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Blue Benefits Consulting
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Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconMental Health Parity: Comparative Assessments Required for Certain Nonquantitative Treatment Limits in Group Health Plans

"The February 10 effective date was an unwelcome surprise in the legislation.... [A]dditional steps will need to be taken to ensure compliance and prepare for possible informational requests from the DOL." Icon to read more

Faegre Drinker

[Guidance Overview]

Understanding the No Surprises Act

"Starting January 1, 2022, it will be illegal for providers to bill patients for more than the in-network cost-sharing due under patients’ insurance in almost all scenarios where surprise out-of-network bills arise, with the notable exception of ground ambulance transport." Icon to read more

The Brookings Institution

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Announces Additional ICHRA Codes for 2020 Form 1095-C

"According to an IRS website post, an applicable large employer that offers an individual coverage HRA (ICHRA) can use two previously reserved codes from Code Series 1 on Form 1095-C, line 14, for reporting offers of coverage for 2020." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Adjusts Penalty Amounts, Summarizes 2020 Enforcement Actions

"[I]ncreased penalties ... include ... [1] Failure to timely file annual report Form 5500 ... $2,259 per day ... [2] Failure to timely file annual report Form M-1 ... $1,644 per day ... [3] Failure to timely provide a compliant Summary of Benefits and Coverage ... $1,190 per failure." Icon to read more


Employer May Count All Weeks to Determine FMLA Leave Entitlement for Employees Working Rotational Schedules

"Under the Secretary of Labor's view, ... a rotational employee's off weeks cannot be counted as 'workweeks of leave.' ... [T]he Ninth Circuit concluded that Congress intended 'workweek' to refer to a week-long period, designated in advance by the employer, during which the employer is in operation." [Scalia v. State of Alaska Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities, No. 19-35824 (9th Cir. Jan. 15, 2021)] Icon to read more

Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

ACA Executive Actions and Legislative Outlook

"This alert provides an overview of [Executive Order 14009] and its implications, as well the legislative outlook for ACA-related legislation in Congress." Icon to read more

Akin Gump

Should You Check In with Your Employee During FMLA Leave? Yes, and Here's Why

"There are several reasons ... it's critical to stay in contact with your employee while they are on FMLA leave.... [T]hese regular communications should not be used to require employees to perform work." Icon to read more

FMLA Insights

Create Your Home COVID-19 Tool Kit with FSA or HSA Funds

"[I]tems that have been big sellers throughout the pandemic ... [1] Over-the-counter cold and flu medications ... [2] Non-contact thermometer ... [3] Pulse oximeter ... [4] COVID-19 at-home virus detection test.... [Y]ou can pay for any of these items with tax-free savings offered by FSA and HSA funds." Icon to read more

Connect Your Care

Benefits in General

DOL Announces Fiscal Year 2020 Enforcement Statistics, Reflecting Record-Setting Recovery Amount

"For the year, the DOL handled 171,863 inquiries ... EBSA closed 230 criminal investigations, which led to 59 guilty pleas or convictions and the indictment of 70 persons (including plan officials, corporate officers, and service providers) for crimes related to employee benefit plans." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Press Releases

OneDigital Acquires Owen & Associates
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

View COVID-19 News and Resources, Inc.
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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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