans that filed a Form 5500 for 2015. Of health plans filing a 2016 Form 5500, about 23,100 were self-insured and approximately 4,100 mixed self-insurance with insurance (mixed-insured).

            (Read Cheetah) »