Crystal Connection: May 2018

Educational Events
Can’t miss educational events in June! Check out more events at

Implications of Recent Federal Tax and Budget Legislation on Employer-Sponsored Benefit Programs
Wednesday, June 6 | 3 – 4 pm (ET) / 12 noon – 1 pm (PT)

This webinar was originally held in April, and was in such demand, that we are holding it one more time. Alan Hahn, Co-Chair of the Benefits & Compensation Practice Group at the law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP, will review the delay of various ACA taxes, changes to qualified transportation benefits, and much more.

Navigating Absence Management
Thursday, June 28 | 2 – 3 pm (ET) / 11 am – 12 noon (PT)

Allyson Kambach, the director of Disability and Absence Product Management at Prudential Insurance Company of America will break down various types of leave on a federal, statutory and municipal level and provide apples-to-apples comparisons – so you can stay up to date and help your organization stay compliant.

Legislation & Regulation

2019 Limits for HSA Contributions and HDHP Out-of-Pocket Spending
The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2019 contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and the deductible and out-of-pocket limits for high deductible health plans (HDHPs).

For 2019, the maximum contribution for an individual HSA will increase to $3,500 from the 2018 maximum of $3,450. The family contribution limit will increase to $7,000 from $6,900. Additionally, the out-of-pocket maximums allowed for a plan to qualify as an HDHP will increase to $6,750 for individuals and $13,500 for families, from $6,650 and $13,300, respectively.

See more details at

New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act – Effective October 29, 2018
On May 2, 2018, New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act (Act) was signed into law. The Act will require virtually all employers to provide paid sick leave to employees, effective Oct. 29, 2018.

Under the Act:

  • All New Jersey employers must provide paid sick leave to their employees;
  • Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year; and
  • Employees must be paid for paid sick leave at the same rate (and with the same benefits) they normally earn.

An employer with a paid leave policy (including, for example, vacation, paid time off and sick leave) that is at least as favorable to employees as the Act’s requirements is not required to provide employees with additional paid sick leave. The employer’s policy must provide at least the same amount of paid leave and permit employees to use paid leave for the same purposes as required under the Act.

More State Legislative Changes
An employee-friendly “ABC test” was established under which a worker will be considered an employee. Under this test, a worker is considered an employee under the Wage Orders unless the hiring entity establishes all 3 prongs of the test for classification of the worker as an Independent Contractor.

Effective January 1, 2019, health benefit plans that provide coverage for mental health services must provide coverage for telepsychiatric consultations between plan participants and referring in-network physicians, during or after initial visits.

Effective for policies and plans effective January 1, 2019, policies that provide coverage for hospital or medical expenses under health plans must provide coverage for inpatient and outpatient treatment of substance use disorders at in-network facilities to the same extent that coverage is provided for other medical services.

Read about these and other recent changes to state benefit mandates, unemployment insurance, and more, affecting Alabama, California, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

Marketplace Trends
Using Supplemental Benefits to Attract Top Talent
Thinking about enhancing your organization’s executive compensation packages? It’s become easier than ever to leverage supplemental life and disability insurance as a way to recruit and retain senior executives. In this article, Chris Paul, Managing Director in Crystal’s Employee Benefit Services practice out of San Francisco, provides a quick primer to these and other powerful and cost-effective methods to offer executive level coverage.

Thought Leadership
In case you missed it, here’s more news from our other insurance sectors at Crystal & Company:

New York’s Labor Law 240(1) (a.k.a. the Scaffold Law) can lead to multi-million-dollar claims related to construction-site injuries. In Limiting New York Scaffold Law, we explore what construction firms and real estate developers should know about mitigating their risk.

Check out more thought-provoking commentary at

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