Benefits Buzz – August 2016

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U.K. Votes to Leave the European Union

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU)—a decision that sent shockwaves across the world. While it was a close vote, British citizens ultimately chose to back the Brexit—a term commonly used to describe the British exit from the EU.

Voter turnout was high at 72.2 percent. The “remain” side won 49 percent of the vote, while the “leave” side won 52 percent. Scotland and London overwhelmingly voted to remain, while every English region outside of the capital had a majority vote for “leave.”

On July 13, 2016, David Cameron stepped down as prime minister. Home Secretary Theresa May will take over.

It could take the United Kingdom up to two years to fully leave the EU—as the withdrawal process will be long and complex. During that time, the United Kingdom will have to renegotiate all its economic agreements.

 

While it is unclear how this historic vote will affect the United States in the long run, the immediate response has been a decrease in the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes, which resulted in many Americans losing value in their retirement accounts.

This drop may have employees concerned, so it is best to keep your employees apprised of what you are doing to minimize the effect of the Brexit.

As the process of the United Kingdom leaving the EU continues to unfold, more changes will follow. For more information on the Brexit and how it could impact your company, contact Employee Benefit Advisors, Inc. today.

 

New Task Force to Focus on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

In light of the growing prescription drug and heroin epidemic, the Obama administration announced the creation of the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force.

This task force will build upon the parity provisions included in the ACA, and will work to identify and promote best practices for compliance as well as identify areas for further improvement.

The task force will be made up of directors from seven government agencies. They will conduct outreach to patients, health care providers, employers and insurers to make behavioral health a priority and improve the prevention and treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders.

The task force will present a report to the president before Oct. 31, 2016, and its findings and recommendations will be made public.