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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 10, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

A Word from the IRS on Involuntary Terminations of Employment for Purposes of the ARPA COBRA Premium Subsidy

"Even if a termination is labeled as 'voluntary' or is designated as a resignation, it won't necessarily be voluntary for ARP purposes. [Notice 2021-31] explains that such a termination will be involuntary if the circumstances indicate that the employee was willing and able to work and, absent the employee's termination, the employer would have terminated the employee and the employee had knowledge of that."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Nevada Enacts Paid Vaccination Leave and 'Kin Care' Laws and Amends Its Existing Paid Leave Law

"Effective immediately through December 31, 2023, private employers with 50 or more employees in Nevada must provide all employees with up to four total hours of paid leave for the purpose of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.... Effective October 1, 2021, AB 190 will require employers providing paid or unpaid sick leave to allow an employee to use a portion of their accrued sick leave to assist an immediate family member with an illness, injury, medical appointment or other authorized medical need."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Sonoma County, California Extends and Retroactively Expands Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

"On June 8, 2021, the Sonoma County, California Board of Supervisors enacted an urgency ordinance that extends and amends -- in part retroactively to January 1, 2021 -- its emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) ordinance.... The amended ordinance allows employees to use EPSL if they have an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or are ill after receiving the vaccine and cannot work or telework."  MORE >>


New Study Will Examine Whether Plans Provide 'Fair Access' to Drugs

"On May 12, 2021, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER or the Institute) released plans to begin an annual examination into health insurance drug coverage policies to assess 'fair access' to prescription drugs.... The new project is notable because it marks a deepening of ICER's look at payer policies and how they impact beneficiary access to medications."  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

District Court Allows Claim Against Church-Controlled Employer for Denial of Same-Sex Spousal Benefit

"A Maryland federal district court has ruled that a Title VII case involving a plaintiff who sued his employer for dropping health care coverage for his same-sex spouse can proceed ... The court noted that since the case involved a question left unresolved by Bostock as to whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) allows an employer to revoke a spouse's benefits on the basis of sex, it was too early in the proceedings for the court to decide that question[.]" [Doe v. Catholic Relief Services, No. 20-1815 (D. Md. Mar. 26, 2021)]  MORE >>

Hall Benefits Law

New York's on the Cusp of a Health Care Overhaul, But Sticking Points Remain

"A top sticking point for the New York Health Act, which would create a universal, single-payer health care system in New York, is opposition from public sector labor leaders over how it would change coverage for their members ... A majority of Democrats in both the Senate and the Assembly have signed on to support the bill this year for the first time since it was introduced ... more than two decades ago. It's gone through several amendments in the meantime, garnering support along the way."  MORE >>


Report of 2021 Stop-Loss and Health High-Cost Claims and Injectable Drug Trends

33 presentation slides. "Over half of all stop-loss claims are from the top ten conditions. In the four year benefit year period from 2016--2019, 22% of employers had a member with over $1 million in claims. Million-dollar+ claims are up 9% in 2020 compared to the prior year, and up 31% since 2017 ... Total spend related to mental disorders was up 25% in 2020 compared to 2019. Cancer conditions continue to be the number 1 and number 2 high-cost claims, with cancer drugs making up 9 of the top 10 high-cost injectable drugs in 2020."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Final Regs: Mandatory 60-Day Postponement of Certain Tax-Related Deadlines by Reason of a Federally Declared Disaster

21 pages. "This document contains final regulations relating to the new mandatory 60-day postponement of certain time-sensitive tax-related deadlines by reason of a federally declared disaster. This document also contains final regulations clarifying the definition of 'federally declared disaster.' These final regulations affect individuals who reside in or were killed or injured in a disaster area, businesses that have a principal place of business in a disaster area, relief workers who provide assistance in a disaster area, or any taxpayer whose tax records necessary to meet a tax deadline are located in a disaster area."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Bringing Details to Light: GAO Report Illuminates DOL Enforcement of ERISA (PDF)

10 pages. "[GAO recently] published the results of a 15-month inquiry into the enforcement of [ERISA] by the [DOL].... The stated purpose of the inquiry was to examine DOL's management of and strategies to improve the ERISA enforcement process, and the immediate and long-term challenges presented by COVID-19. In the process of doing so, the report elaborates or confirms a number of instructive details about the ERISA enforcement process."  MORE >>

Eversheds Sutherland

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Document Compliance Consultant
for TIAA Financial Services Senior Document Compliance Consultant

TIAA Financial Services

Telecommute / Charlotte NC

View job as Senior Defined Benefit Plan Specialist
for TPS GROUP Senior Defined Benefit Plan Specialist


North Haven CT

View job as Defined Contribution Pension Plan Administrator
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc. Defined Contribution Pension Plan Administrator

The Angell Pension Group, Inc.


Selected New Discussions

FSA on an Accrual Basis -- Different Deductibility Rules?

"I have a client with a Standard Health FSA. It operates on a calendar year basis. However, the employer's payroll processes two weeks in arrears. Tax question as to whether the employer can deduct the final payroll from 2020 when the final payroll for 2020 is actually not paid out until the first payroll period in 2021. In other words, the work performed between December 15 and December 31 is paid on the January 15 payroll. That first payroll for 2021 is included as income for the 2021 W-2s -- not 2020. Has anyone dealt with this?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

SageView Advisory Group Welcomes Jeremy Holly as Chief Development Officer

SageView Advisory Group

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Back to the [Benefit] Basics: Medical FUNdamentals



Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company 2021

June 15, 2021 WEBCAST

PLI [Practising Law Institute]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

How Do Multiemployer Plans Claim the COBRA Premium Assistance Credit?

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

IRS Notice 2021-31: COBRA Subsidy Calculation and Claiming the Credit


EEOC Issues Guidance on Mandatory Vaccine Policies and Vaccine Incentive Programs


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

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