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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 30, 2021

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[Guidance Overview]

American Rescue Plan Act: COBRA Strikes

"If anyone has COBRA coverage, you aren't supposed to collect the premiums during this April 1-September 30 period.... Do not cancel anyone's COBRA coverage between April 1 and September 30 for failing to pay the premiums.... If you use a vendor to manage your COBRA process, make sure the vendor does this properly.... your COBRA notice obligations have changed[.]"  MORE >>

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP


2021 Onsite Employee Health Clinics Summit (June 24-25, Chicago)

The Leading Forum on Building & Expanding On-Site Health Clinics – Incorporating Strategies that Reduce Costs, Ensure Employee Satisfaction and Positively Impact Patient Behavior! Register now at

Sponsored by World Conference Forum

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon New COBRA Subsidies Create Urgency for Employers

"Employers must provide notice by May 31, 2021, to AEIs who are eligible for the special election opportunity.... [Employers] should try to get these notices out as soon as possible because they start the clock for each applicable AEI's special election period."  MORE >>

Godfrey & Kahn S.C.

[Guidance Overview]

ARPA Includes Voluntary Extension and Expansion of FFCRA Paid Leave

"An employer's decision to extend EPSL and EFMLA paid leave is entirely voluntary.... However, employers wishing to take advantage of the refundable tax credits will need to comply with the EPSL and EFMLA requirements, as modified by the ARPA."  MORE >>

ERISA Benefits Law, PLLC

[Guidance Overview]

COVID-19 PPE Now Eligible for FSA, HSA, and HRA Reimbursement

"Many plans will be drafted to allow all Section 213(d) medical expenses, now including COVID-19 PPE, and may not require any amendment for these expenses to be eligible back to January 1, 2020. If an amendment is required, then plan sponsors must make the election change prior to December 31, 2022 in order for the change to be retroactive to January 1, 2020."  MORE >>

Connect Your Care

[Guidance Overview]

New York DOL Releases Paid Leave Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccinations

"Employees are entitled to up to four hours paid leave per injection.... The law does not apply retroactively.... Paid leave may only be used for employee vaccination.... Employers can require employees provide notice before taking paid leave ... [and] can require proof of vaccination."  MORE >>

Fisher Phillips

[Guidance Overview]

San Francisco Delays HCSO 2020 Reporting Requirement

"The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) has released a notice postponing the required ... annual report for a minimum of six months, to at least October 31, 2021.... [Proposed legislation] would waive the requirement to report ... for calendar year 2020 only."  MORE >>

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

[Guidance Overview]

California Enacts New COVID-19 Paid Supplemental Sick Leave Requirement

"Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid leave.... Part-time employees are entitled to a pro-rata paid sick leave benefit.... Employers must conspicuously display the required poster ... [and] must include the amount of available supplemental paid sick leave on employees' itemized wage statements or in a separate writing."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

California Retroactively Expands Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

"[C]overed employees who took qualifying leave between January 1 and March 28 may request retroactive payment for leave taken during that period."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

Upcoming Deadline icon Upcoming Key Compliance Deadlines and Reminders for Second Quarter 2021

"[T]his second quarter reminder [separates] entries into three categories: standard federal deadlines, state and local deadlines, and pandemic-related reminders.... Deadlines may or may not be applicable to your group depending on the employer and plan characteristics."  MORE >>


Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Employers Offering COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives Including Paid Time Off, Cash, and More

"At this time, there has been no guidance issued by the EEOC or any other governmental agency on vaccine incentives. As employers have been left to navigate this on their own, some are choosing to follow wellness program rules, which have become less clear too.... Here are some examples of what [employers are] offering as COVID-19 vaccine incentives."  MORE >>

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

The Importance of Health Benefits Literacy

"Less than half of employees in a 2020 survey rated their open enrollment experience as positive.... 48% said that their employer did not provide sufficient benefits education resources, leaving only 40% feeling prepared to choose a health plan."  MORE >>

Corporate Synergies

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of Draft IRS Publication 598: Tax on Unrelated Business Income of Exempt Organizations (PDF)

23 pages. "What's New: [1] Mandatory electronic filing.... [2] Final regulations issued.... [3] Form 990-T has been redesigned for tax year 2020.... [4] Organizations with more than one unrelated trade or business must compute unrelated business taxable income (UBTI), including for the purpose of determining any net operating loss deduction, separately with respect to each such trade or business.... [5] Retroactive repeal of section 512(a)(7)." [Form dated Mar. 22, 2021; draft dated Mar. 25, 2021]  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Client Services Manager
for Newport

Client Services Manager


Folsom CA / Chicago IL / Saint Petersburg FL / La Crosse WI / Charlotte NC / Overland Park KS / Mobile AL / West Des Moines IA / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Benefits Manager
for Ensign Services

Benefits Manager

Ensign Services

San Juan Capistrano CA

View job as Client Relationship Manger
for Sunwest Pensions

Client Relationship Manger

Sunwest Pensions

Telecommute / Tempe AZ

View job as Distributions Analyst
for Loren D. Stark Company (LDSCO)

Distributions Analyst

Loren D. Stark Company (LDSCO)

Telecommute / Houston TX

View job as Manager, Policy & Advocacy
for Business Group on Health

Manager, Policy & Advocacy

Business Group on Health

Washington DC

Press Releases

Spike in Child Mental and Behavioral Health Issues Leave Parents Concerned, Torchlight Year-Long Study Finds


Russell Investments Enters Strategic Partnership with Hamilton Lane to Accelerate Private Markets Capabilities

Russell Investments

AIG Retirement Services Launches New Mobile App Capabilities to Help Nonprofit and Public Service Employees Save for Retirement

AIG Retirement Services

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

What Employers Need to Know: ARPA & Impact on COBRA

March 31, 2021 WEBCAST


EBRI 2021 Spring Policy Forum: The Path Forward

May 10, 2021 WEBCAST

EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Text of IRS Notice 2021-21: Relief for Form 1040 Filers Affected by Ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act: Compliance Checklist for Health Plan Sponsors (PDF)

Snell & Wilmer

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


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

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