SPBA Hosts Spring Meeting with Emphasis on Regulatory Topics Related to Employee Benefits

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The Society of Professional Benefit Administrators (SPBA) held its Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C., for members last week with a focus on navigating regulatory issues. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about new and changing requirements related to employee benefits and receive how-to compliance guidance for managing self-funded plans.

Society of Professional Benefit Administrators
The Spring Meeting is always a great opportunity for TPAs as it gives them a unique forum to share their ideas and input on benefits-related issues with an audience that directly shapes the laws.

Focused on regulatory issues that affect self-funded health plans, the Society of Professional Benefit Administrators (SPBA) hosted its annual Spring Meeting from April 4-6 last week in Washington, D.C.

Third party administrators (TPAs) and other SPBA members from across the U.S. gathered to learn about key topics in the employee benefits industry, including the new proposals for association health plans and the latest developments related to essential health benefits. They attended three days of informative sessions – many led by government officials and policymakers – and were part of the conversation about new rules, changing regulations and proposed requirements.

“The Spring Meeting is always a great opportunity for TPAs as it gives them a unique forum to share their ideas and input on benefits-related issues with an audience that directly shapes the laws,” said Anne Lennan, president of SPBA.

Some additional regulatory topics on the agenda at the Spring Meeting included:

  •     TPA/plan sponsor investigations
  •     HIPAA audits and compliance
  •     ERISA & commission/fee disclosure
  •     Health care choice and competition
  •     IRS guidance on wellness programs and small employer HRAs
  •     Antitrust in health care

The Spring Meeting also featured a Q&A session with Jason P. Lacey, Esq., Foulston Siefkin LLP. Specializing in practice areas related to ERISA and employee benefits, Lacey led a group discussion that gave SPBA members the chance to ask questions about the recent happenings with essential health benefits and preventive services rules.

The SPBA team also coordinated four workshop sessions that attendees could choose from with topics related to stop loss and funding health claims, as well as HRAs and Taft-Hartley Plans.

“There is so much value in having our SPBA members come face-to-face with government officials for an open exchange of ideas,” Lennan said. “These conversations are a way to provide important perspective from the standpoint of TPAs and self-funded plans.”

In addition to addressing a multitude of regulatory topics at the Spring Meeting, there were also sessions that dealt with other issues TPAs and health plans regularly face. These included health care transparency, pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) contracting, air ambulance services and rural care access issues and costs.

SPBA is the national association of Third Party Administration (TPA) firms that manage client employee benefit plans. It is estimated that over 75% of U.S. workers and their dependents in non-federal health coverage are in plans administered by TPAs. The clients of TPA firms include every size and format of employment, including large and small employers, state/county/city plans, union, non-union, collectively bargained multiemployer plans, as well as most industries and professions. Visit http://www.spbatpa.com for more information.

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Dave Willems
Willems Marketing & Events
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Arlette Peterson
Society of Professional Benefit Administrators
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