Employee Benefits White Papers

The foods and beverages you consume have a significant impact on your health. Diet-related chronic diseases—such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer—are prevalent among Americans and pose a major public health problem.

In fact, 60% of adults have one or more diet-related chronic diseases. Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture publish nutrition advice. The newest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) offers science-based nutrition advice to develop healthy eating habits and reduce chronic disease risk. For the first time, this edition provides recommendations by life stage, from birth through older adulthood.

5 telehealth trends to watch header Employers that are interested in cutting their health care expenses are likely familiar with telehealth.

This is the process of communicating with a doctor via an app, or a webcam and computer. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth usage skyrocketed, making it one of the most popular ways to receive health care. As such, employers should stay apprised of notable telehealth trends to ensure they stay competitive and provide the best health care options to their employees. This article discusses five telehealth trends to watch for in 2021.  

Legal Update Header On Feb. 18, 2021, the IRS released Notice 2021-15 to clarify special rules for Section 125 plans, health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs).

Temporary Special Rules for Health FSAs and DCAPs

The Notice is intended to clarify the application of special rules for health FSAs and DCAPs provided under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA).  

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A Jan. 7, 2021 opinion letter from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) addresses employer contributions to Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) and compliance with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).

The letter clarifies that an employer may offer an ICHRA under two scenarios without giving rise to ADEA liability:

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On Dec. 11, 2020, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (Departments) announced a final rule that provides greater flexibility for grandfathered plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

A grandfathered plan is a group health plan or health insurance coverage that was in existence on March 23, 2010 (the date the ACA was passed), that has not made certain prohibited changes to lose its grandfather status. Grandfathered plans are exempt from certain ACA requirements.

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Many experts expected employers to continue to inch further and further away from the typical 70/30 employer/employee cost split, but that trend seems to have slowed.

As the Coronovirus pandemic sweeps the nation in 2020, a crucial pillar supporting the U.S. workforce is employer-sponsored healthcare. While we wait to see how postponed preventive care and delayed elective surgeries will affect the health of the nation's workforce, and how the total costs of COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccinations will be financed, we are already leveraging our local knowledge, as well as the data from this survey to recommend renewal strategies for 2021.