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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 24, 2021

6 Jobs Today


[Official Guidance]

Text of CMS Technical Stakeholder Guidance: Updated and New 2021 Special Enrollment Period for COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PDF)

Mar. 23, 2021. "Consumers will newly be able to access the SEP through a variety of channels ... Consumers who enroll under this SEP will be able to select a plan with coverage that starts prospectively the first of the month after plan selection.... Current enrollees will be able to change to any plan available to them in their area."  MORE >>

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

Some Family Members May Not Be Eligible for the ARPA COBRA Premium Subsidy

"If a former employee who is an assistance-eligible individual elects COBRA coverage that includes a family member who is not a qualified beneficiary (e.g., a domestic partner or a new spouse to whom the employee was not married at the time of the qualifying event), how much of the premium is not subsidized? And how much is the payroll tax credit to which the employer (or multiemployer plan or insurer) is entitled?"  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

The American Rescue Plan Act Includes Required COBRA Subsidy

"[E]mployers sometimes rely on employer-paid COBRA benefits as consideration for a release of claims [as part of a severance agreement].... The legally required ARPA COBRA subsidy at least during the limited period of April 1 to September 30 may not be adequate consideration alone for a release in this situation."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Employer Q&As Regarding Paid Leave Under the American Rescue Plan Act

"As more employers consider whether to provide this paid leave, and, therefore, be eligible for the payroll tax credits, additional questions have arisen.... No federal agency, including the [DOL], has issued guidance on this legislative action as of the date of this publication."  MORE >>

Husch Blackwell

[Guidance Overview]

New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law Retroactively Expands California Employer Obligations

"SB 95 both revives and expands upon the expired SPSL laws, extending the reach to far more employers and increasing the grounds for taking paid leave."  MORE >>

Duane Morris LLP

High Risk Issue icon Court Says Health Plan Document May Not Exclude Specified Autism Treatments

"[The claims administrator] argued that the plan is not required to provide specific mental health benefits relating to autism.... [The court] ruled that 'In this case, the ABA and IBT exclusions only apply to mental health disorders. Therefore, the exclusions create a separate treatment limitation applicable only to services for a mental health condition. By doing so, the exclusion violates the plain terms of the MHPAEA.' " [Doe v. United Behavioral Health, No. 19-7316 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 5, 2021)]  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

District Court Highlights the Risk of Inaccurate and Inconsistent Communications Regarding Leaves of Absence

"Although ... an employer may have a policy that requires FMLA and short-term disability leaves to run concurrently with one another, eligibility and other requirements of each type of leave [differ].... [E]mployers may consider administering each type of leave separately, including sending separate communications to employees relating to the specific type of leave being addressed." [Knaup v. Molina Healthcare of Ohio, Inc., No. 19-166 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 3, 2021)]  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Smart Solutions to Help with Benefit Selection

"35% of the employed Americans ... surveyed did not fully understand any of the benefits they enrolled in during their most recent enrollment period. That number jumped to over half of employees in the millennial age group.... [W]here's the disconnect?.... [M]any signs point to the complexity of the benefits."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Jury Trials in ERISA Cases in the Eleventh Circuit?

"[T]he court denied John Hancock's motion [to strike the jury trial demand]. The court stated at the outset that the issue had not yet been decided by the Eleventh Circuit ... and further found that there were district court decisions on both sides of the issue within the circuit." [Romano v. John Hancock Life Ins. Co., No. 19-21147 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 12, 2021) ]  MORE >>

Kantor & Kantor

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as DC/DB Retirement Plan Administrator
for Steidle Pension Solutions View job as DC/DB Retirement Plan Administrator
for Steidle Pension Solutions

DC/DB Retirement Plan Administrator

Steidle Pension Solutions

Telecommute / NJ / PA

View job as Retirement Planner Consultant
for Heller Wealth Management

Retirement Planner Consultant

Heller Wealth Management

Melville NY

View job as Inside Sales Specialist - Retirement - 401k
for Newport

Inside Sales Specialist - Retirement - 401k


Charlotte NC

View job as Account Services Rep (Entry-Level)
for Newport

Account Services Rep (Entry-Level)


La Crosse WI

View job as Plan Documents Administrator
for Associated Pension Consultants

Plan Documents Administrator

Associated Pension Consultants


View job as Defined Benefit / Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for Qualified Plan Administrators, Inc.

Defined Benefit / Defined Contribution Plan Administrator

Qualified Plan Administrators, Inc.

Telecommute / Greensboro NC

Press Releases

Veteran to Help OneAmerica®Boost East Coast Sales Territory Presence


Former EBSA Official Wilson Rejoins Groom Law Group

Groom Law Group

Husch Blackwell Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Generator

Husch Blackwell

Wharton Advisors Corporation Teams up with The Wealth Engineering Family of Companies


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Increased Limit for Dependent Care Assistance Programs: Traps for the Unwary

Troutman Sanders

Group Health Plan Transparency Disclosure Rules Finalized: What Plan Sponsors Should Know

Dickinson Wright PLLC

M&A Benefits: How to Avoid an Employee Benefits Train Wreck in Your Next Deal

Employee Benefits Law Group

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

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