Subscribe (Free) to
Daily or Weekly Newsletters
Post a Job

Featured Jobs

Senior Plan Consultant

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
(Remote / Wakefield MA)

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group logo

Junior Implementation Specialist - 401(k) Administration

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
(Remote / San Francisco CA)

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings logo

Plan Consultant

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
(Remote / Wakefield MA)

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group logo

Retirement Plan Administrator

Hessel & Associates, LLC
(Remote / IL)

Hessel & Associates, LLC logo

Sr. Retirement Plan Administrator

Tycor Benefit Administrators, Inc.
(Berwyn PA)

Tycor Benefit Administrators, Inc. logo

Senior Retirement Plan Administrator

Enhanced Retirement Solutions
(Rochester NY)

Enhanced Retirement Solutions logo

DC Administrator

United Benefit Pensions Inc.
(Remote / Melville NY)

United Benefit Pensions Inc. logo

DC Plan Administrator

Retirement, LLC
(Remote / Oklahoma City OK)

Retirement, LLC logo

Site Manager / Senior Administrator

Nicholas Pension Consultants
(Remote / AZ / ID / NM / NV / UT)

Nicholas Pension Consultants logo

Distribution \ Loan Clerk

Retirement, LLC
(Remote / Oklahoma City OK)

Retirement, LLC logo

Manager - Defined Contribution Plans

M2B Retirement Consulting LLC
(Remote / Wexford PA)

M2B Retirement Consulting LLC logo

Compliance Analyst - 401(k) Administration

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
(Remote / San Francisco CA)

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings logo

Defined Benefit Plan Consultant

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group
(Remote / Wakefield MA / Melville NY / Bingham Farms MI)

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group logo

Retirement Plan Administrator

Nicholas Pension Consultants
(Remote / Rancho Cordova CA / Corona CA)

Nicholas Pension Consultants logo

Benefits Supervisor

NFL Player Benefit Office
(Baltimore MD)

NFL Player Benefit Office logo

Senior Actuarial Analyst/ Project Manager

Van Iwaarden Associates
(Remote / Minneapolis MN)

Van Iwaarden Associates logo

View More Employee Benefits Jobs

Free Newsletters

“BenefitsLink continues to be the most valuable resource we have at the firm.”

-- An attorney subscriber

Mobile App image LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon

News

All News > Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Get this news and more in our free daily email newsletters.
DOL Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2022, Including Employee Benefit Items
U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
June 22, 2022

Benefits-related items from EBSA and from the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) (changes from the Fall 2021 DOL Regulatory Agenda are noted):

Prerule Stage

  • Improved Fee Disclosure for Welfare Plans
  • Improving Participant Engagement and Effectiveness of ERISA Retirement Plan Disclosures
  • Pooled Employer Plans

Proposed Rules

  • Improvement of the Form 5500 Series and Implementing Related Regulations Under ERISA
  • Definition of the Term 'Fiduciary'
  • Prohibited Transaction Exemption Procedures
  • Provider Nondiscrimination Requirements for Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers in the Group and Individual Markets
  • Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
  • Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance; Update
  • Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the [ACA] (New)
  • Requirements Related to Advanced Explanation of Benefits and Other Provisions Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (New)

Final Rules

  • Pension Benefit Statements -- Lifetime Income Illustrations
  • Adoption of Amended and Restated Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
  • Implement SECURE Act and Related Revisions to Employee Benefit Plan Annual Reporting on the Form 5500 (moved from Proposed to Final)
  • Requirements Related to Surprise Billing, Part 1
  • Requirements Related to Surprise Billing, Part 2
  • Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights (moved from Proposed to Final)
  • Amendment of Abandoned Plan Program
  • Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations (moved from Proposed to Final)

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Fiduciary Duties  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Reporting to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Vaccination Policy, Delayed Care, and Health Expenditures
National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document Link to more items from this source
June 20, 2022

"[R]eceiving a COVID-19 vaccine reduces the likelihood of delaying care for any medical condition by 37 percent.... [I]ncreased vaccine uptake has a positive, albeit statistically insignificant, effect on consumer healthcare spending in the short run.... The decline in delayed or foregone care caused by vaccination is particularly strong among minorities and those with a low socioeconomic background[.]"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Costs

When Will the Pandemic Be Over for Employer Health Plans?
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 15, 2022

"As of [June 15, 2022]: [1] The National Emergency will end on February 28, 2023... [2] The Public Health Emergency will end on October 12, 2022 ... [3] The HDHP/telehealth provision expires on December 31, 2022 ... HHS has indicated that they will give the public at least 60 days' notice before the formal end to the Public Health Emergency."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

District Court Permits Litigation Over COVID-19 Testing to Proceed
Thomson Reuters Practical Law Link to more items from this source
May 25, 2022

"In a dispute over reimbursements for COVID-19 testing, a district court concluded that the COVID-19 testing coverage mandate of the [FFCRA] and the [CARES Act] was an implied ERISA plan term. As a result, the court concluded that plan participants -- and health providers on behalf of the participants -- could sue under ERISA after a health insurer denied coverage for COVID-19 testing." [Open MRI and Imaging of RP Vestibular Diagnostics, P.A., v. Cigna Health & Life Ins. Co., No. 20-10345 (D.N.J. May 18, 2022)]

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

Consumer Health Behavior and the COVID-19 Pandemic
PwC Link to more items from this source
May 9, 2022

"Consumers have grown bullish about receiving more of their healthcare at home.... Providers and consumers may be misaligned on how telehealth should be used.... 18-24 year olds have been most affected by the mental health impacts of COVID-19. Here's where they are turning for help.... The pandemic fire-tested new strategies for clinical trials. Will moving trials out of the hospital help boost enrollment?"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

District Court Upholds New York City Hotel Severance Law
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
Apr. 27, 2022

"The court easily rejected plaintiff's argument that a program is necessary to navigate eligibility decisions about an employee's eligibility for benefits under the Severance Law, noting that the criteria ... could be resolved through 'a basic review of the employer's payroll system.' ... The court described the Severance Law as envisioning a 'one-time' project to address the lingering effects of a historically unique event (a global pandemic) by mandating certain severance payments for 'a short span of time.' " [RHC Operating, LLC v. City of New York, No. 21-9322 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 30, 2022)]

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Severance Pay

Colorado Employers Still on the Hook for Paid COVID-19 Leave
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 22, 2022

"Under state law, all Colorado employers must provide this leave if there is a federal, state or local declaration of emergency. On April 16, the federal declaration of emergency was extended another 90 days. As a result, the obligation to provide PHE leave in Colorado is still currently in place. What do employers need to know about this extension -- and what should you be doing to comply?"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Americans Overwhelmingly Preserved Retirement Nest Eggs in 2021
Investment Company Institute [ICI] Link to more items from this source
Apr. 20, 2022

"Only 2.2 percent of DC plan participants stopped contributing to their plans in 2021, consistent with the activity observed in the previous years for which ICI has tracked these data. That compares with 2.3 percent in 2020 and 3.4 percent in 2009 -- another time of financial stress."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Recent Extension of the National Emergency Period Impacts Employee Benefit Plan Administration
Bond, Schoeneck & King Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 14, 2022

"The continuation of the National Emergency and the associated continuation of the disregarded period for the certain employee benefit plan deadlines will remain a challenge for plan sponsors to ensure affected participants and beneficiaries are afforded the benefit of the extended deadlines.... Plan sponsors should coordinate with their insurers and third-party administrators to ensure that their plans are being administered consistent with these extended deadlines."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Toolkit on COVID-19 Vaccine for Health Insurance Issuers and Medicare Advantage Plans (PDF)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 7, 2022

30 pages; updated Apr. 6, 2022. "As safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines become available, CMS is issuing this toolkit to help health insurance issuers and Medicare Advantage plans identify the issues that need to be considered and addressed in order to provide coverage and reimbursement for vaccine administration."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration

Illinois Provides Paid Administrative Leave to Vaccinated Employees for Absences Related to COVID-19 and Requires Payment to Support Staff on Days of School Closure
Franczek P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 6, 2022

"The law requires public school districts, public charter schools, and public universities to reimburse all sick leave taken by fully vaccinated teachers and employees during the 2021-2022 school year if the leave was taken due to a confirmed or probable diagnosis of COVID-19, being identified as a 'close contact' of an individual with COVID-19, or due to a required exclusion from school due to COVID-19, either experienced by the employee or a child of the employee."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

CMS Announces New Way for Medicare Beneficiaries to Get Free Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 4, 2022

"[M]ore than 59 million Americans with Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, now have access to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, authorized, or cleared over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost. People with Medicare can get up to eight tests per calendar month from participating pharmacies and health care providers for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Medicare

Philadelphia Employers Must Provide Up to 40 Hours of Additional Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 Related Reasons Through 2023
Stevens & Lee Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2022

"COVID-19 leave must be provided outside of and before using eligible employees' existing accrued paid time off banks, unless state or federal law requires otherwise. COVID-19 leave must also be provided to employees immediately with no waiting period. Employers are permitted only to request a self-certified statement from the employee asserting that leave was for COVID-19 leave purposes."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Philadelphia Requires Employers to Provide Paid COVID-19 Leave Through End of 2023
Fox Rothschild LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2022

"The ordinance does not only cover employees physically working in Philadelphia. An 'employee' is defined as an individual '(1) working for [an] [e]mployer within Philadelphia after the effective date of [the] Ordinance, [2] who normally works for that [e]mployer within the City of Philadelphia but is currently teleworking from any other location as a result of COVID-19, or [3] works for that [e]mployer from multiple locations or from mobile locations, provided that 51% or more of such employee's time is present within the City of Philadelphia.' "

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Prepare for Health Plan Impacts from FDA Approval of Second COVID Booster
Solutions Law Press Link to more items from this source
Mar. 30, 2022

"While Federal law currently mandates that all group health plans and group and individual health insurance covered by the [ACA] cover FDA-approved initial vaccination and first booster vaccinations administered in accordance with recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the ACIP as of now has not amended its COVID-19 vaccination recommendations to include the FDA second boosters approved by the FDA."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

Reimbursement Fund for Uninsured COVID Patients Stops Taking Claims
The New York Times; subscription may be required Link to more items from this source
Mar. 29, 2022

"Some U.S. health care providers are informing uninsured people they can no longer be tested for the virus free of charge and will have to pay for the service."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Costs

Employers and Providers Fight Over COVID-19 Testing Costs
Dorsey ERISA Link to more items from this source
Mar. 28, 2022

"After encountering pushback from insurers and claims administrators, out of network providers have sued to recover reimbursement for thousands of claims, primarily arguing that the CARES Act provides them with a private cause of action for reimbursement at the at 'cash price' they listed on their websites.... [One District Court] rejected that argument, pointing, among other things, to the absence of Congressional intent for a private remedy." [Murphy Med. Assocs., LLC. v. Cigna Health & Life Ins. Co., No. 20-1675 (D. Conn. Mar. 11, 2022)]

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Costs

What Employers Should Know About the EEOC's Updates to Religious Accommodation and Vaccine Mandate Guidance
Masuda Funai Link to more items from this source
Mar. 23, 2022

"[1] Employees who have a religious objection to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination must inform their employers who may seek clarification if needed.... [2] Employers should provide employees and applicants with information about requesting a religious accommodation.... [3] Objections to COVID-19 requirements that are purely based on social, political or economic views or personal preferences or other nonreligious concerns do not qualify.... [4] Employers cannot rely on speculative or hypothetical hardship.... [5] A reduction in pay or some other loss of a benefit or privilege of employment is not a reasonable accommodation if an alternative accommodation exists."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration

Consumer-Directed Health Plans Broke Down Barriers to Physical and Mental Health Care During COVID-19 Pandemic
America's Health Insurance Plans [AHIP] Link to more items from this source
Mar. 17, 2022

"The vast majority of CDHPs elected to cover telehealth services on a pre-deductible basis (83% of plans offering fully insured products, 81% of plans offering self-insured products).... Services most commonly covered included primary care (95%), mental health care (95%), chronic care (89%), and acute/urgent care (89%).... [B]ehavioral health care services together were the form of care most frequently accessed via telehealth pre-deductible."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

Court Permits Providers' COVID-19 Testing Claims Against Health Insurer to Proceed
Thomson Reuters Practical Law Link to more items from this source
Mar. 16, 2022

"In a dispute over reimbursements for COVID-19 testing and related services, a district court concluded that the coverage mandates of the [FFCRA] and the [CARES Act] did not create a private right of action ... The court therefore dismissed claims by health providers alleging that a health plan's insurer violated the FFCRA and CARES Act by failing to reimburse the providers for COVID-19-related testing services furnished to plan participants. However, the court permitted the providers' related ERISA benefit claims to proceed." [Murphy Med. Assocs., LLC. v. Cigna Health & Life Ins. Co., No. 20-1675 (D. Conn. Mar. 11, 2022)]

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Health Plan Administration

Philadelphia City Council Passes Third Round of COVID-19 Paid Leave
Seyfarth Shaw LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 16, 2022

"The 2022 COVID-19 leave mandate applies to employers with 25 or more employees. Previously, the PHEL mandate only applied to employers with 50 or more employees.... Covered employees who work 40 or more hours per week are eligible for 40 hours of COVID-19 leave, unless the employer designates a higher amount. Previously, the PHEL mandate provided such employees with 80 hours of leave."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Updated California Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs Answer Some Big Questions
Littler Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 14, 2022

"Though the Labor Commissioner does not provide a specific calculation to use, its response indicates the calculation includes more than just 'in California' employees: ... An employee may choose which bank they wish to use. Without clear direction from an employee, an employer should assume that an employee, if eligible, is using the 'COVID positive' bank if they inform the employer that they or a family member for whom they are providing care tested positive."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Participant Enrollment Deadlines in Light of Extension of National Emergency Status
Graydon Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 11, 2022

"The normal deadline under HIPAA to make an enrollment change due to special enrollment is 30 days. However, this COVID relief provided that a participant's deadline would toll until 60 days following the end of the National Emergency."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration

San Francisco Issues New Guidance on Paid Sick Leave and COVID-19
CDF Labor Law LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 10, 2022

"Under the prior guidance, it was deemed unreasonable for an employer to ask an employee for ... documentation substantiating their need for PSL unless the employee was out of work for more than three consecutive days ... The OLSE has now extended the presumption of unreasonableness to when an employee is out for up to and including five consecutive days for COVID-19 related reasons and is not under a doctor's care."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

COVID-19 Paid Leave Is Back in Philadelphia
Ogletree Deakins Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 9, 2022

"The Philadelphia City Council recently passed a third iteration of the Public Health Emergency Leave law that will guarantee up to forty hours of paid sick leave for Philadelphia employees to recover from COVID-19 or avoid exposing others, to care for a family member with COVID-19 or who exhibits symptoms that might jeopardize the health of others, to care for a child whose school or place of care has closed due to COVID-19, or to take time off to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

© 2022 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.