Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 28th, 2017

Editor’s Note: In this edition of NewsDash, we round up some of the year’s articles about HSAs and health care costs.
Health Care Costs
Mercer Suggests Focus Items for Health Benefit Plan Sponsors in 2018
Managing specialty costs and protecting themselves from high-cost claims are two action items suggested by Tracy Watts, with Mercer. Read more >
Best Practices for Health Benefit Cost Savings
Findings from Gallagher’s two new Best-in-Class Benchmarking Analysis reports reveal strategies large and mid-size employers are using to balance health benefit costs with providing benefits that attract and retain top talent. While large employers (1,000 or more full-time employees) spend more than mid-size employers on benefits, what Gallagher calls the best-in-class in the large group leverage their scale to keep a tighter lid on their financial outlay. The best-in-class mid-size employers are experimenting with other ways to manage total health care spending. Read more >
EBRI Data Delivers Fresh Retirement Health Care Cost Concerns
Retired couples, according to EBRI research, can require up to $370,000 to cover premiums for Medicare Parts B and D, premiums for Medigap Plan F, and out-of-pocket spending for outpatient prescription drugs. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
Study Proposes a “Simple” Strategy for Retirement Income
2
Millennials May Have Wrong Expectations About Retirement
3
A Retirement Draw Down Strategy Starts With Education
4
IRS Announces 2018 Contribution/Benefits Limits
5
Vanderbilt University 403(b) Plan Suit Continues to Next Stage
Economic Events

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in December, following a modest improvement in November. The Index now stands at 122.1 (1985=100), down from 128.6 in November. The Present Situation Index increased from 154.9 to 156.6, while the Expectations Index declined from 111.0 last month to 99.1 this month.

Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow closed 28.09 points (0.11%) higher at 24,774.30, the NASDAQ was up 3.09 points (0.04%) at 6,939.34, and the S&P 500 increased 2.12 points (0.08%) to 2,682.62. The Russell 2000 was virtually unchanged at 1,543.94, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 14.42 points (0.05%) at 27,864.59.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 18/32, bringing its yield down to 2.413%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 19/32, decreasing its yield to 2.746%.

Sponsored message from Ayco
Adam Hills on Financial Wellness Trends
Watch the video. Read more >
HSAs
Employees May Be Getting the Point of HSAs
Health savings accounts (HSAs) can be used to save for out-of-pocket medical expenses now and in the future, and research from Devenir shows employees are getting it. HSA investment assets reached an estimated $5.5 billion in December 2016. Read more >
Employers See HSAs as Part of Retirement Benefits Strategy
The majority (75.3%) of employers responding to the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s (PSCA)’s HSA Snapshot survey view health savings accounts (HSAs) as part of their retirement benefits strategy. Nearly 60% of the respondents believe HSAs should replace flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and nearly three-fourths of employers think HSAs should be open to all employees, not just those enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Read more >
Guidelines for Keeping HSAs Not Subject to ERISA
While few employers that offer health savings accounts (HSAs) become overly involved in running them and thereby subject the accounts to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), there are Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines that plan sponsors should be aware of to avoid this foible, says Steven Mindy, an attorney in Alston & Bird’s compensation, benefits and ERISA practice in Washington, D.C. Read more >
Participant Knowledge of HSAs Reveals Some Gaps
A large number of individuals who consider themselves well-versed on health savings accounts (HSAs) are in for a surprise, as a recent LIMRA report found a disconnect between consumers’ subjective and actual knowledge about the plans. The research reveals that while 51% of American consumers consider themselves very or somewhat knowledgeable about the features and benefits of HSAs, almost half (49%) of that group wrongly believe an account holder must spend the total HSA balance by year end or risk losing it. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1832, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Andrew Jackson. In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union. In 1869, William E. Semple, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, patented an acceptable chewing gum. In 1902, the first professional indoor football game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Syracuse defeated the Philadelphia Nationals 6-0. In 1912, the first municipally-owned street cars were used on the streets of San Francisco. In 1945, the U.S. Congress officially recognized the “Pledge of Allegiance.” In 1981, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Matsch held a hearing to ensure that confessed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh understood that he was dropping his appeals. McVeigh said that he wanted an execution date set, but wanted to reserve the right to seek presidential clemency.

 

 

SURVEY SAYS: Sorry, not this week.

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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