NFP Benefits Compliance Podcast channel.
NFP Benefits Compliance Podcast channel.
Episode 69: Benefits Compliance Considerations of the Coronavirus Crisis
In this episode, Elizabeth Allen and Patrick Myers address some of the benefits compliance questions swirling around the issue of the coronavirus pandemic. The two briefly discuss the virus and go into more detail on the employee benefits laws that employers must consider as they make business decisions concerning the virus. Specifically, they discuss the coronavirus and its implications under the HSA rules, HIPAA, FMLA, ACA, Section 125 and COBRA.
Episode 68: Legislation and Considerations on Surprise Medical Billing
In this episode, Suzanne Spradley and Chase Cannon address the hot issue of surprise medical billing. Suzanne outlines what is a surprise medical bill and how common of an issue it is to receive one. Suzanne and Chase discuss the challenges for patients that receive out-of-network provider services and bills at in-network facilities. Suzanne outlines three different bills that address surprise medical billing that have been discussed by Congress at the federal level, as well as state legislative action. Suzanne and Chase round out the podcast by talking about different approaches in each proposal, and what to expect down the road in 2020 from states and Congress.
Podcast 67: Updates on COBRA and Employer Mandate Lawsuits, and New State Reporting Requirements
In this episode, Chase Cannon and Suzanne Spradley address two lawsuits, and discuss some new state employer reporting obligations. The first lawsuit relates to one covered in Episode 66 on COBRA notice failures—the Sixth Circuit weighed in and overturned the District Court on whether a change in the premium payment turns constitutes a COBRA triggering event. The second lawsuit relates to the ACA’s employer mandate. A court recently approved a settlement in a case where the employer intentionally reduced hours for employees who were previously eligible for or enrolled in the company’s group health plan; the employer’s intent was to avoid offering those employees affordable coverage under the mandate. Chase outlines the settlement, and the reasons why the employees in the case were able to assert an ERISA 510 claim against the employer to the point of a settlement, even if the court did not ultimately resolve the 510 legal issue. Chase and Suzanne discuss the importance of continued compliance with the mandate and reporting, and dig into several states’ new requirements for employers to report in conjunction with state individual mandates.
Podcast 66: Recent Lawsuits Relating to COBRA Notice Failures
In this episode, Suzanne Spradley and Chase Cannon look at three recent lawsuits, two of which are class action suits, against employers relating to COBRA notice failures. Suzanne describes the lawsuits, and explains that the failures related to the content of the notices themselves, rather than the more common issue of failure to send COBRA notices. Suzanne outlines the particular failures, and how the employer could’ve avoided the issue. The two discuss the importance of using model notices and things to consider when working with a third party vendor for COBRA administration
Ep 65: Cadillac and HIT Taxes Repealed, PCOR Revived, and More from End-of-2019 Spending Bill
In this episode, Chase Cannon and Suzanne Spradley review the end-of-2019 spending bill, which includes several provisions relating to employee benefits and group health plan/employer compliance. Chase starts by describing the bill, and then jumping in on a discussion relating to the full repeal of the Cadillac Tax. The two then discuss the health insurance tax (HIT), and the impact of its repeal beginning in 2021. Chase outlines three other provisions that are less directly impactful — the repeal of the medical device tax, the repeal of a commuter benefit tax for tax-exempt organizations, and a one-year extension of the tax credit for employers that provide paid medical and family leave. Chase and Suzanne then turn their attention to a surprise in the bill: A 10-year extension of the PCOR fee. The two close with a discussion of things employer might’ve wanted in the bill, and a look at what’s ahead in 2020.
Podcast Episode 64: Health Care Costs: U.S. Versus Other Countries
In this episode, Suzanne Spradley and Chase Cannon dig in to the issue of health care costs in the U.S. as compared to other countries. Suzanne begins the discussion by outlining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data that has been tracking the cost of health systems in the world since 1986. Suzanne explains the different factors and variances, and the importance of defining terms when it comes to making such comparisons. Suzanne and Chase discuss the OECD findings that the U.S. spends far more than other countries, and they outline the exact dollar numbers and percentages. Suzanne digs in on the different areas where the U.S. spends more, and the two conclude the episode discussing the relationship between health care spend, health care resources, and health care outcomes.