PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending September 13th, 2019

The key to increasing employers’ return on health care benefit spend is helping employees be as healthy as they can be, according to Tracy Watts, a partner and leader for U.S. health care reform at Mercer. This means helping employees get into the right plan for them and utilizing their benefits properly. Research found low engagement levels with health benefit programs, and one problem it identifies is employees are often required to access multiple disparate systems to learn about and access their full range of health benefits. Many employees are unaware that preventive care is fully covered; so employers should utilize education and the right strategies to make sure employees know this. In addition, getting employees to participate in wellness programs can help both them and their employers save. Employers should look at what works and what doesn’t. As open enrollment season quickly approaches, this edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend focuses on what employers need to know.

Editor's choice
Benefits
Increasing Employers’ Return on Health Benefit Spend During Open Enrollment
Employers need to focus on getting employees into the right plans for them and maximizing the use of their benefits. Read more >
Benefits
Return on Health Benefits Investment Can Be Improved With Single Access
Research found low engagement levels with health benefit programs, and one problem it identifies is employees are often required to access multiple disparate systems to learn about and access their full range of health benefits. Read more >
Products
Startup Focuses on Connecting Employees With Primary Care
Employees that do not get good primary care drive up employer health costs, so a former hospital administrator started a marketplace to help employers encourage primary care use. Read more >
Compliance
Additional Preventive Care Benefits Permitted for HDHPs
The IRS has issued guidance allowing high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with health savings accounts (HSAs) to cover specified medications and services used to treat chronic diseases prior to meeting the plan deductible. Read more >
Benefits
Investing HSA Savings Is Key to Building Accounts
It is also important to fund accounts right away. Read more >
Industry Voices
New Individual Coverage HRAs—Don’t Forget About ERISA
Damian A. Myers, with Proskauer Rose LLP, says employers can inadvertently subject individual market insurance policies to ERISA if they have too much involvement in selecting which policies are purchased through an individual coverage HRA. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Study Suggests Reasons Most Physical Wellness Programs Don’t Work

For one thing, many wellness program incentives are geared to those who are already healthy.

Employer Health Benefit Costs to Rise 6.5% in 2020

A focus on managing chronic conditions, and education to improve health care utilization can help employers manage cost increases.

Avoid Pitfalls to Properly Replacing DC Plan Investments

An analysis found monitoring DC plan investment menus and making necessary changes results in better performance, and researchers have followed up with four pitfalls to avoid when making investment changes.

Schwab Arbitration Ruling Leaves Unanswered Questions
The effect of the 9th Circuit decision on ERISA lawsuits is uncertain, and arbitration is not the perfect option plan sponsors may think.
Sidecar Savings Accounts Create Current and Future Financial Security
As corporate America considers its practical and moral obligations to employees, a logical place for it to focus is on helping each one become more financially secure—both now and post-employment.

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

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