Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 24, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

Trump Administration Adds Health Plans to June 2020 Plasma Donation Guidance

"OCR added health plans to the June 2020 guidance that explains how HIPAA permits covered health care providers and health plans to identify and contact patients and beneficiaries who have recovered from COVID-19 for individual and population-based case management or care coordination. The guidance also emphasizes that, without individuals' authorization, the providers and health plans cannot receive any payment from, or on behalf of, a plasma donation center in exchange for such communications with recovered individuals." Icon to read
more

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconCOVID-19 and Private Health Insurance Coverage: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

20 pages. "This report addresses frequently asked questions about covered benefits and consumer cost sharing related to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and a potential vaccine. It explains relevant legislation enacted in 2020, references existing federal requirements, discusses recent administrative guidance, and notes state and private-sector actions.... This report discusses most U.S. private health insurance plans' coverage of health care items and services related to COVID-19, but it generally does not discuss the delivery of those services, insurers' payments to health care providers, or private health insurance coverage of other benefits." [R46359 updated Aug. 24, 2020] Icon to
read more

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Guidance Overview]

How to Balance School Re-Openings and COVID-19 Workplace Leave

"[S]chools are announcing their re-opening plans, which vary widely across states and localities.... [E]mployers need to understand how the [FFCRA] affects the leave rights of employees for each of these different types of school schedules. [This article provides answers to 13 common questions] related to the issues you could face as schools begin to reopen." Icon to read more

Fisher Phillips

[Guidance Overview]

How New Jersey Employers Can Balance School Re-Openings and State Leave Laws

"[In] addition to the FFCRA, covered employers in New Jersey must also consider their obligations under state leave laws. [This article provides] answers to frequently asked questions related to state leave law issues you could face as schools begin to reopen." Icon to read more

Fisher Phillips

Paid Leave Considerations for a Second COVID Wave and Beyond

"Enhance coordination between employer and state leave policies ... Streamline the employee experience ... Revisit emergency leave ... Take another look at unlimited PTO ... Reduce employer costs." Icon to read more

Mercer

Relief Available for Certain Participant Disclosure Deadlines

"[This article provides] an overview of selected participant disclosure extensions available to single-employer ERISA welfare benefit plans under federal law (additional requirements may apply under state or local laws)." Icon to read more

Wrangle, an Ascensus company

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconWhen Are FSA Expenses Incurred?

"FSA expenses are considered incurred when the health care or dependent care services are actually provided.... Allowing an expense incurred outside the period of coverage to be reimbursed by the FSA would be a plan operational failure.... [This] can result in the entire Section 125 cafeteria plan being disqualified if discovered by the IRS -- which would result in all cafeteria plan elections becoming taxable for all employees." Icon to read more

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Employee Benefits in the Post-COVID World

"Make sure you're getting a fair renewal rate by keeping an eye on your data, and try to factor in the cost of elective care that was put off while medical facilities were on lockdown. Beyond the surge in telemedicine and need for robust mental well-being programs, the benefits that people need and the way they're used probably won't change much. Renewals will still come, so we can't lose focus." Icon to read more

InsuranceNewsNet.com

Lessons Learned from COVID-19: Supporting Employee Well-Being in a Remote Work Environment

"While on-demand, virtual fitness isn't new, the audience for virtual content has grown significantly in recent months.... [M]any smaller fitness studios have scrambled to add virtual offerings, while employers have expanded their use of established options for making on-demand, virtual classes a part of their well-being initiatives." Icon to read more

HR Daily Advisor

OCR Enforcement of HIPAA Security Requirements Continues Despite Pandemic

"Two recent settlements of HIPAA violations related to security breaches at a small healthcare provider and a health system highlight the continued HIPAA enforcement priorities of [HHS'] Office for Civil Rights (OCR), despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Failure to maintain security of systems that store or transmit protected health information (PHI) has cost HIPAA-covered entities, big and small, significantly. The settlements discussed [in this article] resulted in penalties totaling over $1 million." Icon to read more

McGuireWoods

Federal Circuit Holds U.S. Must Pay Health Insurers for 2017 ACA Cost-Sharing Reductions

"[T]he Federal Circuit's decision hands insurers a major victory on two fronts: first, that the government is liable for non-payment of CSRs under Section 1402; and second, that insurers are entitled to the full amount of unpaid CSRs for 2017. For those insurers asserting CSR claims for 2018 or later, additional litigation will be required via further appeals and/or trial in the CFC to determine the extent of damages." [Sanford Health Plan v. U.S., Nos. 2019-1290 and 19-1302 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 14, 2020); Community Health Choice, Inc. v. U.S., No. 2019-1633 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 14, 2020)] Icon to read more

Faegre Drinker

Benefits in General

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Attorney's Role in Corporate Transactions (PDF)

"The key is to identify all of the relevant plans, programs, and arrangements; assemble the appropriate parties to provide a thorough review and analysis of each one so that transaction agreements can be properly tailored; ensure that potential and existing liabilities are addressed; and that any related plans, documents, and agreements impacting the employees can be amended or prepared so that the transaction is a success." Icon to read more

Epstein Becker Green, via Lexis Practice Advisor

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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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