Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 25, 2020

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Webcasts, Conferences

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave 2021: What Employers Should Do Now to Prepare
December 2, 2020 WEBCAST
Foley & Lardner LLP

2020 Compliance In Review: How the Changes in Law Will Affect You in 2021
December 3, 2020 WEBCAST
Burnham

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
December 16, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Connecticut Paid FMLA: Where We Are and Where We’re Headed
December 17, 2020 WEBCAST
Jackson Lewis LLP

New Parental Leave Laws in New York
December 21, 2020 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

Recent Developments in ERISA Disability Benefits Litigation: Standard of Review and Discovery
January 8, 2021 WEBCAST
American Bar Association [ABA]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2020-84: Adjusted Applicable Dollar Amount for Fee Imposed by §§ 4375 and 4376 (PDF)

"The applicable dollar amount that must be used to calculate the fee imposed by Sections 4375 and 4376 for policy years and plan years that end on or after October 1, 2020, and before October 1, 2021, is $2.66. The increase from the prior amount is calculated by multiplying the adjusted applicable dollar amount for policy years and plan years ending in the previous Federal fiscal year, $2.54, by the percentage increase of the projected per capita amount of National Health Expenditures published by HHS on March 19, 2020." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of Updated IRS FAQs: Determining the Amount of the FFCRA Tax Credit for Qualified Family Leave Wages

Questions 25-30, updated Nov. 25, 2020.

  1. What is included in 'qualified family leave wages'? Do 'qualified family leave wages' include taxes imposed or withheld from the wages?
  2. How much credit may an Eligible Employer receive for qualified family leave wages
  3. How does an Eligible Employer determine the amounts of the qualified family leave wages it is required to pay?
  4. What is the rate of pay for qualified family leave wages?
  5. Are amounts other than qualified family leave wages included in the tax credit for required paid family leave?
  6. Is a similar tax credit available to self-employed individuals?
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Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of Updated IRS FAQs: Determining the Amount of Allocable Qualified Health Plan Expenses for Purposes of Coronavirus Economic Impact Payments

Questions 31-36, updated Nov. 25, 2020.

  1. Does the amount of qualified health plan expenses include both the portion of the cost paid by the Eligible Employer and the portion of the cost paid by the employee?
  2. For an Eligible Employer that sponsors more than one plan for its employees (for example, both a group health plan and a health flexible spending arrangement (health FSA)), or more than one plan covering different employees, how are the qualified health plan expenses for each employee determined?
  3. For an Eligible Employer that sponsors a fully-insured group health plan, how are the qualified health plan expenses of that plan allocated to the qualified sick or family leave wages on a pro rata basis?
  4. For an Eligible Employer who sponsors a self-insured group health plan, how are the qualified health plan expenses of that plan allocated to the qualified leave wages on a pro rata basis?
  5. For an Eligible Employer who sponsors a health savings account (HSA), or Archer Medical Saving Account (Archer MSA) and a high deductible health plan (HDHP), are contributions to the HSA or Archer MSA included in the qualified health plan expenses?
  6. For an Eligible Employer who sponsors a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), a health flexible spending arrangement (health FSA), or a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA), are contributions to the HRA, health FSA, or QSEHRA included in the qualified health plan expenses?
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Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Keeping COBRA Notices Compliant in an Ever-Changing Landscape

"This article [describes] what employers should keep in mind while updating their COBRA notices, including [1] recent revisions to the [DOL's] model COBRA notices in May 2020, [2] the mandatory extensions to certain COBRA-related deadlines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and [3] the allegations in the many class-action lawsuits filed over the last few years alleging deficiencies in COBRA notices." Icon to read more

Trucker Huss

[Guidance Overview]

CMS and HHS OIG Issue a Series of Final Rules to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices and Transition to Value-Based Care

"[On] November 20, 2020, [CMS] and the [HHS] Office of the Inspector General ('OIG') published advance copies of a collection of four rules focusing on two themes: [1] reducing prescription drug prices and [2] advancing the transition to value-based care and modernizing the regulatory framework. This Client Alert provides a brief, high-level summary of each of the four rules[.]" Icon to read more

Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconColorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act Paid Sick Leave Provisions Effective January 1, 2021

"[T]he HFWA applies to an employer with 16 or more employees within the United States. Thus, an employer with one employee in Colorado but 15 employees in other states is obligated to comply with the HFWA for the single Colorado employee." Icon to read more

Lockton

Supreme Court to Decide on ERISA Preemption of State Law Regulating Prescription Drug Pricing

"At oral argument ... Chief Justice Roberts commented that it was not the fault of Arkansas or the pharmacies that 'PBMs have such byzantine procedures that affect drug prices' -- a comment which might suggest that the state law has a purpose worthy of being upheld. Several justices asked questions on the issue of costs and impact on benefits -- specifically, whether Act 900 increased drug costs for employee benefit plans and participants, and whether that triggered ERISA preemption." [Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Mgmt. Assoc., Nos. 17-1609 and 17-1629 (8th Cir. Jun. 8, 2018; S. Ct. No. 18-540, oral arg. Oct. 6, 2020)] Icon to read more

Trucker Huss

Miscommunication Between Employer and Insurer About Employee’s Medical Leave Causes Loss of Coverage -- and a Lawsuit

"Because the plan required the company to notify the insurer regarding changes in eligibility, the court concluded that the employer could have been acting as a functional fiduciary with respect to the eligibility decision. But finding a genuine dispute as to whether the insurer or the employer was ultimately responsible for the erroneous decision to deny coverage, the court allowed the case to proceed." [Schmidt v. Overland Xpress, LLC, No. 12-0397 (S.D. Ohio Sep. 28, 2020)] Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Opinion]

Balancing Lower U.S. Prescription Drug Prices and Innovation, Part 2

"What is the right amount of innovation for society? ... Lowering drug development costs could maintain ROI with lower prices ... Lowering drug prices but increasing drug companies' share of revenue could maintain ROI ... [Some aspects of drug pricing] in the U.S. and other developed countries ... To lower U.S. drug prices, don't export U.S. problems to other countries ... Need to develop better measures of value ... Alternatives to sustaining the unsustainable." Icon to read more

The Brookings Institution

Press Releases

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California’s New FSA Notice Requirement Leaves Employers Asking Questions
Covington & Burling LLP, via Lexology; free registration required

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