Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – October 18, 2019


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Featured This Week


New Reports





Coach with disabled son advances ADA, FMLA claims against university employer

Allegations by a Seton Hill University field hockey coach, including that the university subjected her to discrimination, harassment, and a hostile work environment based on her association with her disabled son, interfered with her right to take FMLA leave to care for him, and retaliated against her by firing her when she complained, survived the university’s motion to dismiss.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Mental health coverage on the rise, IFEBP survey finds

Mental health benefit offerings are on the rise according to Workplace Wellness Trends, a recent survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Since 2014, there’s been a 26 percent increase in organizations offering mental health coverage, with nearly 90 percent of organizations offering this benefit in 2019. This year, 21 percent of organizations reported it as one of their most costly conditions—a 50 percent increase from 2014.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Injuries from phishing-related health plan breach not ‘certainly impending'; no standing

Husband and wife participants in his employer’s health benefits plan lacked standing to bring a putative class action following a security breach of the employer’s health plan because they had not alleged a concrete injury, or that one was certainly impending, a federal district court in North Carolina determined. The two individuals, out of approximately 18,000 whose personally identifiable information (PII) had been exposed, failed to allege a sufficient factual basis that their hacked PII had actually been used, or will be used, in identity theft or fraud.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Majority are prepared for open enrollment season

The majority of Americans with health benefits (75 percent) said that they are prepared to select their health plan during this year’s open enrollment, according to recent research from UnitedHealthcare. The Consumer Sentiment Survey, containing responses from more than 1,000 U.S. adults, found that 51 percent felt “very” prepared, and 24 percent just felt prepared. In contract, 19 percent said they felt unprepared for open enrollment: 9 percent felt “somewhat” unprepared, and 10 percent felt “very” unprepared.

        (Read Cheetah) »

2020 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment will be 1.6 percent

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced a 1.6 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits received by beneficiaries starting in January 2020. This COLA will produce an estimated average monthly benefit of $1,503 for all retired workers in 2020.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Business leaders rank employee well-being as top priority, struggle how to measure impact

LifeWorks has released its findings from a recent qualitative survey of 25 US-based CEOs, investigating the impact of mental health and well-being in the workplace. The majority of leaders agree that the importance of employee well-being is increasing, according to the findings. In particular, executives recognize the importance of having effective programs in place to help attract top talent, retain key employees, as well as reduce absenteeism and increase engagement. Yet measuring well-being or the impact of their programs is proving a challenge. All respondents are in agreement on the need for a more comprehensive well-being index.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Little Sisters of the Poor urge Supreme Court to settle years-long dispute over contraceptive exemption regulations

The Little Sisters of the Poor have asked the Supreme Court to review the Third Circuit’s ruling in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump, issued in July 2019, in which the court held that Pennsylvania and New Jersey are likely to succeed in proving the agencies did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and that the contraceptive exemption regulations are not authorized under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or required by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The court also affirmed the district court’s order preliminarily enjoining the rules’ enforcement nationwide.

        (Read Cheetah) »