Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 2, 2021

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The First 100 Days: Changes Afoot for Health and Welfare Plans

"The first 100 days of President Biden's presidency are likely to bring a number of changes for employer-sponsored health and welfare plans. The more than three dozen Executive Orders that were issued by the end of January included orders providing a special [ACA] enrollment period, directing the review of policies (and strengthening of protections) related to the [ACA] and Medicaid, and expanding coverage for COVID-19 treatment (including through group health plans) and healthcare for women. As is typical for an incoming administration, President Biden also issued a regulatory freeze, potentially impacting several pending and recently finalized health and welfare-related regulations." Icon to
read more

Mayer Brown

Court Finds Burnout Isn't Serious Health Condition Under the FMLA

"Blake failed to present any evidence he had been diagnosed with an FMLA-qualifying illness or condition or had discussed a medical condition with the city. The court found his statement that he began seeing an unnamed 'licensed counselor' after the date he tendered the resignation was far from sufficient to establish he had a serious health condition or one of which the city knew. A visit to his doctor might have assisted his position." [Blake v. City of Montgomery, No. 19-243 (M.D. Ala. Oct. 6, 2020)] Icon to read more

HR Daily Advisor

Does Your Employee Benefits Strategy Feel Like Groundhog Day?

"Forward-thinking benefit advisors help employers take a different approach to group health plan purchasing by asking strategic questions and understanding business metrics and challenges up front, and well before renewal time.... This type of planning (especially for big changes) should begin at least six months before your next renewal in order to provide enough time for strategic alignment, as well as buy-in and feedback from key stakeholders." Icon to read more

Grooms Benefit Solutions

OCR Enters Into $5.1 Million Settlement with Health Plan Following Large and Lengthy Data Breach

"Although the financial settlement is a large dollar amount, a number of factors likely impacted that penalty, including the high number of impacted individuals and the fact that the breach involved information with a higher degree of sensitivity, such as Social Security numbers and bank account information. In addition, the fact that the hackers reportedly had access to the Excellus system for such a long period likely played into the financial settlement amount." Icon to read more

Nixon Peabody LLP

[Opinion]

Growing Patchwork of State and Local Paid Leave Laws Can No Longer Be Ignored

"The challenges posed by inconsistent state paid leave laws ultimately drain resources that could be used to provide more valuable paid leave benefits. The current patchwork of one-size-fits-all state program standards often creates inefficient and costly administration processes. Rigid state paid leave programs remove large employers' flexibility to tailor their paid leave programs to the unique needs of their workforce. Expansive state paid leave legal standards expose employers to liability and specious litigation." Icon to read more

The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

Benefits in General

Tips for Including Benefits When Onboarding New Employees

"[1] Consult with your onboarding team.... [2] Showcase your benefits in offer letters.... [3] Create a benefits-focused email for onboarding new employees.... [4] Ensure that initial training discusses company perks.... [5] Produce customized visuals.... [6] Outline the transition for family members.... [7] Immediately educate on the ACA.... [8] Highlight and encourage enrollment in your wellness and other benefits programs." Icon to read more

Tango Health

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

ACA Litigation Round-Up: A Status Check
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Blog

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

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