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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 13, 2021

6 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Guidance on Taxability of Dependent Care FSA for 2021 and 2022

"Generally, any dependent care expenses reimbursed above the applicable DCFSA calendar limit in 2021 and 2022 will not be taxable if the excess amount was attributable to a CAA carryover or extended grace period.... For non-calendar plan years beginning in 2021 and ending in 2022, the increased exclusion amount will not apply to reimbursements incurred during the 2022 portion of the plan year."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Dependent Care Benefits: IRS Addresses How Extended Carryovers and Increased Benefit Limit Will Work

"Employers with non-calendar year plans who adopt the carryover and the higher maximum benefit will need to communicate the options carefully to their employees.... The good news ... is that employers are not liable for withholding taxes on these taxable reimbursements."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon COBRA Subsidy Under ARPA: Important Deadlines Approaching (PDF)

"The COBRA subsidy under ARPA does not extend or shorten the period of COBRA continuation beyond the normal rules.... A notice in connection with the extended election period must be provided by May 31, 2021, to those individuals who qualify to elect COBRA continuation under the extended election period."  MORE >>

Wilmer Hale

[Guidance Overview]

LGBTQ+ Protections Under the ACA Are In Effect Again!

"Many questions remain unresolved about the scope of this guidance -- but one thing is certain: HHS will have more to say on this issue, and so, too, will the courts.... [E]mployers should know whether their plans contain provisions that could be discriminatory and could therefore put the employer at risk for enforcement action or discrimination claims."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Points for Employers from the Second Part of the 2022 ACA Payment Notice

"[If] the employer completely eliminates its subsidy so that the COBRA-covered person is paying the full cost, the individual can simply stop paying for COBRA coverage and enroll in individual Exchange coverage. The 2022 Payment Notice confirms that this has to be a complete cessation of employer contributions."  MORE >>

HUB International

[Guidance Overview]

New Mexico Becomes Latest State to Enact Paid Sick Leave Law

"[The Healthy Workplaces Act (HWA)] requires employers to provide [earned sick leave (ESL)] benefits to New Mexico employees that need leave for specified reasons beginning January 1, 2022.... The law defines covered employers and employees broadly.... The HWA entitles employees to use up to 64 hours of ESL per 12-month period.... The law imposes documentation requirements on both the employee and employer."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Expanded Illinois Kin Care Law Allows Employees to Use Sick Leave Benefits for 'Personal Care' of Family Member

"The amendment defines 'personal care' as 'activities to ensure that a covered family member's basic medical, hygiene, nutritional, or safety needs are met, or to provide transportation to medical appointments, for a covered family member who is unable to meet those needs himself or herself.' 'Personal care' also includes 'being physically present to provide emotional support to a covered family member with a serious health condition who is receiving inpatient or home care.' "  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

Illinois Expands Scope of the Employee Sick Leave Act

"Previously, employees could use their personal sick-leave benefits for absences due to their family member's illness, injury or medical appointment. Now, with the amendments under HB 158, employees can also use their personal sick-leave benefits for their family member's 'personal care.' "  MORE >>

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

Amazon Shuns Per-Employee Fees with New Telehealth Business

"Instead of the usual per-member per-month fee charged by most telehealth companies, Amazon is reportedly charging companies based on how many of their employees actually use the app ... For companies with lots of covered employees, this could be a more appealing payment model in the long run."  MORE >>

MedCity News

What to Do When an Insurance Company Denies Your Mental Health Claim

"While federal and state laws require insurance companies to cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment, many people face an uphill battle in getting insurance companies to authorize treatment for mental health.... [Here are] steps you can take if you find yourself in the unfortunate but common position of being denied coverage."  MORE >>


How Hybrid Work Could Impact Employee Benefits Strategy

"The types of benefits that have been introduced to support remote employees range from expanding telehealth benefits and access to programs that can address mental and health and well-being issues to incentives for redesigning home office spaces.... In some cases, choosing which benefits that fit employees' needs during the pandemic may be a task of observation. "  MORE >>

HR Dive

Benefits in General

Permanent Changes on the Job Due to the Pandemic

"Virtual meetings are opening up the marketplace.... The pandemic (and Zoom revolution) may be killing off the traditional wholesaling model.... Advisory firms are taking the opportunity to hire anywhere, and also to reduce home office space.... Advisory firms may be permanently more efficient as a result of the pandemic.... Virtual meetings may be slightly less personal than in-person meetings, but that has been more than made up for by greater frequency of contact."  MORE >>

Bob Veres in Inside Information

Soaring Retirement Healthcare Price Tag Calls for Some Careful Planning

"[R]etirees do not need all that money at the start of retirement, because in fact they will spend it across a retirement of 20 or more years.... Eighty percent of the dollars in Fidelity's forecast will be spent on Medicare Part B and D premiums and the program's cost-sharing provisions, including co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles."  MORE >>



Second Opinion(s) on Health Cost 'Coverage' During Retirement

"Ultimately, these types of projections serve to remind us that health care costs need to be contemplated as a part of retirement expenses -- and that, at the extremes, those costs can quickly wipe out funds set aside for living expenses.... [We] should keep in mind that those attention-grabbing lump sum numbers are, at best, an estimate that attempts to put a framework around a very specific aspect of retirement spending--one that for the vast majority won't come due all at once, but over decades, one that may well not emerge until much later in retirement, one that may never ever arise in that projected magnitude."  MORE >>

Nevin Adams, Esq., via American Retirement Association [ARA]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Pension Administrator
for Primark Benefits Senior Pension Administrator

Primark Benefits

Telecommute / Burlingame CA

View job as Senior Pension Administrator
for Primark Benefits

View job as RPS Administrator
for Old National Bank RPS Administrator

Old National Bank

Evansville IN

View job as Pension Consultant
for Pension Associates Retirement Planning, LLC Pension Consultant

Pension Associates Retirement Planning, LLC

Telecommute / Stamford CT

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant / Relationship Manager
for Associated Pension Consultants Retirement Plan Consultant / Relationship Manager

Associated Pension Consultants

Chico CA / Sacramento CA

View job as Senior Pension Administrator
for AFC Pensions, Inc. Senior Pension Administrator

AFC Pensions, Inc.

Needham MA

View job as Senior Counsel, Retirement Ops & E-Commerce
for Transamerica Senior Counsel, Retirement Ops & E-Commerce



Selected New Discussions

Reimbursement of COBRA Subsidy When No Payroll Taxes

"It's my understanding that plan sponsors will be reimbursed for the COBRA subsidy through a credit against quarterly payroll taxes. With a multiemployer plan that uses a TPA, there are no payroll taxes against which to take a credit. How does the plan gets reimbursed? Do they need to fill out the tax form and just put $0 for the payroll taxes owed?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

ICARE and Global Health Metrics Pioneer Health Risk Assessment Tool for Addiction Awareness

International Center for Addiction and Recovery Education [ICARE]

Amazon Pharmacy and Amazon Prime Are Offering Customers New Ways to Save Money and Understand Prescription Medication Costs


Pentegra Introduces Fiduciary Scorecard™ to Measure Plan Success

Pentegra Retirement Services

Wellbeats Named Best Overall Fitness Technology Company in 2021 MedTech Breakthrough Awards Program


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Price Transparency and the No Surprises Act: What Group Health Plan Sponsors Need to Know

May 20, 2021 WEBCAST

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP [SGR]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Potential ERISA Fiduciary Duty Issues with BCBSA $2.67 Billion Settlement

Miller Johnson

Certainty Creates Incentive for Increasing DCAP Limit


The Littler Annual Employer Survey 2021 (PDF)


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

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