logo logo

Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 20, 2021

8 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Guidance on Premium Assistance and Tax Credits in Notice 2021-31

"Eligibility for other group coverage impacts eligibility for the premium assistance only if the individual is actually permitted to enroll in that other coverage mid-year.... Employers who had a decrease in employees such that they are not subject to federal COBRA this year, still have to offer COBRA premium assistance based on their status as a larger employer in 2020 (for AEIs who were due an offer of COBRA in 2020)."  MORE >>

NFP; free registration required to view full report

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Releases FAQ Guidance on Premium Assistance for COBRA Coverage

"An individual can become an [Assistance Eligible Individual] more than once during the six-month period in which the subsidy is provided.... [No] qualifying events other than a reduction in hours or an involuntary termination of employment ... will be considered qualifying events for an individual for COBRA premium assistance.... [P]remium payees that do not have any employment tax liability can still claim the credit on the Form 941 for the quarter in which the premium payee becomes entitled to the credit."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Guidance on COBRA Subsidies Just in Time

"A determination of whether a termination of employment is 'involuntary' is based on the facts and circumstances ... [T]he extended election period applies only to a group health plan subject to Federal COBRA, and does not apply to a group health plan subject to State mini-COBRA unless the State mini-COBRA statute itself provides for a similar extended election period."  MORE >>

Ice Miller LLP

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Guidance Regarding American Rescue Plan Act COBRA Subsidy

"Despite its length, much of the guidance is not surprising and is a carryover of previous [IRS] guidance related to the COBRA subsidy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Notice comes as plan sponsors and COBRA administrators are gearing up to issue required notices to subsidy eligible individuals under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

Los Angeles County Enacts Paid Vaccine Leave Ordinance

"On May 18, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors enacted an urgency ordinance that, under certain circumstances, requires all private employers to provide paid leave so employees can receive COVID-19 vaccine injections. This paid leave includes time employees spend traveling to and from appointments and time spent recovering from symptoms related to receiving the vaccine that prevent them from working or teleworking."  MORE >>


PBMs Keep ERISA Preemption Fight Alive

"Five months after the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a loss to the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) lobbying group Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), PCMA filed a brief in the Eighth Circuit arguing that the Court's ruling does not narrow the scope of [ERISA] preemption for PBM regulation.... PCMA's filing signified the opening round of the next fight as to whether the Supreme Court's ruling will be narrowly construed to apply to rate-setting regulation or applied more expansively to preempt PBM regulation of other conduct." [Pharmaceutical Care Management v. Wilkie, No. 18-2926 (on appeal to 8th Cir.; appellant brief filed May 11, 2021)]  MORE >>

Duane Morris LLP

JPMorgan Takes Another Crack at Healthcare, Starting with Its Own

"The nation's biggest bank is building a new unit that will work on health initiatives for its employees and invest $250 million in startups and technologies meant to make their healthcare more efficient and effective. The unit, dubbed Morgan Health, aims to create a model of employer-sponsored healthcare that results in better and more equitable care at a lower cost."  MORE >>

The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Automated Prior Authorization May Lower Costs, Improve Care for Cancer Patients

"Because the platform enables prior authorization of treatment at a regimen level rather than requiring prescribers to submit each drug individually, it delivers a better member and prescriber experience and helps ensure that patients can get started on the most clinically appropriate treatment for their specific diagnosis in a timely manner[.]"  MORE >>


Combination of Life Insurance and Long Term Care Coverage Can Boost Your Benefits Program

"[E]mployers see reluctance among employees to take advantage of specific long-term care insurance offerings in company-sponsored voluntary benefit programs.... There is a general tendency to believe that long-term care coverage is one of those things you might never need.... But the reality is that 70 percent of adults who live to age 65 will need long-term care in the future[.]"  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Benefits at Tiffany's: Equitable Relief Under ERISA 502(a)(3) Does Not Support Money Damages

"You know that a claimant must exhaust administrative remedies before filing a suit. But is an appeal 'optional' when the denial letter says that claimant 'may request a second level review'? ... And what's with 502(a)(3) breach of fiduciary claims anyway?" [Benson v. Tiffany and Company SPD, No. 20-1289 (S.D.N.Y. May 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Lane Powell PC

Employee Benefits Trends for 2021's 'Next Normal'

"[These] pandemic-prompted trends will play a big part in how employee benefits evolve: [1] Increased focus on employee financial health ... [2] Demand for more benefits options ... [3] Technology is at the center."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Fiduciary Analyst
for Anchor 3(16) Fiduciary Solutions, LLC Fiduciary Analyst

Anchor 3(16) Fiduciary Solutions, LLC

Telecommute / Wexford PA

View job as Fiduciary Analyst
for Anchor 3(16) Fiduciary Solutions, LLC

View job as Client Relationship Manager
for The Benefit Advantage Client Relationship Manager

The Benefit Advantage


View job as 3(16) Account Manager
for Pentegra 3(16) Account Manager



View job as Customer Solutions & Training Specialist - Pension & Benefits
for / Wolters Kluwer Customer Solutions & Training Specialist - Pension & Benefits / Wolters Kluwer

Telecommute / IL

View job as Auditor (Office of Inspector General)
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Auditor (Office of Inspector General)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

View job as Health Insurance Specialist (Recent Graduates)
for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] Health Insurance Specialist (Recent Graduates)

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

Telecommute / Denver CO / Kansas City MO

View job as Senior 401(k) Administrator
for Actuaries and Associates Senior 401(k) Administrator

Actuaries and Associates

Fort Worth TX

View job as Compliance Analyst
for The Retirement Advantage, Inc. Compliance Analyst

The Retirement Advantage, Inc.


Selected New Discussions

How Does COBRA Subsidy Apply to a MEWA?

"I work with a MEWA and the association is questioning the 20 employee minimum for the COBRA subsidy. Can someone point me in the direction of the reg that explains how the subsidy works with a MEWA? If an employer that participates in the MEWA has fewer than 20 employees, do they still fall under the COBRA subsidy since they are part of the MEWA?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Jackson Lewis Launches ERISA Litigation Blog

Jackson Lewis LLP

Willis Towers Watson Appoints Peter Gundy to Its Rewards Business

Willis Towers Watson

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Everything (Well, Almost Everything) You Need to Know About the New COBRA Subsidy, Session 2

May 24, 2021 WEBCAST

Thompson Hine LLP

Just in the Nick of Time: Additional COBRA Subsidy Guidance

May 24, 2021 WEBCAST

Ogletree Deakins

Health and Welfare Plan Basics: a Learning Opportunity

May 25, 2021 WEBCAST

New England Employee Benefits Council [NEEBC]

Urgent Health Plan Priorities - COBRA Subsidies, and Health and DCAP FSA Extensions and Expansions

May 26, 2021 WEBCAST

Wagner Law Group P.C.

Unexpected Delight - Delivering Benefits That People Love

June 15, 2021 in TX

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

2021 ERISA Litigation: Recent Cases, Assessing Fiduciary Risks, Strategies for Counsel

July 21, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Got COBRA Subsidy Questions? The IRS Has Answers

E is for ERISA

Tri-Agency FAQs Tell Employers to Produce Robust and Well-Reasoned Mental Health Parity Analyses

Nixon Peabody LLP

Agencies Provide Guidance for Newly Required Mental Health Comparative Analysis


Unsubscribe  |   Change Email Address

Search Past Issues   |   Privacy Policy

Submit an Article   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise Here

Copyright 2021, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers. We are not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.