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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 29, 2021

3 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

Flex Plans Are Extra Flexible in 2021

"Employers can ... allow participants to carry over any unused amounts remaining in a health and/or dependent care FSA at the end of the 2020 and 2021 plan years to the following plan year.... Employers may implement these changes for both the health and dependent care FSAs or for just one of the FSAs."  MORE >>

Maynard Cooper & Gale

[Guidance Overview]

Yes, Your Health FSA Can Cover Your Surgical Mask Purchase!

"To the extent these health care arrangements have been permitting these reimbursements already, this announcement provides welcome confirmation. Other plan sponsors may want to use this opportunity to review the rules for their FSAs and HRAs to determine if they should be expanded to specifically allow for [these] reimbursements[.]"  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Announces PPE Is Qualified Medical Expense

"Once [the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS)] or other similar entities update their lists, pharmacies/retail stores that carry these PPE products must update their software systems to include these items as HFSA eligible expenses.... Until [those updates occur,] benefits debit cards will not approve these types of expenses."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

COVID-19 PPE Expenses Are Reimbursable Under Health FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs

"[G]roup health plans (including health FSAs and HRAs) that do not currently permit reimbursement of COVID-19 PPE expenses may be amended to permit reimbursement of COVID-19 PPE expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020. [Certain] conditions apply[.]"  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act: Compliance Checklist for Health Plan Sponsors (PDF)

"This [8-page] checklist provides a summary of the principal requirements under the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) that apply to employer-sponsored group health plans."  MORE >>

Snell & Wilmer


2021 CCA Healthcare Meeting: A virtual event for health actuaries

Calling all health actuaries! Don’t miss this virtual event featuring timely healthcare topics such as the COVID-19 vaccine & high-cost claim considerations. Registration also includes access to CCA’s Professionalism for Healthcare Actuaries webinar.

Sponsored by Conference of Consulting Actuaries [CCA]

[Guidance Overview]

New Jersey Issues Guidance on Employer-Mandated Vaccines

"The guidance generally tracks that published by the [U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)] in December.... The New Jersey guidance explains that an employer may require that an employee receive the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to the workplace, with a few limited exceptions[.]"  MORE >>

Ballard Spahr

[Guidance Overview]

New California App Describes Baby Bonding and Pregnancy-Related Disability Leave

"The free and interactive app is designed to guide California employees on how to obtain job-protected leave to bond with a new child or for a pregnancy-related disability.... [T]he app does not 'manage,' 'process,' or keep track of an employee's leave or return from leave, and is not a substitute for the employer's current HR policies."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

New York State Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine Leave Law

"The NYSDOL's guidance addresses and clarifies a number of details about the new law.... Use of leave and employee coverage ... Amount of leave ... Retroactive application ... Notice and documentation requirements ... Unionized employers."  MORE >>


Supreme Court PBM Decision Sheds Light on State Authority to Regulate Health Care Costs

"This Legal Sidebar provides background on ERISA preemption; examines the Rutledge decision; and concludes with selected legal considerations for Congress as it continues to address drug pricing reforms." [LSB10587, Mar. 26, 2021] [Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Mgmt. Assoc., No. 18-540 (S. Ct. Dec. 10, 2020)]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Ninth Circuit Panel Finds No ERISA Preemption of Seattle Health Care Ordinance

"[T]he Ninth Circuit panel applied a presumption 'against' ERISA preemption. ... [The] panel seems to [apply] preemption concepts set forth in Justice Thomas's concurring opinion in Rutledge.... This construct of preemption appears to narrow the ERISA preemption standard now applied by a solid majority of the Supreme Court." [ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) v. City of Seattle, No. 20-35472 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2021; unpub.)]   MORE >>



The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: A New Lease on Life for the ACA?

"The Act has several important measures which support ... increased healthcare access and affordability ... It remains to be seen, however, how slow the implementation period and climb in numbers are[.]"  MORE >>

Sheppard Mullin

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Fiduciary Analyst
for Anchor 3(16) Fiduciary Solutions, LLC View job as Fiduciary Analyst
for Anchor 3(16) Fiduciary Solutions, LLC

Fiduciary Analyst

Anchor 3(16) Fiduciary Solutions, LLC

Telecommute / Wexford PA

View job as Administrator II - Retirement Plan Services
for P&A Group

Administrator II - Retirement Plan Services

P&A Group

Buffalo NY

View job as Non-ERISA Relationship Manager, Tier 1
for National Benefit Services, LLC

Non-ERISA Relationship Manager, Tier 1

National Benefit Services, LLC

West Jordan UT

Press Releases

SageView Advisory Group Acquires Remaining Retirement Plan Business from Arnerich Massena

SageView Advisory Group

HUB Retirement and Private Wealth Launches Retirement Select for Small- to Mid-Sized Businesses

HUB International

OneAmerica® Teams with iHR® to Service Employee Benefits Clients


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Employee Benefits Legislative and Administrative Update

April 1, 2021 WEBCAST


Fiduciary Institute Series 2021: Part 3 - Fiduciary Issues for Section 403(b) Annuity and Custodial Plans

April 9, 2021 WEBCAST

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Fiduciary Institute Series 2021: Part 4 - Fiduciary Responsibilities For Vendors and New Fiduciary Obligations As Part of the Annual Audit

April 9, 2021 WEBCAST

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

How to Implement the ARPA’s COBRA Premium Subsidy

April 13, 2021 WEBCAST


Medicare for Employers

April 20, 2021 WEBCAST

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Text of IRS Ann. 2021-7: Amounts Paid for Certain Personal Protective Equipment Treated as Medical Expenses (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Changes Ahead for Employee Benefit Plan Audits

The Central New York Business Journal

IRS Clarifies Pandemic-Related Relief for Dependent Care FSAs

Faegre Drinker

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

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