logo logo

Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 24, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of EBSA Notice of June 11 Meeting of State All-Payer Claims Databases Advisory Committee

"The Committee is mandated by section 735 of [ERISA] ... The Committee will advise the Secretary of Labor on the standardized reporting format for the voluntary reporting by group health plans to State All Payer Claims Databases. Reporting will include medical claims, pharmacy claims, dental claims, and eligibility and provider files collected from private and public payers. The Committee will also advise the Secretary on what guidance is necessary to provide to States on the process by which States may collect such data in the standardized reporting format."  MORE >>

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

[Official Guidance]

Draft of 2021 IRS Form 1095-B: Health Coverage Report (PDF)

"This Form 1095-B provides information about the individuals in your tax family (yourself, spouse, and dependents) who had certain health coverage (referred to as 'minimum essential coverage') for some or all months during the year.... [If] individuals in your tax family are eligible for certain types of minimum essential coverage, you may not be eligible for the premium tax credit." [Also available: Draft of 2021 IRS Form 1094-B, Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns]  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Tax-Free Dependent Care Assistance Program Benefits: Fewer Traps for the Unwary

"IRS Notice 2021-26 clarifies the interplay between the carryover and 12-month grace period provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) and the increased Code Section 129 exclusion limit set forth in the ARPA."  MORE >>

Troutman Sanders

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon ARPA COBRA Subsidy Guidance: IRS Notice 2021-31 and Emergency Relief Notices (PDF)

"This alert provides an overview of the reduction in hours and involuntary termination guidance contained in [Notice 2021-31], breaking down the types of terminations or reductions in hours that would give rise to COBRA subsidy eligibility during the subsidy window. This alert also covers the interplay between [the Act, the EBSA and IRS Joint Notice of May 4, 2020, and EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01]. These aspects of the Notice encompass myriad human resource scenarios that employers encounter on a day-to-day basis."  MORE >>

Jenner & Block

[Guidance Overview]

Under New Paid Leave Ordinance, It Pays to Be Vaccinated in Los Angeles County

"[The Employee Paid Leave for Expanded Vaccine Access Ordinance] requires employers to provide supplemental paid leave of up to four hours per injection for employees working in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine. [The ordinance] is effective retroactively to January 1, 2021 and will remain in effect until August 31, 2021."  MORE >>

Reed Smith

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon IRS Provides Clarity on ARPA COBRA Subsidy's Impact on State Mini-COBRA Plans

"Generally, the criteria to be an 'assistance eligible individual' for ARPA COBRA subsidy eligibility purposes applies equally to plans regardless of whether they are subject to federal COBRA or State mini-COBRA ... [T]he state continuation coverage need not be equal to or exceed the federal COBRA mandates to be 'comparable'.... The subsidy ... is generally only available for individuals who have either already elected and are paying for state continuation coverage or, who are newly eligible during the ARPA COBRA subsidy period."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Administration of Group Life Insurance – Not So Easy?

"Occasionally, things do go wrong, and employers find themselves having to pay a life insurance benefit from their own coffers when a beneficiary pushes back against a claim denial.... [1] Participant fails to provide evidence of insurability.... [2] Failure to notify former employee of the right to convert.... [3] Promising coverage will continue beyond the policy terms."  MORE >>

Dickinson Wright

Is Your Living Room the Future of Hospital Care?

"Hospital-level care at home -- some of it provided over the internet -- is poised to grow after more than a decade as a niche offering, boosted both by hospitals eager to ease overcrowding during the pandemic and growing interest by insurers who want to slow health care spending. But a host of challenges remain, from deciding how much to pay for such services to which kinds of patients can safely benefit."  MORE >>

Kaiser Health News

Study Finds Health Insurance Disruptions Associated with Worse Healthcare Access

"Longer coverage disruptions were associated with worse care access and affordability. The magnitude of associations between coverage disruptions and care access and affordability was similar among adults with either current private or current public coverage. Currently uninsured adults, especially with longer uninsured periods, reported significantly worse care access, receipt, and affordability than currently insured adults with coverage disruptions or continuous coverage."  MORE >>

Medical Xpress

2021 Marketplace Premiums and Participation

"In 2021, the ACA Marketplaces entered their eighth year of operation and premiums have stabilized. The national average benchmark premium fell again in 2021, following decreases in both 2019 and 2020. This decline is remarkable because it contrasts with premium increases in the employer-sponsored insurance market over the same period."  MORE >>

Urban Institute


American Benefits Council Letter to Senators in Support of Telehealth Expansion Act

"The pandemic has transformed telehealth from an innovative option for delivering services into a vital lifeline to care for millions of patients.... The benefits of telehealth will extend beyond the pandemic, and so must the ability of HSA-eligible high deductible health plans to cover telehealth without cost-sharing."  MORE >>

American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Rescinds Independent Contractor Classification Regs, Eyes Adoption of 'ABC' Standard

"[T]he DOL decided its previous multifactor test better met the text, purpose, and current interpretation of the FLSA.... The ABC test, which has been applied by state courts in California and Massachusetts, among others, is seen as more likely to classify workers as employees rather than independent contractors."  MORE >>

Schiff Hardin

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Contribution Sr. Analyst
for USI Consulting Group Defined Contribution Sr. Analyst

USI Consulting Group

Glastonbury CT

View job as Retirement Plan Services Advisor
for Allworth Financial Retirement Plan Services Advisor

Allworth Financial

Folsom CA

View job as Retirement Plan Administration Specialist
for TFB, Inc. Retirement Plan Administration Specialist

TFB, Inc.


Press Releases

T. Rowe Price to Lower Expenses Across Target Date Lineup and Expand Offering with New Blend Fund Series

T. Rowe Price

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

IRS Answers Important Questions in Implementing ARPA COBRA Subsidies: What Employers Need to Know Now

May 28, 2021 WEBCAST

Jackson Lewis LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

More COBRA Subsidy Notice Questions (and a Few Answers)

HUB International

IRS Defines 'Involuntary Termination' Along with Other ARPA COBRA Subsidy Answers

HUB International

Employee Benefits Attorney Rick Menson Dies

Dignity Memorial

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.