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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 25, 2021

4 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

New York Issues FAQs on Paid Vaccination Leave Law

"Most importantly, the FAQs clarify that the Law does not create any retroactive benefit rights to paid vaccination leave. Accordingly, while an employer is free to apply the law retroactively if it wishes, the Law mandates that 'only employees receiving vaccinations on or after March 12, 2021 are eligible for paid leave.' "  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

Washington State Long-Term Care Program: Employers Should Take Notice and Act Quickly

"The law mandates long-term care benefits for Washington residents, paid for by a tax on employees' wages. The tax/premium collections are on track to commence January 1, 2022. Employees who plan to retire in the next 10 years will be required to pay premiums -- but may never qualify for the benefit."  MORE >>

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

High Risk Issue icon LTD Plan's Failure to Define 'Active' Employee Extends Eligibility to Employee Not Actually Working

"It should not be assumed that a similarity between terms ('active' vs. 'actively at work') will lead a court to conclude that the same meaning is intended for each, or that one is intended to explain the meaning of the other. Instead, it's just as likely that the court will consider undefined terms to be ambiguous and construe them against the drafter." [Carlile v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., Nos. 19-4123, 20-4005 (10th Cir. Feb. 22, 2021)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Fifth Circuit: Construction Project Completion Incentive Plan Was Not an ERISA Plan

"In its analysis, the Fifth Circuit acknowledged that the plan was 'akin to a severance plan' -- some of which are subject to ERISA. However, ... applying factors from case law involving severance plans, the Fifth Circuit concluded that the plan was not subject to ERISA." [Atkins v. CB&I, L.L.C., No. 20-30004 (5th Cir. Mar. 22, 2021)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

High Risk Issue icon Employee W-2's May Need to Be Corrected for FFCRA Leaves

"While IRS Notice 2020-54 provided guidance on the W-2 reporting requirement in July 2020, this guidance was not incorporated into Form W-2 instructions for 2020. Since most employers provide W-2s to their employees by January 31, there may be many who misreported leave payments and must now send corrected W-2s to their employees."  MORE >>

Hall Benefits Law

ARPA Increases Limit for Annual Contributions to Dependent Care FSAs

"Employers who intend to amend their DCFSAs to permit carryover of unused deferrals from 2020 to 2021 pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 will welcome this change, as it provides certainty that any carryover amount will not be treated as taxable income to the participant."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

High Risk Issue icon Risks of Providing Employee Benefits for Those Not Actively at Work

"It is becoming more common for stop-loss companies to request payroll records and confirm if an employee is actively at work before paying large claims. Employers and employees need to know that stop-loss companies can deny claims if the employee was not actively at work."  MORE >>

Ice Miller LLP

U.S. Drug Prices Should Be Lowered -- But How?

"Senators on both sides of the aisle may agree that prescription drug prices are too high, but their solutions to the problem couldn't be more different.... The senators [on March 23] heard a variety of proposed solutions from witnesses."  MORE >>

MedPage Today

Senate HELP Subcommittee Hearing: Why Does the U.S. Pay the Highest Prices in the World for Prescription Drugs?

Video of March 23 hearing, with testimony from [1] Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; [2] Nav Persaud, MD, MA, University of Toronto; [3] Elia Spates, Derby, VT; and [4] Alex Brill, American Enterprise Institute.  MORE >>

Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security; Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, U.S. Senate

Improve Participant Experience with a Self-Funded Health Plan

"A simple solution to help control the volatility is to create a separate healthcare bank account for the self-funded plan with the correct stop loss contract provisions.... The employer can then transfer the budgeted premium equivalent rate into the healthcare bank account each month, similar to paying their fixed premium for a fully insured plan."  MORE >>

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Voluntary Benefit Offerings Rise 27% in Wake of COVID-19 Pandemic

"The fastest-growing voluntary benefits amid the COVID-19 pandemic include supplemental health insurance policies such as 'accident,' 'hospital indemnity' and 'critical illness,' in which employees pay a small monthly premium but receive a direct cash payout to help pay expenses if they are hospitalized or diagnosed with certain critical illnesses."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Counsel / Senior Counsel
for Chevron Corporation

Counsel / Senior Counsel

Chevron Corporation

San Ramon CA / Houston TX

View job as Senior 401k Governance Consultant
for Newport

Senior 401k Governance Consultant


Lake Mary FL

View job as Benefits Supervisor
for Miami-Dade County

Benefits Supervisor

Miami-Dade County

Miami FL

View job as Employee Benefits Associate
for Shipman & Goodwin LLP

Employee Benefits Associate

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

Hartford CT / New Haven CT / Stamford CT

Press Releases

Accomplish Empowerment Platform Launches New Employee Self-Service App

Accomplish EP

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

ERISA Fiduciary Institute 2021: 6-Part Webinar Series

April 7, 2021 WEBCAST

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

COBRA And Other Implications of Recent Stimulus Bills On ERISA Health Benefits

April 20, 2021 WEBCAST

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

2021 Tools & Tactics Webinar: FMLA Basics

April 21, 2021 WEBCAST

Disability Management Employer Coalition [DMEC]

41st Annual Conference

May 5, 2021 WEBCAST

Midwest Business Group on Health

Post-election Outlook: What's Happening on the Hill?

May 12, 2021 WEBCAST

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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


The American Rescue Plan Act Includes Required COBRA Subsidy


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

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

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

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