Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 11, 2020

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Webcasts, Conferences

Telemedicine: The Future Is Now
RECORDED
Gallagher

Do Health Plans Give Employers Good Value? Strategies to Improve Health Care Quality and Drive Change
RECORDED
World Congress

FFCRA Regulations Struck Down: An Update for Employers
August 14, 2020 WEBCAST
Ogletree Deakins

COVID-19 Legal Update for Businesses: Return to Work
September 9, 2020 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 on Workers and Their Families Virtual Conference
September 15, 2020 WEBCAST
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

The New Normal? Reexamining Benefits and Leave Policies in the Wake of COVID-19
September 17, 2020 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Greater Cincinnati Chapter

►See All 126 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

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[Official Guidance]

Text of CMS Final Regs: Basic Health Program Federal Funding Methodology for Program Year 2021

60 pages. "This document finalizes the methodology and data sources necessary to determine federal payment amounts to be made for program year 2021 to states that elect to establish a Basic Health Program under the [ACA] to offer health benefits coverage to low-income individuals otherwise eligible to purchase coverage through Affordable Insurance Exchanges.... The methodology and data sources announced in this notice are effective on January 1, 2021."

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

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Eighth Circuit Decides ERISA Preempts North Dakota PBM Law

"[T]he Eighth Circuit agreed with the PBM trade association that the legislation was ERISA-preempted because its references to plan sponsors and third-party payers were impermissibly related to ERISA benefit plans. The challenged legislation, the court reasoned, regulated [pharmacy benefit managers] and defined that term as a person that performed pharmacy benefit management for a third-party payer -- which necessarily included ERISA plans." [Pharmaceutical Care Mgt. Assoc. v. Tufte, No. 18-2926 (8th Cir. Aug. 7, 2020)]

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Caution Advised iconCourt Strikes Critical Provisions of FFCRA Regs

"Several unanswered questions remain. If an employee had been laid off (terminated), does the employee have rights to FFCRA paid leave? ... [W]hat if the employee is laid off during a period of paid leave? ... [Do] employers face retroactive liability for not having offered FFCRA paid leave to furloughed employees to this point? If so, are tax credits available to reimburse the employer for providing back pay? That all remains to be seen." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

Lockton

Caution Advised iconSDNY Vacates DOL Regs Implementing the FFCRA

"Does the SDNY's ruling impact FFCRA covered employers nationwide? ... Are employees who are on unpaid furloughs now able to take FFCRA leave? ... Are health care providers still exempt from FFCRA leave? ... Do employees need the employer's consent to take FFCRA leave intermittently in circumstances unrelated to illness? ... What happens to any remaining unused time when an employee takes FFCRA leave in a single block? ... Can an employer deny an employee's request for leave until receiving documentation?" [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

Faegre Drinker

If You're Sick, Stay Home! You May Even Get Paid for It

"[B]ecause the [FFCRA] applies only to employers with fewer than 500 employees, up to 100 million American workers are not eligible for this paid leave.... Several states are considering legislation to expand the availability of paid sick leave, with many states taking targeted approaches to serve their residents."

Foley & Lardner LLP

Employee Leave for Childcare This Fall as School Closures Ramp Up

"[C]ertain states and municipalities have existing executive orders that mandate telework if possible.... Depending on the employer's size, the employee may be entitled to paid leave when it is not possible to telework.... Other options for managing this problem include job restructuring or other reasonable accommodations."

Foley & Lardner LLP

New FFCRA Paid Leave Guidance for Government Contractors

"Providing benefits like health insurance coverage instead of additional cash is often the preferred way to discharge the contractor's fringe obligation ... [E]mployers choosing to meet their fringe benefit obligations by providing health benefits instead of cash must continue to maintain the health coverage while an employee is out on FFCRA-protected leave."

Lockton

[Opinion]

American Benefits Council Comment Letter to IRS on Proposed Regs Regarding Certain Medical Care Arrangements

"[T]he Council's comments address a number of areas in which further clarity is needed on the interaction of [direct primary care (DPC)] arrangements and account-based plans."

American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

A Chronology of COVID-19 Relief for ERISA Plans

"This chronology traces the major ongoing relief provided by legislation, regulatory action, and other agency guidance ... through August 10, 2020."

Verrill Dana LLP

Benefits Litigation to Watch for Post-Pandemic

"When the coronavirus pandemic subsides, employers can expect a spike in litigation over employee retirement plan investments, notices to laid-off workers about benefit rights, and companies' handling of retirement and health plans after furloughs or layoffs. Lawsuits over employee stock ownership plan transactions and benefit claim denials are also expected to tick up[.]"

Holland & Knight, via Law360

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020 BenefitsLink.com, 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 BenefitsLink.com, 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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