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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 4, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of Agency FAQs About ACA Implementation, Part 46 (PDF)

"In the proposed HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2022, HHS proposed new values for, among other things, the premium adjustment percentage and maximum annual limitation on cost sharing for the 2022 plan year.... However, HHS did not finalize these values as proposed, and instead finalized a change in the calculation of the premium adjustment percentage and cost-sharing parameters that ultimately lowered the final values for the maximum annual limitation on cost sharing for self-only and other than self-only coverage for the 2022 plan year. The Departments are issuing these FAQs to help ensure that plans and issuers are aware of the final values for the premium adjustment percentage and maximum annual limitation on cost sharing for the 2022 plan year."  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]; U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]; and U.S. Treasury Department

[Guidance Overview]

All Good Subsidies Must Come to an End: The IRS Adds Some Nuances

"In [Notice 2021-31], the IRS explained that, for individuals still eligible for the premium subsidy on September 30th, the subsidy ... continues until the end of the last 'period of coverage' beginning on or before September 30, 2021.... Additionally, the IRS guidance specified that the death of the employee or former employee who experienced the reduction in hours or involuntary termination will not end their spouse's or children's eligibility for the COBRA subsidy."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarifies Treatment of Dependent Care Assistance Programs

"Employers who had decided not to adopt these optional changes because they were unsure of the tax consequences for employees may want to reconsider in light of this recent guidance (taking into account whether the employer's DCAP operates on a calendar year or non-calendar year). Employers considering a change should also keep in mind that DCAP nondiscrimination rules are the toughest to pass, so any changes (particularly to contribution limits) should be evaluated in light of recent nondiscrimination testing results."  MORE >>

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program Adds New Telework Option

"[E]mployers can establish a company-wide telework policy allowing employees whose assignments can be performed remotely to telework for at least one day per week. Program materials now include an Option 5 Guide to walk employers through this new option."  MORE >>

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon All Employers in Massachusetts Must Provide Employees with Up to 40 Hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave

"Unlike the federal emergency paid sick leave program under the [FFCRA], employers in MA cannot opt out of this new law, nor are there carve outs in the statute for employers of certain sizes ... [A]ll employers (other than federal agencies) must provide EPSL under this law to all MA employees.... [E]mployers can seek reimbursement from the Commonwealth for the cost of EPSL used by employees."  MORE >>

Nixon Peabody LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Massachusetts Governor Signs Law Providing COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

"Because the mandate was declared an emergency law ... it appears highly likely that the mandate went into effect immediately on May 28. However, businesses should note that the previously vetoed version of the legislation called for a 10 day grace period after enactment before going into effect.... It appears that employers will need to compensate employees for Massachusetts COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave at their regular rate of pay."  MORE >>

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Pennsylvania Extends FMLA Leave to Include Organ Donating Surgery

"Beginning June 26, 2021, Pennsylvania's Living Donor Protection Act [LDPA] will provide time off to organ and tissue donors to cover time off for donation surgery, including necessary preparation and recovery.... Leave ... applies to an employee's own donation or to care for a spouse, child or parent who is making or receiving an organ or tissue donation.... LDPA leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

Washington Long-Term Care Insurance Payroll Tax Begins in 2022

"Employees are charged a premium assessment of .58% of wages ($.58 for every $100 earned). The original cap of 1% of earnings has been removed. The payroll tax is funded exclusively by employee contributions. Unlike the WA Paid Family Medical Leave program, there is no employer contribution component to the WA Cares Fund payroll tax."  MORE >>

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress on Pharmaceutical 'Rebate Walls' (PDF)

"Rebate walls refer to a situation in which a dominant pharmaceutical manufacturer uses rebate strategies in its contracts with third party payors to maintain market power, by giving its products preferred status in drug formularies, and to prevent sales of competing products.... This Report discusses the antitrust analysis of such practices generally and should not be interpreted as reflecting conclusions about any particular matter under investigation.... [T]he legality of a given rebate arrangement under the antitrust laws depends on a variety of factual issues present in the particular circumstances."  MORE >>

Federal Trade Commission [FTC]

Benefits in General

Greater Interest in Employee Benefits the 'Silver Lining' of COVID-19

"[Key trends include:] A renewed interest in 'bedrock benefits' such as health insurance, group life insurance and disability insurance.... Technology to tailor the benefits experience and digital tools to support open enrollment. Three-quarters of employers surveyed said they expanded or added paid time away from work. Among those who gave their workers more time off, 46% added medical leave, 39% offered family leave and 30% added parental leave."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator (Account Manager)
for Kushner & Company Retirement Plan Administrator (Account Manager)

Kushner & Company

Telecommute / Portage MI

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator (Account Manager)
for Kushner & Company

View job as Plan Implementation Coordinator
for The Retirement Plan Company (TRPC)/an ABG firm Plan Implementation Coordinator

The Retirement Plan Company (TRPC)/an ABG firm


View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Leading Retirement Solutions Retirement Plan Consultant

Leading Retirement Solutions

Telecommute / Seattle WA

Selected New Discussions

Pro Rata HSA Calculations for Someone Switching from Family to Single Coverage?

"When someone over age 55 switches from Family to Single coverage May 1st, does the annual limit you use to calculate the pro rata annual contribution limit include the catchup $1,000? So $8,200 for 4 months, then $4,600 for 8 months? Or do you use the annual limit of $7,200 or $3,600 for the pro rata calculations, and then add the $1,000 to that?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

2021 Annual Education Conference: The Future of Benefits is Here

September 23, 2021 in GA

Southeast Benefits Education Network [SBEN]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

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

Holland & Hart LLP

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

Belfint Lyons Shuman

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

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