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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 18, 2021

10 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

ARPA COBRA Subsidy: When Is a Termination of Employment Involuntary?

"Back in 2009, Congress enacted another version of a COBRA subsidy and, at that time, the IRS issued guidance [in Notice 2009-27] to help define an 'involuntary' termination of employment. There is no assurance that the IRS will reach the same conclusions under ARPA; but for those of you who are planning, the following criteria were relevant in 2009 and may be relevant today."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Employers' Top Questions About ARPA's COBRA Subsidy

"Are individuals who previously declined or discontinued their COBRA coverage eligible for the subsidy? ... How quickly must employers provide notifications to individuals that may be eligible for the subsidy? ... How would a second qualifying event impact the subsidy?"  MORE >>

OneDigital Health and Benefits

[Guidance Overview]

Tax Changes for Childcare May Present DCAP Challenges

"[S]ome employees who previously would have been better off from a tax perspective contributing to a [dependent care assistance program (DCAP)] may find themselves in a more favorable tax position by claiming the full [Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit] in 2021 or vice versa."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

There's a Lot to Unpack on the New FFCRA; Many Questions Remain

"The new law explicitly states that employees get a new bucket of EPSL as of April [1] But do employees also receive a new bucket of EFML as of April 1? ... Can employers provide EPSL but not EFML? ... Can employers provide just a portion of EPSL or EFML, but not the entire allotment? ... Do employers run EFML against an employee's classic FMLA entitlement?"  MORE >>

FMLA Insights

Ninth Circuit: ERISA Does Not Preempt Seattle Ordinance Requiring Health Benefits for Hotel Employees (PDF)

"We agree with the district court that SMC Section 14.28 does not relate to any employee benefit plan in a manner that triggers ERISA preemption." [ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) v. City of Seattle, No. 20-35472 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2021; unpub.)]  MORE >>

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Defeating Credibility Challenges of Medical Reviewers

"[W]hat happens when the claimant argues that a medical opinion should be rejected due to the sheer volume of opinions the expert has provided in other matters? And what discovery is allowed to examine that issue?" [Adkins v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Amer., No. 20-5104 (E.D. Wa., Mar. 1, 2021; also order denying discovery)]  MORE >>

Lane Powell PC

Congress Targets Telehealth Coverage for Mental Health, Substance Abuse Treatment

"Several bills on Capitol Hill aim to expand telehealth coverage for mental health and substance abuse services delivered via telehealth, including efforts to reduce barriers to prescribing scheduled drugs."  MORE >>

Watko Benefit Group

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon COVID-19 Vaccinations: Employer Policies and Practices

"Can and should my company require employees to provide documentation verifying vaccination status? ... What do my company's HR employees and managers need to know about employee religious and medical exemption requests? ... How do I handle a teleworking employee who refuses vaccination but is reluctant to return to work for fear of contracting COVID-19?"  MORE >>

Quarles & Brady LLP

IRS Releases 2020 Form 8889 and Instructions for HSA Reporting, Updates Publication 969

"While Form 8889 is filed by HSA holders, employers and advisors working with HSAs should have a basic understanding of its scope. Publication 969 provides a convenient overview of the basic features of various consumer-driven health care vehicles[.]"  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA


What Are the Effects of Alternative Public Option Proposals?

"As the Biden administration seeks to strengthen and improve upon the [ACA], a new series of papers from the Urban Institute analyze various options for introducing a public option and/or capped provider payment rates."  MORE >>

Urban Institute

Benefits in General

Fifth Circuit Excuses Claimant from Exhausting Administrative Remedies

"The court concluded that the March 2018 letter did not substantially comply with ERISA's notice requirement because it was ambiguous about Theriot's appeal rights." [Theriot v. Building Trades United Pension Trust Fund, No. 20-30126 (5th Cir. Mar. 12, 2021)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Associate
for Actuarial Benefits & Design Company View job as Associate
for Actuarial Benefits & Design Company


Actuarial Benefits & Design Company

Telecommute / VA

View job as Cash Balance Plan Administrator
for Ascensus View job as Cash Balance Plan Administrator
for Ascensus

Cash Balance Plan Administrator



View job as Compliance Specialist (Entry Level)
for Newport

Compliance Specialist (Entry Level)


Moline IL

View job as Retirement Plan Administration
for The Benefit Advantage

Retirement Plan Administration

The Benefit Advantage


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Leading Retirement Solutions

Retirement Plan Administrator

Leading Retirement Solutions

Telecommute / Seattle WA

View job as Actuarial Analyst
for Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

Actuarial Analyst

Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus


View job as ESOP Consultant
for Ascensus

ESOP Consultant



View job as Pension Administrator
for KB Pension Services

Pension Administrator

KB Pension Services

Bradenton FL

View job as General Attorney
for Office of the Solicitor, Department of Labor

General Attorney

Office of the Solicitor, Department of Labor

Telecommute / Washington DC

View job as Conversion Specialist
for Benefits Consultant Group / Horace Mann

Conversion Specialist

Benefits Consultant Group / Horace Mann

Cherry Hill NJ

Press Releases

DATAIR Updates Their Pension System for the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARPA-21)

DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Ascensus Acquires Health & Welfare Form 5500 Preparation and Plan Document Services Business from ABV Advisors


Webcasts and Conferences

Uncharted Territory: Understanding and Planning Around the Legal Considerations for a Remote Workforce


Davis Wright Tremaine

What to Expect from a Health Plan Investigation

April 7, 2021 WEBCAST

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

ARPA's New COBRA Rules

Kushner & Company

Free and Extended COBRA Coverage Under ARPA

Squire Patton Boggs

COBRA, Affordability, and Dependent Care Changes Under the American Rescue Plan Act (PDF)

Sherman Howard

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

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