Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – November 1, 2019

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: FMLA regulations, 10/19 (327.1.-5)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: USERRA and health and pension plans, 10/19 (403.-7)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: The uninsured, 10/19 (422.2.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: ACA employer mandate, 10/19 (550.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Majority of health spending done by small minority of employees

    The majority of health spending is consistently spent by a small minority of health care employees, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The Issue Brief, Persistency in High-cost Health Care Claims: “It’s Where the Spending is, Stupid”, noted that generally, 20 percent of those insured by employer-based health benefits in the U.S. account for 80 percent of total spending on health care services, with 10 percent of the population accounting for 70 percent of spending, 5 percent responsible for 56 percent of spending, and 1 percent accounting for 28 percent of spending.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    HHS finalizes removal of health plan identifier requirements

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized a rule to rollback the policy of requiring the use of a health plan identifier (HPID) in HIPAA transactions. The final rule rescinds the HPID and the implementation specifications and requirements for its use and the other entity identifier (OEID). The final rule also removes the definitions for the “controlling health plan” (CHP) and “subhealth plan” (SHP) at 45 CFR 162.103. The final rule is effective December 27, 2019.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    PBGC increases maximum monthly benefit guarantee for 2020

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced that the maximum monthly insurance benefit for participants in underfunded pension plans terminating in 2020 is $5,812.50 per month or $69,750 per year for those who retire at age 65. On its website, the PBGC has provided a chart that shows the 2020 monthly maximum benefit guarantees for retirees from age 75 to 45.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Injunction stands barring enforcement of ACA final rules for religious, moral exemptions

    According to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, there was sufficient evidence to hold that providing free contraceptive services was a core purpose of the Women’s Health Amendment and that nothing in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) permitted the agencies to determine exemptions from the requirement. Little Sisters of the Poor, in challenging the injunction, failed to demonstrate a substantial burden on religious exercise and therefore the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that the states were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the agencies lacked authority to issue the final rules.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Proposed rule would allow electronic disclosure safe harbor for retirement plans

    The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released a proposed rule that would allow retirement plan disclosures to be posted online to reduce printing and mail expenses for employers. Specifically, the proposed rule would add a new additional safe harbor for the use of electronic media by retirement plans to furnish information to participants and beneficiaries of plans subject to ERISA. However, individuals who prefer to receive these disclosures on paper will still be able to request paper copies and opt out of electronic delivery entirely. The proposed rule also includes a request for information (RFI) from interested parties on whether other, additional steps could be taken to further improve workers’ retirement plan disclosure experience.

            (Read Cheetah) »