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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 25, 2021

8 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of Draft 2021 IRS Form 1095-C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage (PDF)

May 24, 2021. "This Form 1095-C includes information about the health insurance coverage offered to you by your employer. Form 1095-C, Part II, includes information about the coverage, if any, your employer offered to you and your spouse and dependent(s)." [Also available: Draft 2021 IRS Form 1094-C: Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns (Jul. 13, 2020)]  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

ARPA Premium Subsidy: Long-Awaited Details Finally Arrive

"Who exactly are 'assistance eligible individuals' [AEIs]? To what type of benefits does the premium subsidy apply? How does the Outbreak Period Extension Guidance apply to the premium subsidy deadlines? And how is the tax credit claimed? [This article gives] a summary of the answers to these questions provided by [IRS Notice 2021-31]."  MORE >>

Verrill Dana LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon IRS Weighs In on ARPA COBRA Subsidies, Including Some Surprises

"The Service has offered a definition of 'involuntary termination of employment,' which largely comports to conventional wisdom but includes a couple head-scratching comments.... The IRS effectively eliminated the possibility of a more-than-18-month lookback for individuals with COBRA extensions by requiring that any subsidy-eligible individual riding an extension into the April 1–Sept. 30 subsidy window must have elected COBRA when first offered, and kept that coverage in force."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

American Rescue Plan Act's COBRA Premium Assistance: A New Ball Game and New Rules

"It is important to analyze whether a dependent or spouse is eligible for ARP premium assistance separately on an individual-by-individual basis based on the first qualifying event making them eligible for COBRA continuation coverage.... While an employer can rely on an individual's self-attestation that they are an assistance eligible individual, be careful ... so that [this] is not also an attestation that might apply for other purposes indicating the individual was involuntarily terminated for all purposes."  MORE >>

Jackson Walker

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Guidance on ARPA COBRA Subsidies: 86 Q&As and Counting

"Employers should be particularly mindful of novel working arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may fall within the definition of 'furlough.' ... The Q&As contain specific nuances regarding severance plans, separation agreements, and the ability to claim the premium tax credit."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

How Health Care Costs Are Contributing to Financial Issues Among Employees

"Finances are the leading cause of stress for Americans, and it is colliding with their health and work efforts. A significant source of this is the concern about the rising cost of health care. These unsustainable increases set off an unending cycle as stress further increases expenses on health."  MORE >>


Breaking the Health Benefits Congestion Cycle: What Really Matters?

"COVID presented the biggest proving ground in the history of benefits. Companies adjusted and responded in ways that members actively utilized in historic numbers. That behavior reflects consumer choices that should drive benefits decisions. Shift dollars to support what Members actually want for their health and well-being."  MORE >>

BenefitsPro; free registration required

Drug Prices Are Declining Amid Inflation Fears

"BLS data indicate consumer prices for prescription drugs in pharmacies and drug stores fell 1.8 percent in the 12 months ending April 2020, and this April were 3.1 percent below a peak in December 2019. Importantly, drug prices currently are similar to those of summer 2017, indicating negligible drug price inflation over close to four years."  MORE >>

The Hill

Health Insurance Coverage Changes Since Implementation of the ACA: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (PDF)

"The uninsured rate for the [Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)] population decreased from 14.7 percent in 2013 to 6.8 percent in 2019. This 54 percent reduction in the uninsured rate was the largest improvement among any racial or ethnic group during this time period."  MORE >>

Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Long-Awaited Cybersecurity Guidance Applicable to Benefit Plans

"Although issued as informal tips and best practices, the Guidance Packet is likely intended to provide a minimum standard of care, which may be an indication that the DOL intends to focus future enforcement efforts on cybersecurity.... Each state now has its own laws governing cybersecurity breach notification and the steps that must be taken in the event of a breach, so the incident response procedure in any cybersecurity program should incorporate any such requirements."  MORE >>

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

Keys to a Successful 2022 Employee Benefits Strategy Season

"Know what you're trying to accomplish; what you want your benefits 'to be.' ... Create a set of Guiding Principles that you use to help measure alternatives.... Build a benefits team.... Understand your population."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Associate
for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Associate

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Birmingham AL / Nashville TN

View job as Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Associate
for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

View job as Actuarial Analyst
for Definiti Actuarial Analyst


Telecommute / PA / TX

View job as Actuarial Analyst
for Definiti

View job as DC/DB Retirement Plan Administrator
for Steidle Pension Solutions DC/DB Retirement Plan Administrator

Steidle Pension Solutions

Telecommute / NJ / PA

View job as DC/DB Retirement Plan Administrator
for Steidle Pension Solutions

View job as Pension Case Designer
for American National Insurance Pension Case Designer

American National Insurance

Telecommute / Galveston TX

View job as Retirement Benefits Specialist
for Ironworker Employer's Benefit Corporation Retirement Benefits Specialist

Ironworker Employer's Benefit Corporation

Pasadena CA

View job as Retirement Plan Optimization Specialist
for ADP Retirement Plan Optimization Specialist


Florham Park NJ

View job as Director, Health Savings Operations (Financial Controls)
for Ascensus Director, Health Savings Operations (Financial Controls)



View job as Retirement Plan / ERISA Paralegal Specialist
for Nationwide Insurance Retirement Plan / ERISA Paralegal Specialist

Nationwide Insurance

Telecommute / Columbus OH

Press Releases

Cohen & Buckmann Named Top Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Firm by Chambers and Partners

Cohen & Buckmann P.C.

PlanSource Reduces Unnecessary Benefit Costs with AI-Powered DependentIQ for Employers


OneDigital Acquires Cost Plus Advisors, LLC


ICMA-RC Launches Enhanced Managed Accounts Platform by Morningstar Investment Management


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Jenner & Block

IRS Provides Clarity on ARPA COBRA Subsidy's Impact on State Mini-COBRA Plans

Jackson Lewis P.C.

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

Schiff Hardin

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

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