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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 12, 2021

2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Certainty Creates Incentive for Increasing DCAP Limit

"Employers that were hesitant to increase their plan's DCAP limit for 2021 to avoid unexpected tax consequences for their employees can lay those fears to rest with [the issuance of IRS Notice 2021-26].... [P]lan amendments must be adopted by the last day of the plan year, although employers should act much sooner if they wish to implement the increased benefit for 2021."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Guidance on Taxation of Increased Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts

"[If] a participant was allowed to carryover unused DCRA funds from 2020 to 2021, and from 2021 to 2022, and then was reimbursed for eligible expenses exceeding $10,500 in either calendar year 2021 or 2022 ... the annual allowable excludable limit for actual reimbursements from a DCRA on an employee's individual tax return was still $10,500 for 2021 and 2022. On May 10, 2021, the IRS solved these problems with Notice 2021-26."  MORE >>

Kushner & Company

[Guidance Overview]

Major Changes in Connecticut's FMLA Law Become Effective January 1, 2022 (PDF)

"Virtually all Connecticut employers will need to change their policies and procedures to comply with the Act. Employers with fewer than 50 employees (who previously were not subject to Federal or Connecticut FMLA requirements) will need to adopt new policies and notice procedures. Employers who are already subject to Connecticut and Federal FMLA requirements will need to revise their policies to ensure compliance[.]"  MORE >>

Reid and Riege, P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

HHS Will Enforce Section 1557 to Protect LGBTQ People from Discrimination

"Future action, including new rulemaking, is expected. But, in the meantime, OCR makes clear that it will accept, investigate, and resolve complaints of health care discrimination from LGBTQ people under Section 1557."  MORE >>

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Blog

Potential ERISA Fiduciary Duty Issues with BCBSA $2.67 Billion Settlement

"Employers should be aware that they may have fiduciary duties under ERISA with respect to the use of any proceeds from the settlement fund.... The DOL has not addressed the proper treatment of settlement proceeds with respect to this lawsuit ... However, the DOL has previously addressed the proper treatment of medical loss ratio (MLR) rebates that may be received by sponsors of fully insured group health plans under the [ACA]. For purposes of ERISA, the MLR rebates appear comparable to the settlement proceeds received from BCBSA."  MORE >>

Miller Johnson

Using Bulk Purchasing to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

"This report explores how the federal government can use bulk purchasing of prescription drugs, including vaccines, to address several ongoing public health crises in the United States ... [T]he report provides an overview of how prescription drug prices have risen in recent years and of the significant impacts that high prescription drug prices have on patients. It then describes several methods that state and federal governments currently use to bulk purchase prescription drugs and other medical supplies."  MORE >>

Center for American Progress


Amicus Brief of Employer Organizations Seeking Ninth Circuit Rehearing of Seattle ERISA Preemption Case

27 pages. "[T]he increasingly disruptive effects of multiple states and localities adopting similar requirements with respect to ERISA-covered plans demands that this Court reconsider the Panel's decision and rule in a manner consistent with Congress' intent in adopting the sweeping preemption provision included in ERISA." [ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) v. City of Seattle, No. 20-35472 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2021; unpub.; petition for rehearing filed Apr. 30, 2021)]  MORE >>

American Benefits Council, Business Group on Health, HR Policy Association, Silicon Valley Employers Forum, and Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of EBSA Request for Nominations to ERISA Advisory Council; Insurance Representative Vacancy

"This notice seeks nominations for an individual to fill a vacancy on the [Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans] representing the field of insurance. This vacancy is due to the resignation of a member ... [T]he individual selected to fill the vacancy will begin serving upon appointment and will serve until December 31, 2022, in accordance with ERISA section 512(a)(4)."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Weighs In on Cybersecurity for ERISA Plans

"[In] key places, the guidance refers more generally to 'ERISA-covered plans,' and as a result -- even if unintended -- it can be broadly read to apply to not only retirement plans but also health and welfare plans.... Plan service providers and fiduciaries for health and welfare plans will need to consider reconciling the tips in the below guidance with other security guidance that already applies to such plans -- for example, HIPAA's privacy and security standards and various data security breach laws."  MORE >>

Mayer Brown

The Littler Annual Employer Survey 2021 (PDF)

23 pages. "Employers planning for a transition to a post-pandemic workplace are faced with a host of novel issues – and addressing a disconnect with employees about what the future of work and the return to physical workspaces looks like is at the top of the list."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Cerberus Retirement, Inc. Retirement Plan Administrator

Cerberus Retirement, Inc.

Telecommute / AZ

View job as DC / DB Plan Administrator
for NPPG DC / DB Plan Administrator


Telecommute / Shrewsbury NJ

Selected New Discussions

Offering Group MEC Plus an ICHRA to a Particular Class of Employees

"Is a Plan Sponsor offering only Group MEC coverage to an eligible ICHRA class of employees also allowed to offer an ICHRA to that same class of employees, because a Group MEC is not Traditional Group Health Coverage (MVP) nor an Excepted Benefit under ICHRA rules? Same result as to offering the same ICHRA class of employees both ICHRA and Group GAP coverage which covers a stated dollar benefit amount of Deductible and Coinsurance?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

EPIC Adds Sam Wagener as Principal


Industry Leading Benefits Expert Joins Lockton, Further Strengthening Firm’s Growing Seattle Office


Aon and Willis Towers Watson (WTW) Take Important Step Toward the Close of Proposed Combination with Agreement to Sell Set of WTW Assets to Gallagher

Aon Corporation

Surety Bond Authority, Inc. Adds ERISA Bond to its Products Read more at:

Surety Bond Authority, Inc.

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

COBRA Compliance

May 19, 2021 WEBCAST

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

$2.67 Billion Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Class Action Settlement and an Employer’s ERISA Fiduciary Duties

May 21, 2021 WEBCAST

Miller Johnson

COBRA Compliance

May 26, 2021 WEBCAST

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

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

The ARPA COBRA Subsidy: Guidance to Date, and Unanswered Questions (PDF)

Jackson Walker

IRS Notice Addresses Taxation of Dependent Care Benefits


IRS Announces 2022 Limits for HSAs, HDHPs and Excepted Benefit HRAs

McDermott Will & Emery

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

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