logo logo

Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 3, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

What Disclosure Requirements Have Been Added for Group Health Plan Service Provider Agreements?

"ERISA's prohibited transaction exemption for plan service arrangements has been amended to add extensive disclosure requirements that apply to certain types of arrangements beginning in December 2021.... For a covered service provider's compensation to be considered reasonable, the service provider must disclose specified information in advance and in writing to a responsible plan fiduciary[.]"  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

Baby, What a Big Surprise! Right Before My Very Eyes... the Advanced EOB

"Beginning in plan years that start on or after January 1, 2022 group health plans are required to provide, upon request, what the No Surprises Act refers to as an Advanced EOB.... Plan Sponsors will be relying on insurers and TPAs to meet this new responsibility. But, in the meantime, what should Plan Sponsors be doing so that they’re not surprised come January 1st?"  MORE >>

Holland & Hart LLP

[Guidance Overview]

How to Apply the IRS's COBRA Premium Subsidy Guidance

"Employers are allowed to revise the subsidy they have offered to employees in order to get reimbursed for the entire ARPA subsidy amount; however, if the employer has contractually agreed to subsidize COBRA, such a change may require an amendment to the severance plan or other agreements. Such amendments may result in procuring new waivers."  MORE >>

McDermott Will & Emery

[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Summer Vaccinations: EEOC Releases Updated Guidance on Vaccination Incentives

"The EEOC provides several examples of 'reasonable accommodations' in the context of COVID-19 vaccinations, including teleworking or shift modification.... Whether an employer mandates that employees be vaccinated by the employer's agent or by the employer directly, the employer will be required to do the same 'direct threat' analysis.... If the incentives are provided outside of a health plan (such as providing employees with a cash bonus for being vaccinated) then the incentives may be taxable compensation to the employees."  MORE >>

Eversheds Sutherland

[Guidance Overview]

Everything Employers Always Wanted to Know About Vaccines... and Have Been Asking About for Months

"Can employers exercise any influence over employees' decisions to be vaccinated without violating the federal anti-discrimination laws? Yes, they can.... And is it lawful for an employer to request or require proof of vaccination? Yes.... Does the EEOC have any recommended 'best practices' related to reasonable accommodation? They're glad you asked!"  MORE >>

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Monthly Update: Health and Welfare Plan Lunch Group (PDF)

30 pages. Topics: [1] Washington update; [2] ARPA FAQs and guidance; [3] New EEOC vaccine guidance; and [4] IRS Notice 2021-26 dependent care guidance.  MORE >>

Alston & Bird

Court Dismisses Participants' Challenge to Cross-Plan Offsetting

"In a case involving the same TPA, the Eighth Circuit held that cross-plan offsetting was not permitted by the terms of the plans involved but declined to decide whether the practice necessarily violates ERISA ... Given that awareness of cross-plan offsetting seems to be on the rise and the DOL has taken the position that it violates ERISA, administrators performing cross-plan offsets may wish to proceed with caution." [Scott v. UnitedHealth Group, No. 20-1570 (D. Minn. May 20, 2021)]   MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Second Circuit Rules Plan Language Was Good Enough to Grant Discretionary Authority Even Without the Word 'Discretion'

"Although magic words or (as this court noted) 'linguistic talismans' are not necessary to delegate discretionary authority, and courts may find discretionary authority in language that does not include the word 'discretion,' using that term may avoid having to parse the plan language in court." [Tyll v. Stanley Black & Decker Life Ins. Program, No. 20-1060 (2d Cir. May 4, 2021, unpub.)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA


This Is Not a Typo: 91,500% Increase in Fees Heaped on Pharmacies by PBMs

"Under CMS rules, [pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are] allowed to impose fees on pharmacies -- direct and indirect remuneration [DIR] fees -- based on confusing, opaque, and often dubious pharmacy performance standards.... According to the fiscal year 2022 budget justification (page 242) estimate sent to Congress by CMS, pharmacy DIR fees increased by 91,500 percent between 2010 and 2019. For context, a $4 gallon of milk increased by that much would cost $3,660."  MORE >>

National Center for Policy Analysis [NCPA]

Benefits in General

5500 Filing Rejected! How Could Plan Sponsors Have Known Their Auditor Was Deficient?

"Each year, we get new clients whose previously accepted Forms 5500 have been rejected when the [DOL] determined that their auditor's work was deficient. Each time, our new client is flabbergasted by the news that they had a responsibility to assess their CPA's qualifications to perform a retirement plan audit. Like going to a new doctor, how can you know whether a licensed professional is good at his or her job? It's not easy."  MORE >>

Belfint Lyons Shuman

The Truth About Health Care Expenses Later in Life

"The likelihood that health care costs in the final two years of someone's life will inevitably deplete their finances in retirement is low, though the concern is undoubtedly real. Among non-Medicaid recipient retirees, nearly half have no nursing home expenses during their final two years of life. Even after age 90, there is a less than 10% chance that health care costs will exhaust their assets."  MORE >>

T. Rowe Price

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as DC or DB Administrator
for Farmer & Betts, Inc. DC or DB Administrator

Farmer & Betts, Inc.

Telecommute / Tacoma WA / Tualatin OR / Littleton CO

View job as DC or DB Administrator
for Farmer & Betts, Inc.

View job as Actuary
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Actuary

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

View job as Senior Actuary
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Senior Actuary

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

View job as Plan Design Analyst
for Vestwell Plan Design Analyst


Telecommute / New York NY

View job as FSA / HRA Account Administrator
for Alerus FSA / HRA Account Administrator


Telecommute / MN

Press Releases

Sherri Harrison to Lead Lockton Benefits Practice in Southern California


Milliman Wins Four International Employee Communication Awards Recognizing Outstanding Achievement in Benefits Communication


Transamerica Expands Mutual Fund Lineup for Retirement Investors with Five R6 Shares


Vestwell Leverages Bambu's Wealth Management API to Build an Advisor Managed Account Offering Natively Into Its Platform


OneDigital Acquires Fiduciary Plan Advisors


Aon Signs Agreements to Sell Its U.S. Retirement Business to Aquiline and Its Aon Retiree Health Exchangeâ„¢ Business to Alight

Aon Corporation

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

A Few New Things: Updates for 2020 Form 5500 Filings

June 24, 2021 WEBCAST

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

Unlocking the Secrets of Personalized Benefits Programs: How 2020 Shaped the Future of Employee Benefits

June 29, 2021 WEBCAST

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

ERISA Plan Fiduciaries: 2021 Update (PDF)

Hanson Bridgett LLP

EEOC Weighs In with Updated Guidance on Vaccine Mandates, Incentives and More

McDonald Hopkins

IRS Provides Guidance on COBRA Subsidies Under the American Rescue Plan Act

DLA Piper

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.