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HELP EMPLOYEES BECOME BETTER HEALTH CARE CONSUMERS

You’ve put a lot of effort into putting together good health care coverage for your employees, while trying to keep plan costs under control. That hard work may not be fully appreciated, and may even be undermined, if employees and their family members are not educated on how to be wise consumers of health care services.

These articles and tools can help you to improve their understanding of costs and choices. In addition, if employees return completed questionnaires (Health Plan Survey for Employees: Health Care Literacy Scorecard and Employee Health Care Assessment), you’d have valuable data to help determine what further actions can be taken by benefits management to design and promote more effective health benefits.

  • Benefits Bulletin: 2nd Quarter 2017     #146320
    • Health Care Literacy Pays Off
  • Employee Health Care Assessment [Excel file]     #149136
  • Health Care Employee Resource Guide     #149144
  • Health Plan Survey for Employees: Health Care Literacy Scorecard     #149149
  • HR Brief: April 2017     #146368
    • Saving with Health Care Literacy
  • HSA Employee Resource Tool [Excel file – 11 tabs]     #149135
  • Infographic: 5 Ways to Cut Your Health Care Costs     #149150
  • Infographic: Why are Health Care Costs Rising?     #149151
  • Know Your Benefits: Questions to Ask your Doctor     #149132

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EMPLOYER RESOURCES FOR EVALUATING YOUR HEALTH PLANS

These tools will help you to determine the effectiveness of your health plan and what changes might be most appropriate for your organization. Compare your plan characteristics with those of the nearly 60,000 employer plans noted in the 20-page 2016 Health Plan Design Benchmark Summary of Zywave data.

The Health Care Literacy Report – Data from the Health Plan Survey for Employees is a tool for analyzing the collected data from the Health Plan Survey for Employees: Health Care Literacy Scorecard completed out by your employees.

Benefits Toolkit: Lowering Drug Costs also emphasizes the necessity of employee consumerism, providing lots of information on how best to lower costs. Much of this material, as well as the content of other articles below, could be useful in an employee newsletter.

The Excel-based Employer Plan Self-Assessment – High Deductible Health Plan Report will walk you through the advantages that a HDHP might provide over your current plan offering.

  • 2016 Health Plan Design Benchmark Summary     #149721
  • Benefits Toolkit: Lowering Drug Costs     #149148
  • Employee Health Care Assessment [Excel file]     #149136
  • Employer Plan Self-Assessment – High Deductible Health Plan Report [Excel file – 3 tabs]     #149142
  • HealthLeaders Media FactFile: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Trends      #149496
  • Health Plan Survey for Employees: Health Care Literacy Scorecard     #149149
  • Health Care Literacy Report – Data from the Health Plan Survey for Employees [Excel file – 2 tabs]     #149146

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HSA ELIGIBILITY IMPACT BY TELEMEDICINE

This 4-page article provides warning of the recognition of telemedicine benefits on an employee’s Health Savings Account eligibility. Because the Internal Revenue Service has not specifically addressed this issue, plan sponsors need to be aware of the risks involved.

  • Compliance Overview: Telemedicine – Impact on HSA Eligibility     #149644

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ACA REPLACEMENT

You hear so much news about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and the American Health Care Act, but as of this newsletter being posted, no vote on a replacement has been taken. We’ll keep you advised!

  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: ACA Replacement Bill Withdrawn     #148865
  • ACA Compliance Bulletin: HHS Promotes ACA Section 1332 Waivers     #149852
  • Benefits Bulletin: 2nd Quarter 2017     #146320
    • ACA Replacement Bill Announced
    • IRS Change Affecting Individual Mandate
  • Benefits Buzz, April 2017:     #146339
    • House Republicans Release Legislation to Repeal and Replace the ACA
    • American Health Care Act: What Won’t Change  

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COBRA RULES FOR THOSE COVERED BY MEDICARE

As the baby-boomers chose to stay in the workforce, this 6-page article will serve as a good reminder of the twists in handling COBRA for those who are entitled to Medicare. It also covers other instances of Medicare eligibility (end-stage renal disease, ALS and other disabilities), which can likewise complicate COBRA administration.

  • Compliance Overview: COBRA Rules for Medicare Beneficiaries     #149637

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WELLNESS ASSISTANCE

Only a few short articles on wellness for this month.

  • Live Well, Work Well – April 2017:     #146270
    • Monitor your Rice Intake to Minimize Arsenic Consumption
    • Phlegm: A Key Player in Fighting Off Illness
    • Are You Getting Enough Calcium?

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FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITIES

This 15-page booklet from the Department of Labor comes at a time when enforcement activities related to fiduciary obligations is increasing. As you review your health plan in preparation for changes, keep in mind the cautions noted in this publication.

  • U.S. Dept. of Labor: Understanding Your Fiduciary Responsibilities under a Group Health Plan     #149751

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BENEFITS AND HUMAN RESOURCES UPDATES

The Compliance Overview: Federal Employment Laws by Employer Size is a useful 5-page review of federal benefits laws and other employment-related regulations. The HR Brief for April emphasizes the importance of educating employees on both retirement and health care benefit issues. The remaining articles below might be appreciated by those whose responsibilities extend beyond employee benefits.

  • Compliance Overview: Federal Employment Laws by Employer Size     #149616
  • Financial Wellness     #149387
  • HR Insights: Wage and Hour Self-audits: Red and Green Circles     #149319
  • HR Brief: April 2017     #146368
    • Retirement Uncertainty and Where to Turn
    • Saving with Health Care Literacy
  • Compliance Bulletin: DHS Issues Electronic Device Ban for Certain U.S. Inbound Flights    #149726