Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – October 5, 2018


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Featured This Week

New Reports


Family premiums for employer-sponsored coverage average $19,616 in 2018

Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 5 percent to average $19,616 this year, extending a seven-year run of moderate increases, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). The 2018 Employer Health Benefits Survey found that on average, workers are contributing $5,547 toward the cost of family coverage, with employers paying the rest.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Employee’s failure to show she made periodic visits to doctor for PTSD doomed FMLA interference claim

An employee who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could not advance her lawsuit asserting that her employer interfered with her FMLA rights when it fired her for job abandonment since she failed to demonstrate that she suffered from a chronic health condition entitling her to FMLA leave. While PTSD may continue over an extended period of time and cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity, she failed to demonstrate that she made periodic (twice a year) visits to a health care provider, a federal court in Pennsylvania ruled in granting the employer’s motion for summary judgment.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS updates safe harbor explanations that are provided to recipients of eligible rollover distributions

The IRS has updated its safe harbor Code Sec. 402(f ) notice explanations in IRS Notice 2014-74 that may be provided to recipients of eligible rollover distributions from an employer plan. The updates reflect legislative changes and guidance since the IRS last updated these explanations in 2014.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Most employers do not ask employees what types of benefits to offer

While attracting and retaining are the top two reasons for employers offering benefits, most employers do not ask their employees what types of benefits they would like to see offered, according to recent research from LIMRA. The study found that only 18 percent of employers survey their employees regularly to find out what benefits they are interested in, while 34 percent never ask.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Employer-sponsored plan’s exclusion for sex reassignment treatment plausibly violated ACA’s non-discrimination provision

An employer and its third-party administrator (TPA) will face claims that they violated the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by denying health insurance coverage for an employee’s son’s gender reassignment treatment based on the plan’s categorial exclusion for “services and/or surgery for gender reassignment.” Mostly denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss, a federal court in Minnesota ruled that the ACA prohibits gender identity discrimination and the defendants had adequate notice of such a prohibition. But while the employee’s son established that he had statutory standing to proceed against the TPA, the employee did not possess Article III standing since she had been reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses and could not seek damages based on her own emotional distress caused by a deprivation of her son’s civil rights.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS issues guidance on employer credit for paid family and medical leave

The IRS has issued a notice that provides guidance on the employer credit for paid family and medical leave under Code Sec. 45S. The notice also announced that the Department of the Treasury and the IRS intend to publish proposed regulations under Code Sec. 45S. The notice is effective as of September 24, 2018, and applies to wages paid in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2020.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »