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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 8, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon PCORI Filing Due August 2

"The [DOL] says the fee cannot be paid from ERISA plan assets, except in the case of union-affiliated multiemployer plans.... The PCORI expense should not be included in the plan's cost when computing the plan's COBRA premium. The IRS has indicated the fee is, however, a tax-deductible business expense for sponsors of self-funded plans."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon ACA PCORI Fee Increases to $2.66 for 2020 Calendar Year Plans

"Congress surprisingly extended the PCORI fee for another decade (until 2029) ... PCORI filings are now here to stay as a summer staple for the foreseeable future. The annual PCORI fee must be reported and paid to the IRS by August 2, 2021 (July 31st is a Saturday) via the second quarter Form 720."  MORE >>

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

[Guidance Overview]

New York Employers Must Permit Employees to Use Accrued Sick Leave for Vaccine Side Effects

"New York already requires employers to allow employees to use their accrued sick leave to get vaccinated. NYDOL has now clarified that sick leave may be used for side effects from vaccinations."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

New Massachusetts Emergency Paid Sick Leave

"The new MA EPSL benefit is in addition to existing paid time-off benefits offered by an employer and required by law, subject to some limited exceptions.... [T]his requirement applies to all Massachusetts employers regardless of the number of employees.... Employers are required to provide a Notice to all employees and post a notice regarding MA EPSL. The notice is expected to be available on or before June 14, 2021."  MORE >>

Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker, LLC

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

"An employer may not require an employee to use other forms of leave before using COVID-19 EPSL.... While an employee is on leave under COVID-19 EPSL, an employer must maintain the same employment benefits to which the employee is otherwise entitled (e.g., group health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, sick leave, or vacation leave)."  MORE >>


Second Circuit Decision on Statute of Limitations Is Favorable to Health Plan Administrators

"[W]hile the Second Circuit did not analyze what Cigna needed to prove to recover the alleged overpayments received by the labs under ERISA Section 1132(a)(3), the opinion states that showing fraud is unnecessary. It may be sufficient for the fiduciary to show that the payments were prohibited by the terms of the governing plan." [Connecticut General Life Ins. Co. v. Biohealth Labs, Inc., No. 20-2312 (2d Cir. Feb. 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Which State's Laws Govern the Leaves and Benefits for Telecommuting Workers Who Frequently Change Locations?

"[T]he first rule of thumb for legal compliance with employees working at remote worksites (i.e., wandering workers) is 'location, location, location.' The law that applies to a person's work will most likely be the law of the jurisdiction where that person is working -- even if the employer is located elsewhere.... [T]he issues ... are not insurmountable, but may require a little more time and expense to ensure compliance."  MORE >>


Illinois Moves to Expand Telehealth Coverage

"Once signed by Governor Jay Pritzker, [HB3308] will, among other things, provide Illinois residents with greater access to telehealth care services by limiting patient cost-sharing, expanding the use of remote monitoring, asynchronous telehealth and audio-only telehealth services, and expanding the list of providers allowed to use telehealth to include substance abuse professionals and those providing early stage intervention to children."  MORE >>

Sheppard Mullin

Prescription Drug Cost-Containment Strategies for Your Plan

"Cost-sharing initiatives ... Coverage/limits by drug type ... Drug access controls ... Purchasing/administration initiatives."  MORE >>

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Former Employees Assert Employer Vaccine Mandate and Employment Terminations Violated Federal Law

"In late May, the first lawsuit against a private employer was filed in Texas.... [A] group of 117 unvaccinated nonmanagerial employees ... allege their employer wrongfully terminated them over an improper vaccine mandate applicable to all employees.... Essentially, the plaintiffs assert that the mandatory vaccination policy is illegal pursuant to federal law, and so they were wrongfully discharged." [Bridges v. The Methodist Hospital, No. 21-06-07552 (Montgomery Cty. Tx. complaint filed May 28, 2021)]  MORE >>

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP


Reforming Health Insurance: Competition Across State Lines

"[T]he precarious financing of state individual-market risk pools, as structured by ACA, is inherently incompatible with vigorous interstate competition. However, the large economies of scale associated with many health-care services make competition across state lines essential to the efficient provision of medical care. Such competition will require reestablishing an individual insurance market outside ACA's regulatory framework."  MORE >>

Manhattan Institute

Benefits in General

District Court Confirms Participant Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies Before Filing Suit

"The court concluded that the participant had adequate notice of the appeal timeline ... [and] observed that the participant's assertion of administrative inconvenience, without more, was insufficient to demonstrate that some 'extraordinary circumstances' stood in the participant's way and prevented timely filing." [Benson v. Tiffany and Company SPD, No. 20-1289 (S.D.N.Y. May 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

Multi-Factor Authentication Is Now Required to Secure Cyber Insurance

"According to the Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigation Report, 4-in-5 hacking-related breaches use stolen or weak passwords. Such evidence underscores the immediate need for making multi-factor authentication essential to the cybersecurity strategies of employee benefit plan administrators."  MORE >>

Euclid Specialty Managers

2021 U.S. Benefits Trend Report

"Key findings in the report include: ... [1] 65% of employers include social connectedness in their well-being strategy.... [2] 69% of employees say having a wider array of benefits would increase loyalty to their employer.... [3] 73% of employees said they are interested in support and guidance to help them understand how much money to put aside for retirement, emergency savings and healthcare expenses."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Employee Benefits Attorney
for Miller Canfield Employee Benefits Attorney

Miller Canfield

Telecommute / Detroit MI / Chicago IL

View job as Retirement Plan Services Plan Consultant
for Dubuque Bank and Trust Retirement Plan Services Plan Consultant

Dubuque Bank and Trust


View job as Third Party Administrator (Account Manager)
for Staffordshire Benefit Consulting LLC Third Party Administrator (Account Manager)

Staffordshire Benefit Consulting LLC

Voorhees NJ

Press Releases

EPIC Employee Benefits Solution Group Wins Multiple Communicator Awards


NET Institute, a Division of ICARE, Earns Best of Orlando Award for Addiction Career Training

International Center for Addiction and Recovery Education [ICARE]

TRA Hires Paul Phan as Regional Sales Consultant

The Retirement Advantage [TRA]

Compass Benefit Advisors, LLC Joins OneDigital


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

The 411 on the 941: Everything You Need to Know About How to Claim the COBRA Subsidy Tax Credits

Groom Law Group

Where Does Your Health Care Dollar Go? (PDF)

America's Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]

IRS Releases Guidance on COBRA Subsidies and Tax Credits


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

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