March 14, 2018

Register for EBLF before Friday’s Deadline

In a high-stakes environment full of challenges and opportunities, there’s no better place to be for today’s leading employee benefits executives than the 2018 Employee Benefits Leadership Forum.

This year’s meeting is May 29-June 1 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. Registration fee increases after March 16.

Register today!

Letter to DOL Re Proposed Revision of ERISA “Employer” Section

On March 6, The Council filed a letter with the Department of Labor regarding the DOL’s proposed rule to revise the definition of “employer” under section 3(5) of ERISA for purposes of determining when employers may join together to sponsor a single ERISA-covered association health plan.

Read our letter.

Pharmacy Benefit Managers Grab Attention of HHS

HHS Secretary Alex Azar and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb want pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and health plans to pass on more savings to consumers when they pick up their prescriptions at the pharmacy, according to Axios. PBMs were a hot topic at the 2017 Employee Benefits Leadership Forum and have a great opportunity to help lower overall prescription spending but a lack of transparency exists within the PBM world—particularly with their partnerships, rebates and contracts (which insurance carriers own). The market demands transparency.

Read the article.

Virtual House Calls: Telemed Saves Money and Means the Doctor is Always in

United Agricultural Benefits Trust (known as UnitedAg) is familiar with the productivity pains caused by an employee’s lost time from work. The associated healthcare plan, composed of more than 700 agricultural employer groups with 42,000 members spread across California’s vast agricultural industry, sought a way for workers to receive more expeditious care at the same or higher quality and at lower employer cost.

Telemedicine (also called telehealth) was the solution.

Joel Wood, SVP, Government Affairs
Trump’s health chief warns hospital execs about health care costs: ‘Change is coming’
The Hill

Joel Kopperud, VP, Government Affairs
The Health 202: Republicans could lower Obamacare premiums. But will they?
The Washington Post

Blaire Bartlett, Director, Government Affairs
FTC Seeks More Info on DaVita’s $4.9B Sale to Optum
Law360

Brianne Spellane, Director, Communications & Content Strategy
Why Apple, Amazon, and Google are making big health care moves
Vox