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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 2, 2021

2 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

Health and Welfare Benefits Monthly Update (PDF)

19 presentation slides. Topics: [1] IRS guidance delaying 1040 filing date (impact on HSAs) and addressing PPEs; [2] Legislative and regulatory update; [3] ARPA DCAP increase to $10,500; [4] Outbreak notice reminders and implementation issues; [5] ARPA: a deeper dive on COBRA subsidies; [6] HIPAA update.  MORE >>

Alston & Bird

[Guidance Overview]

COBRA Changes Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

"The ARPA subsidy also applies to fully insured group health plans that are not subject to COBRA (e.g., because the employer typically employs fewer than 20 full-time employees), but which are subject to state continuation laws. For those plans, the insurer must provide the subsidy and is entitled to claim the tax credit."  MORE >>

Spencer Fane

[Guidance Overview]

Payroll Tax Credit for COVID-19 Sick and Family Leave

"This [report] provides an overview of the tax credits for paid leave initially provided in the [FFCRA] and later extended in the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted as Division N, Title II, Subtitle B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) and the American Rescue Plan Act[.]" [IF11739, Apr. 1, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Guidance Overview]

ARPA Extends Tax Credits for Providing COVID-19 Leave

"The ARPA [1] increases the qualifying reasons for EPSL to nine ... [2] resets an employee's available EPSL days as of April 1, 2021.... [3] extends the EFMLA qualifying reasons to all nine of the EPSL reasons[.]"  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Philadelphia Implements COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Mandate

"The amended [Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL)] ordinance ... expands existing paid sick leave requirements by mandating Philadelphia businesses with at least 50 employees provide additional paid time off to employees who have worked for the business at least 90 days."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Revised Pubic Health Emergency Leave Law Goes Into Effect in Philadelphia

"[T]he City of Philadelphia adopted a new version of Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL), mandating up to 80 hours of paid leave benefits in 2021 for employers with 50 or more employees. The law went into effect on ... March 29, 2021."  MORE >>

Ballard Spahr

[Guidance Overview]

The American Rescue Plan Keeps the FFCRA Voluntary But Expands Paid Leave

"Employers covered by relevant federal, state, and/or local leave laws, including any recently enacted emergency leave laws, should evaluate how, if at all, those laws interact with paid leave benefits provided under the Act."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

Fifth Circuit Rules That Project Completion Bonus Is Not an ERISA Severance Plan

"Unlike a typical severance arrangement, the plan language described the benefit as a 'retention incentive' and payment was tied to completing projects, without regard to whether employment actually terminated." [Atkins v. CB&I, L.L.C., No. 20-30004 (5th Cir. Mar. 22, 2021)]  MORE >>


ERISA's Record Retention Requirements for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans (PDF)

"[P]lans exempted from the Form 5500 reporting requirements are still required to comply with ERISA Section 107's record retention rules.... [T]he plan administrator's recordkeeping responsibilities cannot be delegated, even when contracting with a third party for recordkeeping services."  MORE >>

VCG Consultants

In U.S., an Estimated 46 Million Say They Cannot Afford Quality Healthcare

"35% of low-income earners were unable to pay for care in prior 12 months. One in eight (12%) have cut back on spending on food to pay for care. Broad support exists for capping out-of-pocket costs in Medicare."  MORE >>



People Making $350,000 a Year Can Now Claim $20,000 from Taxpayers to Buy an ACA Exchange Plan

"As more are funneled into taxpayer funded plans, fewer care what healthcare actually costs. As hospitals are further squeezed by taxpayer-funded plans, they will require increasingly higher reimbursement rates from private/employer plans.... The practical solution for many employers, especially those with less than 250 to 500 employees, will be to ... drop health insurance and push employees to the exchanges."  MORE >>

Benefit Revolution

Benefits in General

Text of Ninth Circuit Opinion Upholding ERISA Forum Selection Clause and Denying Writ of Mandamus (PDF)

From the summary by the court: "Agreeing with other Circuits, the panel held that even though provision of 'ready access to the Federal courts' is among ERISA's goals, ERISA does not bar forum selection clauses. Thus, the plan properly designated, from among venues permitted by the statute, the venue where the plan was administered." [Becker v. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland, No. 20-72805 (9th Cir. Apr. 1, 2021)]  MORE >>

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

How Work-from-Anywhere Complicates Employee Benefits

"Benefits are sometimes limited or even very restricted by geography.... Keep presentations and video training shorter in duration ... [T]here are a lot of differences between states in not just taxes, but also required benefits.... [A] company's benefits administration system needs to be clear and easy for employees to understand and use."  MORE >>

BenefitsPro; free registration required

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Compliance Analyst
for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings View job as Senior Compliance Analyst
for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings

Senior Compliance Analyst

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings

Telecommute / San Francisco CA / AZ / CO / FL / IL / KY / LA / MA / NC / NJ / NV / NY / OH / OR / RI / SC / TN / TX / WA

View job as 401(k) Administrator
for Pollard & Associates, Inc.

401(k) Administrator

Pollard & Associates, Inc.


Press Releases

Illinois Mutual Releases 2020 Annual Report

Illinois Mutual

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

ARPA Benefits Compliance Updates and FAQ Part 1


NFP Corp.

COBRA Connections: ARPA Subsidies and Outbreak Period Relief Webinar



American Rescue Plan Act: Employee Benefits Provisions

April 22, 2021 WEBCAST

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

M&A in Payroll and Benefits

April 28, 2021 WEBCAST

Godfrey Kahn S.C.

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

COBRA Subsidies in COVID-19 Rescue Plan Require Employer Action


Top Employee Benefits Issues to Watch in 2021 (PDF)

DLA Piper

DOL Guidance Clarifies Expiration of COVID-19 Deadline Extension for Employee Benefit Plans

Ogletree Deakins

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

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