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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 20, 2021

3 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Employers Must Act Now on April 1 COBRA Subsidy Period

"While the Subsidy is aimed at former employees who have lost health coverage due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, there is no requirement that the termination or reduction in hours be the result of the Pandemic. Identifying and communicating with former employees eligible for the Subsidy and administering it presents challenges for employers who should be taking action now to comply."  MORE >>

Murphy Austin

[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Employers Should Distribute ARPA COBRA Notices as Quickly as Possible

"[E]mployers need to verify eligible employees and family members who have lost group health coverage at any time since October 1, 2019 so the ARPA notices can be distributed to them. Those eligible individuals will include any employee who was 'involuntarily' terminated and has not qualified for subsequent group health or Medicare coverage."  MORE >>

Golan Christie Taglia

[Guidance Overview]

New Mexico Enacts Broad Paid Sick Leave Law

"The Act requires employees to accrue PSL at a rate of at least one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 64 hours, beginning on the later of [1] the commencement of employment or [2] July 1, 2022. There is no waiting period to use PSL, and employees may use any available PSL as it is accrued. PSL may be taken in one-hour increments, unless the employer allows PSL to be taken in smaller increments of time."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

Present Law and Background on Dependent Care and Paid Leave

41 pages. "This pamphlet provides background information about leave and dependent care law and policy. Part I describes selected temporary and permanent Federal tax rules related to child and dependent care expenses, employer-provided dependent care assistance programs and child care expenditures, and paid family and medical leave. Part II presents empirical information and summarizes policy considerations related to mandatory and voluntary child care and leave arrangements." [JCX-19-21, Apr. 19, 2021]  MORE >>

Joint Committee on Taxation [JCT], U.S. Congress

Class Action Claim Dismissed: No Evidence of Injury Due to Alleged COBRA Notice Violation

"[N]umerous COBRA class action cases have challenged COBRA notices based on relatively minor discrepancies with the DOL regulations. [This] decision is significant because the court stepped back and, effectively, said, 'Even if these notices are confusing or missed some technical rules, how exactly did that harm the plaintiff class?' " [Carter v. Southwest Airlines Co. Bd. of Trustees, No. 20-1381 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 14, 2020)]  MORE >>

HR Daily Advisor


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

Barriers to Price and Quality Transparency in Health Care Markets

"Public payers, such as Medicare and Medicaid, typically set prices for physicians and hospitals prospectively, and commercial health plans negotiate with physicians and hospitals to determine prices.... A key limitation of federal consumer price transparency initiatives aimed at hospitals is that they focus on charges and negotiated prices."  MORE >>

RAND Corporation

Bill to Expand Paid Family Leave Benefits for Federal Employees Introduced in Senate

"A group of four Democratic senators last week introduced legislation to provide federal employees with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave per year to handle illnesses and other circumstances not covered in paid parental leave benefits passed into law in 2019. The new legislation mirrors a bill already under consideration in the House."  MORE >>

Government Executive

COVID-19 Lost Time from Work Could Cost Employers More Than $50 Billion

"[S]pending for absent workers due to the coronavirus is estimated to total $50.5 billion. This is a 117% increase from a previous analysis conducted this time last year that used a high-range scenario of 15 million cases, whereas the number of cases across the nation has now more than doubled. [This] assessment includes potential sick leave wages, short-term disability payments and spending on employee benefits."  MORE >>

Integrated Benefits Institute

Benefits in General

Emerging Case Law Supports Forum-Selection Clauses in ERISA Plans

"A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit upholds the enforceability of forum-selection clauses in ERISA plans.... The Ninth Circuit joins the Sixth and Seventh Circuits in this regard, and district courts in other circuits such as the Third and Fourth Circuits have also followed suit, although their respective circuit courts have yet to decide the issue." [Becker v. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland, No. 20-72805 (9th Cir. Apr. 1, 2021)]  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Project Manager Benefits Communication
for BeneCom Associates Project Manager Benefits Communication

BeneCom Associates

Telecommute / Acton MA

View job as Retirement Recordkeeping Operations Manager
for The Trust Company of Tennessee Retirement Recordkeeping Operations Manager

The Trust Company of Tennessee

Telecommute / Knoxville TN

View job as Auditor (Pathways Recent Graduate)
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Auditor (Pathways Recent Graduate)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

Press Releases

CalPERS Takes Legal Action to Recover Stolen Dormant Retiree Assets

CalPERS [California Public Employees' Retirement System]

TRA Completes Acquisition of Rosenfeld/Tortu Retirement Planning Co., Inc.

The Retirement Advantage [TRA]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

COBRA Premium Assistance under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

April 26, 2021 WEBCAST

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program

May 5, 2021 WEBCAST

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

COBRA and the Outbreak Period: Be Careful When Changing Carriers or COBRA Vendors

HUB International

The Clock is Ticking on MHPAEA Compliance

Sheppard Mullin

New MHPAEA Compliance Requirements FAQs Released

Kilpatrick Townsend

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

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