HEALTH & BENEFITS SEMINAR: Disruption & Developments: Bracing for Health & Benefit Shifts in 2018

Our March seminar addressed the challenges and new developments in employee benefits and the healthcare market for 2018. 

Seminar sessions included:

  • “Understanding and Addressing Your 2018 Health & Welfare Benefits Compliance Obligations”
  • “High Cost Claimants”
  • “Retirement Regulators are Busy in 2018: Here’s What You Need to Know”
  • “Disruption & Transparency in the Transforming Health Insurance Market”

Highlights from the sessions included:

  • ACA employer mandate penalties are still here, and they are real – most employers should have already received and responded to any Letter 226J correspondence regarding employer shared responsibility for the 2015 plan year 
  • After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), employers will no longer be able to deduct certain commuter benefits through 2025 – these are still a great tax-exempt fringe benefit for employees
  • Following changes required under the TCJA, the maximum family contribution to HSAs has been lowered from $6,900 to $6,850 
  • Group healthcare trends are still showing an increase in large claims, not in routine utilization costs. Breast cancer claims make up a significant proportion of large claims and over 50% of million-dollar-plus claims are for persons under age 20
  • Pay close attention to Federal and State regulators this year regarding retirement plan handling – many decisions will be made in 2018
  • Disruption is a good thing. After much confusion and frustration over increasing healthcare costs, and the inability of the government to effect needed change, the healthcare industry and employer entities have been looking at innovative ways to lower costs – aligning interests so that all parties may benefit.
  • More recently we are seeing promising advances and shifts in alignment in by way of mergers, technology, telemedicine, accountable care organizations (ACOs) and risk-based pricing to name a few. Keep an eye on CVS-Aetna, Cigna-Express Scripts and Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan ventures and their plans to mitigate healthcare costs

Looking for follow-up materials from the seminar? Contact your Frenkel account executive or click here.

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