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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 4, 2021

2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon A Comparison of Tax-Advantaged Accounts for Health Care Expenses

26 pages. "This report provides a brief summary of each tax-advantaged account for health care expenses, highlighting key aspects regarding eligibility, contributions, withdrawals, and the treatment of unused balances for that particular account, as well as data on availability and use. It also provides a side-by-side comparison of these accounts along related topics." [R46782, May 3, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon COBRA Subsidies: Questions and Answers (PDF)

"Does this obligation include dental and vision, or just medical insurance? ... If a former employee declines coverage at a new place of employment, does eligibility end? ... Does the employee have an obligation to provide notice of eligibility for new coverage?How will this be enforced?  ... Are there any parallel requirements on the state level? ... How do I handle eligible employees who have already made payments?"  MORE >>

Boutwell Fay LLP

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Model COBRA Notices Related to Premium Subsidies and Extended Election Period Required by ARPA

"The deadlines for certain notices are fast approaching ... It would be advisable to discuss the list of individuals to be given the notice, and even if a COBRA vendor confirms it will send the required notices, employers may want to consider sending the notices as well, even if doing so is repetitive, to ensure all requirements are met."  MORE >>

Frost Brown Todd LLC

[Guidance Overview]

The Final 2022 Payment Notice: Risk Adjustment

"This post considers the final rule's changes to the risk adjustment program.... CMS did not finalize proposed updates to its risk adjustment model specifications or enrollment duration factors but will further consider potential changes that could increase the predictive power of the risk adjustment models."  MORE >>

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Blog

[Guidance Overview]

Pennsylvania Employees, Organ Donations, and the FMLA

"Whether organ donation qualifies for federal Family Medical Leave Act ('FMLA') leave is typically dependent on whether there is continuing treatment or an overnight stay in the hospital. But effective on or about June 26, 2021, if you are a covered employer under the FMLA, the employee is eligible for FMLA, and the employee works in Pennsylvania, then the answer is yes!"  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

New Mexico State Law Eliminates All Copays, Coinsurance, and Deductibles for Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services

"[T]he law prohibits imposing 'cost-sharing by health insurers on behavioral health services covered by an individual or group health insurance policy, health care plan, or certificate of health insurance.' The provisions of the bill will go into effect on January 1, 2022 and end on December 31, 2026."  MORE >>

Troutman Sanders

25 Ideas for Benefits and Perks to Offer Remote Workers

"[T]he pandemic has forced many workers into a remote setting, leading to a situation in which many benefits and employee perks simply aren't as useful as they once were. Use this list to determine which voluntary benefits and perks you should offer your remote workforce."  MORE >>

HR Daily Advisor

HHS Launches New Reimbursement Program for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Fees Not Covered by Insurance

"[The COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund (CAF)] is focusing on instances where individuals have insurance, but vaccines are either not covered or are but typically with patient cost-sharing. To address these gaps, the CAF will be compensating providers for eligible claims, at national Medicare rates[.]"  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Hospitals Fail to Comply with Price Transparency Requirements

"Hospitals were using blocking codes that hid the pricing information from appearing in search results.... If CMS finds that a hospital has failed to comply, CMS may [1] issue a written warning notice to the hospital, [2] request a corrective action plan, or [3] impose a civil monetary penalty along with publicizing the penalty on the CMS website."  MORE >>


Permanent Boost to Federal Premium Assistance Could Change ACA 1332 Waivers

"If permanent improvements are made to premium affordability, the waiver program could grow beyond its current role -- facilitating premium-stabilizing reinsurance programs -- to help states tackle health systems costs and reduce the burdens of high cost sharing."  MORE >>

The Commonwealth Fund

Covered California Says Health Insurance Just Got Too Cheap to Ignore

"[ARPA] provides billions of federal dollars to reduce premiums for people who buy their coverage through the insurance exchanges established by the [ACA].... The new law follows the lead of California, which provided groundbreaking state-funded tax credits starting last year to augment the ACA credits and push eligibility for aid well into the middle class. The new federal dollars will provide assistance even further up the income scale."  MORE >>

Kaiser Health News

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for West Coast TPA Firm Defined Contribution Plan Administrator

West Coast TPA Firm


View job as Senior Employee Education Consultant - Institutional Asset Management
for PNC Senior Employee Education Consultant - Institutional Asset Management


Pittsburgh PA

Press Releases

NFP Acquires First Person, Inc., Expanding Employee Benefits Business in the Central Region

NFP Corp.

Future Benefits Inc. Joins OneDigital

OneDigital Health and Benefits

American Trust Retirement Acquires Stanley Benefit Services

American Trust

Centivo Launches New Health Plan for Self-Funded Employers in Iowa Utilizing Incirca Health Network, Powered by MercyOne


Transamerica Celebrates 2021 PSCA Awards with Retirement Plan Sponsors


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

COBRA Premium Assistance: Your Questions Answered

May 5, 2021 WEBCAST

Boutwell Fay LLP

The 18th Annual Made in America Taft-Hartley Benefits Summit

June 3, 2021 in NV

Wilmington FRA

Health and Welfare Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions

June 16, 2021 WEBCAST

Boutwell Fay LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Mental Health Parity Compliance Returns to Forefront for Group Health Plan Sponsors

Jackson Lewis P.C.

DOL Issues New MHPAEA FAQs on Comparative Analyses Requirements

Faegre Drinker

Sponsors of Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plans May Benefit Under Recent Settlement


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

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