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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 10, 2021

7 New Job Opportunities

 

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2021-26: Taxation of Dependent Care Benefits Available Pursuant to an Extended Claims Period or Carryover (PDF)

"This notice addresses the taxation of dependent care benefits, provided through a dependent care assistance program, available in taxable years ending in 2021 and 2022 due to the application of either the carryover or the extension of a claims period under [the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021] ... The notice clarifies that if these dependent care benefits would have been excluded from income if used during the preceding taxable year (that is, during the taxable year ending in 2020 or 2021, as applicable), they will remain excludable from gross income and are not wages of the employee for the taxable years ending in 2021 and 2022. In addition, the notice clarifies that these benefits will not be taken into account for purposes of the application of the limits under Section 129 of the Internal Revenue Code to other dependent care benefits available for the taxable years ending in 2021 and 2022."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2021-24: Relief from Penalty for Failure to Deposit Employment Taxes (PDF)

12 pages. "This notice extends the penalty relief provided in Notice 2020-22 to apply to deposits of Employment Taxes reduced in anticipation of the following credits: [1] Paid sick and family leave credits under the [FFCRA, as amended by CAA], with respect to qualified leave wages paid with respect to the period beginning January 1, 2021, and ending March 31, 2021; [2] Paid sick and family leave credits under sections 3131, 3132, and 3133 of the Code, added by [ARPA], with respect to qualified leave wages paid with respect to the period beginning April 1, 2021,and ending September 30, 2021; ... [3] The credit for Continuation Coverage Premium Assistance under section 6432 of the Code, as added by [ARPA], for COBRA continuation coverage premiums not paid by assistance eligible individuals for such coverage ... during the period beginning April 1, 2021, and ending September 30, 2021."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of HHS Notification of Interpretation and Enforcement of Section 1557 of the ACA (PDF)

"This Notification is to inform the public that, consistent with the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock and Title IX, beginning May 10, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will interpret and enforce Section 1557's prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex to include: [1] discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and [2] discrimination on the basis of gender identity. This interpretation will guide OCR in processing complaints and conducting investigations, but does not itself determine the outcome in any particular case or set of facts.... This Notification is effective May 10, 2021."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

HHS Announces Prohibition on Sex Discrimination Includes Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

"[T]he Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 and Title IX's prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include: [1] discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and [2] discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in covered health programs or activities."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

The Pocket Guide to COBRA Subsidy Notices (PDF)

Summary of COBRA notices required by ARPA, in chart form. For each such notice, the chart includes [1] Who gets this notice? and [2] Deadline to furnish this notice.  MORE >>

Proskauer

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Health & Welfare Benefits Update, May 2021 (PDF)

23 presentation slides. Topics: [1] Legislative update; [2] ARP Subsidy Update; [3] Health Plan Litigation Developments; and [4] ERISA Issues Related to Settlements, Refunds, and Recoveries.  MORE >>

Alston & Bird

Proposed Federal Legislation Mandating Paid Leave Raises Funding Questions for Employers

"Enactment of a federal paid leave law in the relatively near future appears likely.... Chairman Neal's bill is increasingly gaining favor among House Democrats as the vehicle for paid family leave legislation instead of the FAMILY Act. This may reflect the concerns raised among many Democrats about looking to employees to help fund the program. Questions remain for employers over which funding approach is preferable."  MORE >>

HR Policy Association

Doctors' Office Is Still the Top Choice for Most of the Public Seeking Health Care

"Adults were more likely to say they'd choose a doctors' office over a retail health clinic or an urgent care center for a variety of health services. 24% of adults said they trust the health care industry 'a lot,' while 15% said they place a lot of trust in retail health clinics and 59% said the same of their primary doctor."  MORE >>

Morning Consult

2021 Marketplace Special Enrollment Period Report

"The number of new plan selections from the start of the [special enrollment period (SEP)] opportunity on February 15 through April 30 represents a substantial increase in enrollment from the same period in 2020 and 2019 ... In previous years, SEPs were available primarily only for qualifying life events, whereas this year ... a SEP [was open] to all Americans in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency."  MORE >>

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Should There Be Vertical Choice in Health Insurance Markets?

"When premiums cannot reflect individual costs, consumers may not select their efficient coverage level. We show that vertical choice is efficient only if consumers with higher willingness to pay for insurance have a higher efficient level of coverage. Using administrative data from a large public employer, we investigate this condition empirically and find that the welfare gains from vertical choice are either zero or economically small."  MORE >>

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document

Benefits in General

DOL Rescinds Employer-Friendly Independent Contractor Test

"The final rule ... [does] not include a new interpretation of when workers can function as independent contractors and when they must be classified as employees. Instead, companies will continue to be judged under the existing multi-factor test known as the 'economic reality' test that the DOL and the courts have used for decades, unless and until the DOL issues more stringent regulations."  MORE >>

Ballard Spahr

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Benefit Pension Consultant
for The Ryding Company Defined Benefit Pension Consultant

The Ryding Company

Telecommute / Westlake Village CA

View job as Defined Benefit Pension Consultant
for The Ryding Company

View job as General Attorney
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] General Attorney

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

View job as Deputy Director for Drug and Health Plan Operations
for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] Deputy Director for Drug and Health Plan Operations

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

Telecommute

View job as Senior Counsel, Tax
for Transamerica Senior Counsel, Tax

Transamerica

Telecommute / IA / MD

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Ascensus Retirement Plan Consultant

Ascensus

Telecommute / Dresher PA

View job as Sr Defined Benefit Consultant
for Ascensus Sr Defined Benefit Consultant

Ascensus

Telecommute / CA

View job as Sr. DB Plan Administrator
for Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus Sr. DB Plan Administrator

Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

Telecommute / AZ / CA / CO

Selected New Discussions

Coordination of Benefits Between My COBRA Coverage and My Coverage as a Spouse

"I was laid off, and took COBRA. My spouse later obtained a full-time job with benefits and I'm now included as a dependent on her medical insurance. For one month, these two policies overlapped before I terminated COBRA. For my claims during this 'double-coverage' month, is COBRA still primary for me, or does it switch to secondary and my spouse's insurance becomes primary for me? This makes a big difference with meeting deductibles."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Attorney Christopher H. Suh Joins the Wagner Law Group

Wagner Law Group P.C.

Voya Financial to acquire Benefit Strategies, LLC

Voya Financial

Putnam Investments TargetDateVisualizer to Help Advisors Gain Greater Perspective on Retirement Investing

Putnam Investments

Carillon Tower Advisers joins the Retirement Advisor Council

Retirement Advisor Council

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Navigating COVID-19 Employment and ERISA Legal Compliance

June 9, 2021 WEBCAST

Hall Benefits Law

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

HHS Announces ACA Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limit for 2022; Allows for Marketplace Enrollment When COBRA Subsidy Ends

Lockton

Couple Retiring Today Will Need $300,000 During Retirement to Cover Medical Expenses, an 88% Increase Since 2002

Fidelity

PCORI Fee Deadline Is Just Around the Corner (PDF)

VCG Consultants

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

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