Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 17, 2021

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[Guidance Overview]

'You Just Missed the Exit', or 'Where's the Guidance on Ending the Outbreak Period?'

"[H]ere we are, almost a year out, and the president hasn't rescinded the national emergency. But under ERISA, the feds only had the authority to suspend these deadlines for a year.... So, what happens on March 1 with respect to all those folks who, since then, haven't yet elected COBRA, paid their COBRA premium, submitted claims, applied for HIPAA special enrollment, or filed an appeal on a denied claim?"

Lockton

[Guidance Overview]

Can an Employer Terminate COBRA Coverage During the Pandemic's Outbreak Period?

"As the pandemic continues on, employers have reported that COBRA qualified beneficiaries are not making elections, or are making no or short payments of premiums ... Without guidance, the best analog is to look at how the employer treats COBRA beneficiaries during the non-pandemic election period, and during the late payment grace period."

Kushner & Company

[Guidance Overview]

Paying for Out-of-Network Services: Negotiation and Independent Dispute Resolution

"[T]he No Surprises Act establishes a process by which health care providers and facilities ... and group health plans and insurers ... either negotiate or use an independent dispute resolution (IDR) process to work out the cost of the out-of-network care without balance billing the patient."

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

[Guidance Overview]

High Risk Issue iconCalifornia Expands Leave Rights Under the Family Rights Act

"As of January 1, 2021, the CFRA applies to private employers of 5 or more employees.... Starting on January 1, 2021, employees also may take leave to care for additional family members ... This expansion will create the possibility of 'leave stacking' where an employee qualifies for CFRA leave but not FMLA leave."

Vorys

[Guidance Overview]

Best Practices for Management of Intermittent FMLA Leave

"[1] Have clear written policies and practices.... [2] Educate, engage, and communicate.... [3] Be organized.... [4] Train managers.... [5] Treat employees taking FMLA leave the same as those who take non-FMLA leave.... [6] Account for other state leave laws.... [7] Consider COVID-19's continued impact.... [8] Remember the ADA."

Mintz

Increasing Price Transparency in Health Care: Key Themes and Policy Options

"This report examines current price transparency efforts and their features, describes barriers to more widespread availability and use of price information, and discusses possible ways to overcome those barriers."

RAND Corporation

For Employees: Can You Get on Disability for Depression?

"This article will discuss the principal issues to consider when filing a claim for disability benefits based on depression, and key considerations to keep in mind as you navigate the claim process."

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C.

Press Releases

Cammack Retirement Group Joins CAPTRUST
CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

The NCEO Announces Its New Board Members
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

COVID-19 and COBRA Continuation: Where Do We Stand?
DataPath; free registration required

2020 Year-End ERISA Disputes Update
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

View COVID-19 News and Resources

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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 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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