PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending May 10th, 2019

Happy Friday, PLANSPONSOR readers! Those of you left in limbo after a court struck down the Department of Labor (DOL) association health plan (AHP) regulations received some clarity on what to do for now, and Senators have introduced legislation to ensure AHPs can still be available to small businesses. A study finds physical wellness programs may not deliver employer health cost savings in the short term. But, another finds employers are putting a big part of their health care budgets into physical wellness program incentives, which may increase participation in these programs. WEX Health has launched HSA Awareness day in attempt to increase education about health savings accounts. And, Managing Editor of PLANSPONSOR magazine Judy Faust Hartnett, who is attending an Alegeus conference in Palm Springs, California, got a sneak-peak at a new HSA product Alegeus says will disrupt the health care marketplace. Enjoy this edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend!

Editor's choice
DOL Says Members of AHPs Can Keep Coverage for Now
After a federal district court overturned final regulations on association health plans (AHPs) from the Department of Labor (DOL), the agency says “employers participating in insured AHPs can generally maintain that coverage through the end of the plan year or, if later, the contract term.” Read more >
Senators Introduce Legislation to Further AHPs
A group of senators, led by Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, have introduced legislation that would ensure the new pathway remains available for small businesses to offer AHPs under the DOL’s final rule. Read more >
Data and Research
Wellness Programs May Not Deliver Cost Savings in the Short Term
A trial among a large group of employees found a couple of positive self-reported outcomes by participants after 18 months of using a wellness program, but measures of health improvements and employer cost savings were not significant. Read more >
Financial Incentives a Big Part of Employers’ Well-Being Program Budgets
Companies across the country are expected to spend an average of $3.6 million on physical well-being programs in 2019, according to a survey from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health. Read more >
HSA Awareness Day Founded to Help Educate Account Holders
WEX Health President Jeff Young says he hopes “to see employers, providers, brokers and advisers dedicate October 15 to encouraging consumers or employees to ask as many questions as possible [about HSAs] ahead of open enrollment.” Read more >
Alegeus Introduces Product It Says Will Disrupt the Health Care Market
An Alegeus mobile-first Smart HSA app is on course to deliver an intuitive, personalized, and self-guided account experience for health savings account (HSA) participants. Read more >
AT&T Sued Over Calculation of Early Retirement Benefits

The plaintiffs say the plan’s terms reduce benefits using “Early Retirement Factors” and “Joint and Survivor Annuity Factors” which result in plan participants receiving less than the actuarial equivalent of their vested accrued benefit, as required by ERISA.

Congressional Leaders Want SECURE Act Passage in 2019

Based on the conversations industry advocates are having in Washington, none of the leadership in the Senate or the House opposes passage of the SECURE Act.

Mechanics of Implementing a Sidecar Savings Account
Keeping retirement plan contributions rolling in while also allowing employees to save for emergencies.
Breaking Free From Interest Rate Bind on DB Funding
The long-running low interest rate environment has created DB plan funding challenges, but plan sponsors can take steps to mitigate them.
Principal Announces Key Platform Decisions in Wells Fargo Integration

Principal and Wells Fargo leadership have revealed their technology plans for serving the nonqualified and employee stock ownership plan sides of the combined business.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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