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[Guidance Overview]

An Overview of the Group Health Plan Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Final Transparency in Coverage Regs

"[The] CAA provisions can be broken into three main categories: [1] reducing Out-of-Network (OON) costs for enrollees, [2] providing transparency regarding costs, and [3] permissive changes that allow participants enhanced access to amounts salary reduced to a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) and a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA).... Many of the provisions in the CAA are effective in 2022 (although some are effective in 2021).Icon to read more

Trucker Huss

[Guidance Overview]

Flexibility for Flex Accounts: Congress Provides New Relief to Employees

"Employers who implement these changes will likely experience higher costs due to reduced forfeitures and changes in plan administration. Additionally, changes to health FSAa could adversely affect the participant's eligibility to contribute (or receive contributions) to a health savings account." Icon to read more

Winstead PC

[Guidance Overview]

New York DOL Issues Guidance on State COVID-19 Paid Leave Mandate

"[T]he Guidance notably sets forth that COVID-19 paid sick leave under the Law, measured as either five or 14 calendar days based on employer size, is available to employees for up to three mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. While there are limitations on when the second and third rounds of COVID-19 paid sick leave are available to employees, the Guidance expands this state mandate to a level not expressly stated in the Law." Icon to read more

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Employers Continue to Alter Benefits in Response to Pandemic

"[M]ore employers are reimbursing work-from-home expenses, adapting their paid-leave policies, offering flexible work schedules, and supporting workers with child and elder care responsibilities." Icon to read more

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

International Prescription Drug Price Comparisons

"U.S. prices were 256 percent of those in the 32 comparison countries combined. In comparisons with individual countries, U.S. prices ranged from 170 percent of prices in Mexico to 779 percent of prices in Turkey. The gap between U.S. prices and prices in other countries was larger for brand-name originator drugs. U.S. prices were 84 percent of prices in all non-U.S. countries for unbranded generics. U.S. prices were 190 percent of prices in other countries after adjusting U.S. prices downward to account for rebates and other discounts." Icon to read more

RAND Corporation

ACA Litigation Round-Up: A Status Check

"The most significant ACA case remains California v. Texas, a global challenge to the entire ACA that is pending before the Supreme Court ... This challenge is considered the weakest existential legal threat to the ACA to reach the Supreme Court thus far ... With briefing and oral argument complete, a decision could come at any time before the end of the Supreme Court's term this summer.... There are at least two other health policy lawsuits to keep an eye on that may reach the Supreme Court: these suits are over Trump-era regulations on the public charge rule and the Title X program." Icon to read more

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Blog


Helping Consumers Afford Prescription Drugs: An Antitrust Agenda for the New Congress

"Antitrust legislation in the 117th Congress should focus on preventing four types of anticompetitive conduct. Each of these approaches has bipartisan support, and most were included in bills that advanced during the last session.... [1] Challenge pay-for-delay settlements ... [2] Authorize the FTC to challenge product hopping ... [3] Allow the FTC to challenge patent thickets ... [4] Limit sham citizen petitions." Icon to read more

Michael A. Carrier, via Health Affairs Blog

Press Releases

River and Mercantile Recruits Group Head of ESG
River and Mercantile Group [RMG]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

View COVID-19 News and Resources, Inc.
56 Creeksong Road
Whittier, North Carolina 28789
(407) 644-4146

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

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2021, 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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