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[Guidance Overview]

Departments Issue Further Health Plan Guidance Under FFCRA and CARES Act

"The [FAQs (Part 43) issued on June 23, 2020] clarify and further expand the types of items and services related to the diagnosis and testing for COVID-19 that must be covered with no cost-sharing, prior authorization, or medical management criteria ... Many hospitals and care networks require preoperative/preadmission COVID-19 testing in advance of scheduled surgeries and procedures.... COVID-19 tests are being ordered for patients who may not be complaining of symptoms. Under the current guidance, it is unclear whether diagnostic tests performed in these types situations are subject to the COVID-19 Coverage Requirements."

Winston & Strawn LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed Regs Provide Guidance on Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits (PDF)

"The proposed regulations provide greater flexibility in allocating expenses to disallowed parking than Notice 2018‑99 by providing additional methodologies. However, the proposed regulations lack similar detailed rules for computing the disallowance for expenses for providing transportation in a commuter highway vehicle or a transit pass QTF in kind. The treatment of depreciation as not being a parking expense, continued from Notice 2018‑99, is welcome."


[Guidance Overview]

Changes to Chicago Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Become Effective July 1, 2020

"An 'Employer' will be defined as a person who gainfully employs at least one Employee. The definition no longer includes the requirement that the employer maintain a business facility within the geographic boundaries of the City of Chicago or is subject to one or more licensing requirements in Title 4 of the Municipal Code."

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Managing FFCRA 'Child Care' Leave During the Summer

"While this entitlement creates the potential for employees to be on leave all summer (and mostly paid leave, at that: employers must play employees 2/3rds pay at employee's normal rate, subject to caps) there are a number of steps employers can take to effectively manage this leave. [1] Ensure the employee has a qualifying reason for leave, and document the reason ... [2] Evaluate whether flexible working arrangements may reduce the need for leave ... [3] Determine amount of available leave and track leave usage ... [4] Consider whether to require concurrent use of accrued paid leave ... [5] Consider whether an employee's FFCRA leave jeopardizes the viability of the business."

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

Protecting Consumer Health Data Privacy in an Increasingly Connected World (PDF)

37 pages. "[W]hile more comprehensive federal privacy regulations are a worthy goal and may come in the future, alternate or additional paths for setting and enforcing strong privacy protections should be considered in parallel to protect consumer privacy related to their health data ... [A]vailable electronic data pertaining to an individual's health status is growing at such an exponential pace, the lengthy and complex legislative process cannot keep up with the increasingly critical need to have strong and comprehensive consumer privacy protection for health data. The failure to do so will likely result in a complex patchwork of competing state-level regulations that will be difficult if not impossible to comply with or enforce ... or worse."

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

New Actuarial Model Examines Health Costs Under COVID-19

"[T]he SOA determined that each month in which a high level of social distancing is enforced leads to an approximate four percent decline in projected annual insured health care costs.... The model also explores the cost per capita for health plans to test patients for COVID-19 and can model potential future diagnostic and vaccine costs."

Society of Actuaries

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Employee Benefit Items in DOL Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2020

Proposed Rules (EBSA):

  • Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemptions
  • Grandfathered Group Health Plans and Grandfathered Group Health Insurance Coverage
  • Proxy Voting Update
  • Pooled Employer Plans Under the SECURE Act
  • Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments

Final Rules (EBSA):

  • Pension Benefit Statements -- Disclosure Regarding Lifetime Income, SECURE Act
  • Adoption of Amended and Restated Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
  • Transparency in Coverage

Prerule Stage (WHD): The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Final Rule (WHD): Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Official Guidance]

Employee Benefit Items in IRS Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2020

Prerule Stage: Section 414(m) Affiliated Service Group Rules

Proposed Rules:

  • Further Guidance on the Application of Section 409A to Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Determination of Governmental Plan Status
  • Additional Rules Regarding Pension Plan Funding and Benefit Restrictions
  • Deferred Compensation Plans of State and Local Governments and Tax-Exempt Entities
  • Application of Section 409A to Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Collectively Bargained Welfare Benefit Funds
  • Guidance on Rules Applicable to IRAs Under Sections 408 and 408A
  • Spousal IRAs, SEPs and IRA Technical Changes
  • Requirements for Employee Stock Ownership Plans
  • Reporting and Notice Requirements for Deferred Vested Benefits Under Section 6057
  • Section 72(t) 10 Percent Additional Tax Regulations
  • Excise Tax on High Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage
  • Minimum Vesting Standards
  • Definition of Church Plan
  • Application of Nondiscrimination Requirements, Backloading Limitations, Certain Plan Termination Rules, Benefit Limitations, and Top Heavy Rules to Statutory Hybrid Plans
  • Section 4960 Excise Tax on Tax-Exempt Organization Compensation
  • Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA) Regulations
  • Extension of Rollover Period for Qualified Plan Loan Offset Amounts
  • Qualified Transportation Fringes and Entertainment Expenses Under Section 274
  • Grandfathered Group Health Plans and Grandfathered Group Health Insurance
  • Income Tax Withholding on Certain Periodic Retirement and Annuity Payments Under Section 3405(a)
  • SECURE Act Modifications to Certain Rules Governing 401(k) Plans
  • Guidance on 401(a)(9) Required Minimum Distributions

Final Rules:

  • Reporting and Notice Requirements for Deferred Vested Benefits Under Section 6057
  • Update to Minimum Present Value Requirements for Defined Benefit Plan Distributions
  • Application of Normal Retirement Age Regulations to Governmental Plans
  • Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans
  • Minimum Value of Eligible Employer-Sponsored Plans
  • Withholding on Certain Retirement Plan Distributions Under Section 3405(a) and (b)
  • Guidance Under Section 162(m)
  • MEPs and the Unified Plan Rule
  • Regulations Under Section 401(a)(9) Updating Life Expectancy and Distribution Period Tables for Purposes of the Required Minimum Distribution Rules
  • Application of Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions and Certain Nondiscrimination Rules to HRAs and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans Integrated with Individual Health Insurance or Medicare
  • Transparency in Coverage

Internal Revenue Service [IRS], U.S. Department of the Treasury

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Extends July 15, Other Upcoming Deadlines for Tornado Victims in Parts of the South

"Victims of the April tornadoes, severe storms and flooding that took place in parts of Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina will have until October 15, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Currently, this includes Clarke, Covington, Grenada, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lawrence, Panola and Walthall counties in Mississippi, Bradley and Hamilton counties in Tennessee and Aiken, Barnwell, Berkeley, Colleton, Hampton, Marlboro, Oconee, Orangeburg and Pickens counties in South Carolina."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

ERISA Advisory Council to Meet July 30

"[O]pen meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held via a teleconference on Thursday, July 30, 2020.... The purpose of the open meeting is to set the topics to be addressed by the Council in 2020. Also, the ERISA Advisory Council members will receive an update from leadership of the [EBSA]."

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Selected Discussions
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Electronic Signatures OK on Form 5500 (Rather than Handwritten)?

"Is the DOL accepting electronic signatures on the Form 5500, such as an Adobe signature? Or are hand signatures the only signature method?"

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COBRA Notice Class Actions Increasing
Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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