Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – June 30, 2017

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: State health reform, 6/17 (509.-1)

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  • Summary: HSA guidance, 6/17 (356.-25)

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  • Analysis: Retirement confidence, 6/17 (101.-9)

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  • Analysis: PBGC’s 2016 annual report, 6/17 (619.-1)

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  • News

    June 30, 2017

    A brief break at Spencer’s Benefits Reports

    Spencer’s Benefits Reports is taking a brief break. Spencer’s news and reports will not be issued July 3 through July 7. Publication will resume on July 10, 2016. Happy Independence Day to all of our subscribers….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    After CBO issues report, Senate GOP leadership delays vote on ACA repeal bill

    Senate Republican Leadership on June 27 decided to delay bringing the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (Better Care Act) to the Senate floor after originally planning for a vote before the weekend. The measure proposes to repeal and replace, in part, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related taxes….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Repeal of ACA preexisting condition rules could leave millions of newly insured without coverage

    The Republicans’ proposals to replace the preexisting condition rules (sections 1101, 1331, 1341, and 1501) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) with states’ high-risk pools for individuals who would be denied insurance coverage or charged higher rates in the individual insurance market “will be insufficient to maintain the health care access gains made since 2010,” according to an Issue Brief from The Commonwealth Fund. The Brief, which compared coverage and access gains for people with preexisting conditions after passage of the ACA with state high-risk-pool enrollment prior to the ACA, concluded “[i]f the ACA’s preexisting conditions rules are repealed, millions of Americans could find it difficult to obtain affordable health care….”

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    June 29, 2017

    Pregame away day meals were fully deductible de minimis fringe benefit

    A professional hockey team, organized as an S corporation, was entitled to deduct the entire cost of pregame meals for players and personnel at away games, the U.S. Tax Court has ruled. The meals qualified as de minimis fringe benefits….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Public support of ACA replacement bill drops

    The June 23, 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll offers insight into how the public currently views the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the decision of health insurers to stop offering health plans through the ACA marketplace, in light of the Republican’s efforts to repeal and replace the ACA….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    June 28, 2017

    House approves two health care tax credit bills

    The House has passed two additional tax credit bills related to the American Health Care Act (AHCA)….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    ERIC supports Senate health reform bill

    On June 22, the Senate released an amended draft of H.R. 1628—the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The bill would repeal the individual and employer mandates and end the small business tax credit in 2019. The bill would also expand the use of health savings accounts and repeal the Cadillac tax on employer-sponsored health plans….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    June 27, 2017

    Suspending employee upon return from FMLA leave, firing her after skipped meeting, did not show retaliation

    Though the timing of adverse actions taken against an administrative assistant was suspicious—as she was suspended for purported misconduct the day she returned from her FMLA leave and fired after she skipped her disciplinary meeting—she was unable to revive her FMLA retaliation claim. She may have disagreed with the decision, but there was no evidence that her supervisors harbored retaliatory animus against her, the Seventh Circuit ruled, in affirming summary judgment against her. The court declined to resolve the question of whether the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts was her “employer” under the FMLA….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    ACA made big changes for maternity and mental health coverage

    Before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) required all health insurance providers to cover delivery and inpatient maternity care, inpatient and outpatient substance abuse disorder services, and inpatient and outpatient mental health services as essential health benefits (EHBs), many plans in the non-group insurance market did not cover these services at all. An analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) highlighted the changes the ACA made, and questioned whether the gains in these coverage areas would be terminated by states if the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) is passed….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    June 26, 2017

    Retirement, college, and health savings activity expanding in U.S.

    Employees under the age of 25 are taking proactive steps toward saving for retirement, according to an annual trends report from Ascensus. In the report, Inside America’s Savings Plans, Ascensus analyzed data across over 47,000 retirement plans, nearly four million 529 college savings accounts, and over 200,000 HSAs for which it provides recordkeeping and administrative services….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Arbitration agreements did not prevent plan participants from bringing ERISA action against plan fiduciaries

    Arbitration agreements signed by individual plan participants upon commencing employment did not prevent the participants from subsequently bringing an ERISA Sec. 502(a)(2) claim on behalf of the plan, according to a federal trial court in California. Claims brought under ERISA Sec. 502(a)(2) belong to the plan and may not be submitted to arbitration without the consent of the plan, the court explained….

            (Read Intelliconnect) »