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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 10, 2021


[Official Guidance]

Text of HHS Proposed Delay of Effective Date of Final Regs on Access to Affordable Life-Saving Medications

"[T]his action proposes ... to further delay until July 20, 2021, the effective date of the rule entitled 'Implementation of Executive Order on Access to Affordable Life-saving Medications' ... currently scheduled to take effect on March 22, 2021 ... HHS seeks comments on this proposed delay of the effective date to July 20, 2021[.]"  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

California Jurisdictions Extend or Reissue COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

"This alert provides a consolidated update of the jurisdictions in California that have extended their Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinances."  MORE >>

K&L Gates

[Guidance Overview]

DOL and IRS Provide Clarifications on Deadline Extensions and Flexibility in FSA Administration

"The guidance in [EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01] provides significant relief for plan participants, who may continue to benefit from the tolling of applicable deadlines, albeit with a one-year limit. On the other hand, it imposes additional administrative burdens on plan sponsors and administrators in what is already a challenging time."  MORE >>

Kramer Levin

High Risk Issue icon Health Plan Exclusion Involving Autism Violated MHPAEA

"[T]he court concluded that the plan exclusion violated MHPAEA by: [1] Imposing a separate treatment limit that applied only to a mental health condition (that is, autism). [2] Excluding coverage for a primary treatment for autism when there was no comparable exclusion for medical/surgical benefits." [Doe v. United Behavioral Health, No. 19-7316 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 5, 2021)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Can ERISA Preemption Provide the Cleanup for Washington State's New Long-Term Care Statute?

"Washington state has passed the nation's first public-operated, long-term care insurance program ... paid for by employees through employer withholding as a payroll tax. The statute is a compliance nightmare for employers, employees, and the state. An added complication is whether [ERISA] preempts the ability of the state to regulate this area."  MORE >>

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Section 1332 Pass-Through Funding for 2021, New Health Plan Guidance

"[T]he total expected pass-through funding for 2021 is about $1.29 billion.... Reinsurance programs in only five of the 15 states -- Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin -- account for nearly 75 percent of the total pass-through funding."  MORE >>

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Blog

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator

"This calculator has been updated with subsidy changes in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (COVID-19 relief).... With this calculator, you can enter your income, age, and family size to estimate your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance."  MORE >>

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Benefits in General

Employee Rewards in M&A Transactions: Comparability Provisions

"[H]ow employees are treated once a deal closes depends largely on the buyer's deal strategy.... [Why include] comparability provisions ... given that they appear to restrict the buyer? What do these provisions typically cover? And what are best practices?"  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson


American Benefits Council Comment Letter to IRS on Mandatory 60-Day Postponement of Certain Tax-Related Deadlines

"Notwithstanding [the] apparent legislative intent, the proposed regulations indicate that the new 'mandatory' 60-day extension will only apply if the IRS first uses its discretion to extend deadlines for a given disaster.... [T]his proposed interpretation ... would preserve the discretionary nature of deadline relief[.]"  MORE >>

American Benefits Council

Press Releases

Unison Risk Advisors Announces Launch of New Pooled Employer Plan

Unison Risk Advisors

Webcasts and Conferences

Connecticut PFML and Absence Management - Which Way is Up?


OneDigital Health and Benefits

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave : Breaking Through the Quagmire and Quandary of Compliance

March 11, 2021 WEBCAST


HSAs: How to Maintain Compliance with the Pot of Gold

March 17, 2021 WEBCAST

NFP Corp.

Professionalism for Healthcare Actuaries

April 28, 2021 WEBCAST

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Disclosure to Welfare Plan Participants: A Fiduciary Duty (PDF)

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

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

Nixon Peabody LLP

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

Boutwell Fay LLP

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

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