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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 9, 2021

7 Jobs Today (scroll to view)


[Official Guidance]

Text of HHS Extension of Comment Period on Proposed Regs: Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule

"The comment period for the proposed rule, which would end March 22, 2021, is extended to May 6, 2021."  MORE >>

U.S. Office of Civil Rights [OCR], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Disclosure to Welfare Plan Participants: A Fiduciary Duty (PDF)

"The existing fiduciary principles ... can equally well -- and should -- be applied in the welfare plan context. This article will explore one such area -- the need to provide information to participants in group health plans[.]"  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal

[Guidance Overview]

COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Programs for Employees: Too Generous to Be Legal?

"If someone is truly skeptical about vaccines, the incentive offered will have to be large enough to overcome this hesitation. If an incentive is large enough to accomplish its intended purpose, courts may find that the voluntary program is not 'voluntary' at all because the money or its equivalent was too great to give the employee a meaningful choice."  MORE >>

Nixon Peabody LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Is Vaccine Time Considered Paid Time? Illinois DOL Says 'That Depends'

"Pivotal to the IDOL guidance is whether the vaccine is mandatory or voluntary, but in either instance, the agency recommends that employers review their leave policies and make any necessary revisions to enable employees to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine."  MORE >>

Franczek P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

After One Year, the Outbreak Period Is Ongoing -- What's a Plan Sponsor to Do?

"[It] appears that in the case of a single benefit transaction with multiple deadlines (e.g. a COBRA election notice and a COBRA election) the new interpretation of the one-year duration limit could result in multi-year extensions (at least until the Outbreak Period is over)."  MORE >>

Mayer Brown

[Guidance Overview]

CAA Brings Temporary Additional Flexibility for Flexible Spending Accounts (PDF)

"[T]he new legislation and the guidance under Notice 2021-15 allow many alternative plan designs for employers ... Plans must be amended by the last day of the first calendar year beginning after the end of the plan year in which the amendment is effective."  MORE >>

Boutwell Fay LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Illinois DOL Issues Guidance on Providing Leave for Employees to Get Vaccinated

"The IDOL guidance states that pursuant to the Illinois Minimum Wage Law and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, if an employer requires employees to get vaccinated, then the time the employee spends getting the vaccine 'is likely compensable,' even if the employee gets vaccinated during non-working time."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

New York State's Paid Sick Leave Law Preempts Westchester County's Earned Sick Leave Law

"Westchester County's law had required that eligible employees accrue one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year.... [T]he County's Safe Time Leave Law has not been preempted by the PSLL ... [E]mployers must continue to ... provide eligible employees with 40 hours of paid safe leave per year."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

Seventh Circuit Holds That USERRA May Require Paid Leave During Short-Term Military Leave

"Although the lower court previously had determined that military leave was not comparable to ... jury duty leave because military service was voluntary, the Seventh Circuit disagreed ... In assessing comparability, the appeals court directed the lower court to consider [1] the duration of the leave ... as well as [2] the purpose of the leave and [3] 'the ability of the employee to choose when to take the leave.' " [White v. United Airlines, Inc., No. 19-2546 (7th Cir. Feb. 3, 2021)]  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon COVID-19 Vaccination Questions and Issues for Employer Policy Planning

"[This article provides] a list of issues organizations should consider as they set policy and communication plans regarding on-site work and COVID-19 vaccines. [It also describes] issues to consider with regard to the practical application of any such policy and the development of related communications to employees or others."  MORE >>

LaborSphere, a blog by Drinker Biddle

COVID Bill to Deliver Big Health Insurance Savings for Many

"Winners include those covered by 'Obamacare' or just now signing up, self-employed people who buy their own insurance and don't currently get federal help, laid-off workers struggling to retain employer coverage, and most anyone collecting unemployment."  MORE >>

Benefits in General

Questions for Plan Sponsors to Consider Before Signing That New Service Agreement (PDF)

"Employers need to carefully review and negotiate proposed service agreement terms (even if their plans are not covered by ERISA) to ensure that they are balanced, fair and reasonable, comply with ERISA where applicable and other applicable law and do not create liabilities, duties and obligations that they, in hindsight, never would have 'bargained for.' "  MORE >>

Boutwell Fay LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Sr. Plan Administrator and Implementation Coordinator
for Advanced Benefits Consulting View job as Sr. Plan Administrator and Implementation Coordinator
for Advanced Benefits Consulting

Sr. Plan Administrator and Implementation Coordinator

Advanced Benefits Consulting

Telecommute / Saint Louis MO

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Cerberus Retirement, Inc. View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Cerberus Retirement, Inc.

Retirement Plan Administrator

Cerberus Retirement, Inc.

Telecommute / AZ

View job as Retirement Services Analyst
for Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System (SCERS)

Retirement Services Analyst

Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System (SCERS)


View job as Actuary
for The Retirement Advantage (TRA, Inc.)


The Retirement Advantage (TRA, Inc.)


View job as Defined Benefit Actuarial Analyst
for The Retirement Advantage (TRA, Inc.)

Defined Benefit Actuarial Analyst

The Retirement Advantage (TRA, Inc.)


View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Ascensus

Retirement Plan Consultant


Telecommute / PA

View job as Supervisory Employee Benefits Investigator
for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Supervisory Employee Benefits Investigator

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Telecommute / Washington DC

Press Releases

Illinois Mutual Earns Designation as a Great Place to Work-Certified™ Company in 2021

Illinois Mutual

401k Averages Book finds 401(k) Plan Fees Continue to Decline

401k Averages Book

Webcasts and Conferences

New Rules for Flexible Spending Accounts

March 17, 2021 WEBCAST

Boutwell Fay LLP

The Effect of COVID-19 on Employee Benefit Plans: Making Sense of the Abundance of New Legislation and Guidance

March 18, 2021 WEBCAST

Verrill Dana LLP

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave 201: Lessons Learned and Frequently Asked Questions

March 30, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

50-State Update on Pending Legislation Pertaining to Employer-Mandated Vaccinations

Husch Blackwell

Deadline Relief Continues for Health Plans and Participants


Risks of Keeping Employees Enrolled When They Are Not Actively at Work

OneDigital Health and Benefits

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587.

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