Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – October 16, 2020

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: 401(k) automatic enrollment, 10/20 (222.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: DOL guidance on COVID-19 laws, 10/20 (327.-15)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Grandfathered plan FAQs, 10/20 (520.1.-7)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Survey: 2020 PBGC interest rates, 10/20 (619.5.-65)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Global health care benefit cost increases expected to jump by more than 8 percent in 2021

    Employer-sponsored health care benefit costs are expected to increase by more than 8 percent around the globe next year following a year in which the pandemic has had a significant impact on health care utilization and overall costs, according to a survey of medical insurers by Willis Towers Watson.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    2021 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment will be 1.3 percent

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a 1.3 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits received by beneficiaries starting in January 2021. This COLA will produce an estimated average monthly benefit of $1,543 for all retired workers in 2021.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    New York mental health parity compliance program regulations take effect Dec. 29

    Final regulations requiring insurers to put into place policies and procedures that will ensure that they are providing comparable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders have been adopted, according to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in a recent announcement. The parity compliance program regulations were proposed by the New York State Department of Financial Services and Department of Health and were adopted following a 60-day period for public comments. The regulations will strengthen insurers’ obligation under both state and federal law to provide comparable coverage for benefits to treat mental health and substance use disorders. The final regulations will go into effect on December 29, 2020.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Employers exploring new tactics for this year’s open enrollment, survey finds

    As if open enrollment wasn’t already challenging, 2020 is throwing employers and employees for a loop. The latest International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey report, Trends in Benefit Open Enrollment and Communication 2020, asked U.S. employers about pandemic-related changes impacting staff communication and implementation for this year’s open enrollment.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Health benefit costs expected to grow 4.4 percent in 2021 as employers face continued economic uncertainty, Mercer survey finds

    Employers expect moderate health benefit cost growth for 2021 of 4.4 percent on average compared to 2020, according to early results from Mercer’s National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans 2020. The increase, based on 1,113 employer responses since early July, is largely in line with the average annual cost growth over the past six years. Still, health benefit cost growth is now far outpacing the Consumer Price Index and wage growth, which have fallen to nearly zero.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS extends filing deadlines, penalty relief for health coverage reporting

    Health insurance providers (including employers and health insurance companies) now have until March 2, 2021, to provide individuals with Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage, or Forms 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. This is a 30-day extension from the original due date of January 31, 2021.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    PBGC provides COVID-19- related relief for variable-rate premium filers

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has provided new flexibility for variable-rate premium filers, a continuation of the Administration’s efforts to help support economic recovery and mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The relief that the PBGC is providing will generally enable plan sponsors to take advantage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act extension of the due date for certain pension contributions and still ultimately pay the same variable-rate premium they would have owed had the plan received all prior year contributions by the regular contribution due date.

            (Read Cheetah) »