Employers who provide prescription drug coverage to plan participants (employees and dependents) are required to notify those that may be eligible for Medicare whether their prescription drug coverage is “creditable coverage”, which means that the benefits are expected to pay on average as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage.  This Notice must be distributed by October 14.  Please let me know if you need a copy of the Notice in English and/or Spanish.

Additionally, all employers are required to report their plan status to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on an annual basis, within 2 months after your prescription renewal.

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The Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule that gives businesses more freedom to join together as a single group to purchase health insurance in the large group market. These benefit arrangements are called Association Health Plans (AHPs).  According to the DOL, this will provide employers with more affordable health insurance options.  However, in exchange for lower premiums, AHPs may cover fewer benefits.
Prior to this executive order, the criteria that must be satisfied for a group of employers to sponsor an AHP were very narrow.  The final rules make it easier for employers to join together to purchase health insurance.  However, just because the legislation reduces the requirements for creating an AHP doesn’t mean that insurance carriers will be any more receptive to covering these groups than in the past.
What many employers do not realize is there are currently a few existing Association Health Plans available in the New Jersey market.  These programs utilize the largest networks of participating providers and are viable alternatives to the traditional carriers.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Barry E. Fields
Vice President, Employee Benefits

Cell: 908-406-7000 | Fax: 732-834-0233
101 Crawfords Corner Road, Suite 1300, Holmdel, NJ 07733

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Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that requires New Jersey residents to have health coverage or pay a penalty.  

The law, which will take effect on January 1, 2019, will require every New Jersey resident to obtain health insurance with minimum essential coverage or pay a fee, essentially adopting the rules of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the Individual Mandate at the federal level, most Americans were required to obtain health insurance or pay a fine.  However, beginning in January 2019 there is no fee associated with the Individual Mandate due to the federal repeal. The main purpose of this new law is to

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New Jersey is the latest state to mandate a comprehensive equal pay law, called the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act.  What makes this law different and more robust than laws in other states is that the New Jersey equal pay law will soon extend legal protections beyond gender and provide relief to all classes of employees protected under the state's antidiscrimination law.

New Jersey's existing wage and hour law already prohibits employers from discriminating in any way in the rate or method of payment of wages to any employee because of his or her sex.

The new law, which will take effect on July 1, expands this protection and amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to make discrimination in wages on the basis of any protected class an unlawful employment practice. With the new law soon taking effect, you need to carefully analyze your existing pay practices to ensure compliance.

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