logo logo

Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 11, 2021

8 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS FAQs: Tax Credits for Paid Leave Under ARPA for Leave After March 31, 2021

"These FAQs address the tax credits available under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the 'ARP') by employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers without regard to the number of employees ('Eligible Employers') for qualified sick and family leave wages ('qualified leave wages') paid with respect to leave taken by employees beginning on April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021, as well as the equivalent credits available for certain self-employed individuals."

[Editor's note: The IRS has published separate FAQs about tax credits that may be claimed for qualified leave wages paid with respect to leave taken by employees prior to April 1, 2021, under the FFCRA and the COVID-related Tax Relief Act, at Tax Credits for Paid Leave Under the [FFCRA] for Leave Prior to April 1, 2021 FAQs.]  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Becomes Latest State to Enact COVID-19 Sick Leave

"[E]mployers are required to provide employees with up to 40 hours of COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave if they are unable to work due to a qualifying reason related to COVID-19, including to obtain a vaccine.... [T]he final version of the bill took effect upon signing, and its benefits will remain in place until September 30, 2021, or until the COVID-19 Massachusetts Emergency Paid Sick Leave Fund ('Reimbursement Fund') runs out[.]"  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

Calculating the ARPA COBRA Premium Subsidy Tax Credit

"[T]he calculations may be less than straightforward depending on the facts and circumstances, particularly where post-termination coverage is subsidized, or if the plan voluntarily provides continued coverage to individuals who are not otherwise qualified beneficiaries."  MORE >>


Amazon Plans to Offer 6-Month, Discount Generic Rx Fills

", Inc. launched a long-anticipated expansion of its pharmacy business on June 8, saying it will allow Prime members to purchase up to six-month supplies of generic prescription drugs for $6.... Amazon's well-developed logistics and internet retail abilities mean it will be a formidable player."  MORE >>


Where's the Healthcare Money Made? Pharmacy!

"Unlike nearly every other purchase a consumer makes, when members buy pharmaceuticals, there is a different price for each person -- even at the same pharmacy.... In fact, fully insured employers that do not transparently negotiate prescription drug pricing, and are simply subject to the general contract of the insurers, face the worst drug pricing in the market."  MORE >>


Employers Increasing Support for Work/Life Balance and Mental/Emotional Health

"For 2021, 92% expanded the support for mental health and emotional well-being, which includes programs focused on stress management, sleep improvement and resiliency ... Nearly three-quarters (74%) of employers increased programs to support work/life balance, with 69% of employers adding new leave options or expanding their leave benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic."  MORE >>


UnitedHealthcare Backs Off Retroactive Review of Emergency Care Claims, for Now

"The policy was supposed to take effect next month, but UHC said it would delay implementation until at least the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Providers say payers should abide by the 'prudent layperson standard,' which requires payers to base reimbursement on a patient's presenting complaint rather than the final diagnosis."  MORE >>

HealthLeaders Media

How Auto-Enrollment Could Achieve Near-Universal Healthcare Coverage

"Both the comprehensive and limited approach to auto-enrollment would require the development of new administrative systems and enhanced marketplace subsidies to improve coverage affordability. Each approach would operate more simply if accompanied by a public insurance option. [The authors] conclude that the administrative and financing challenges related to auto-enrollment can be addressed and that a balance between public costs and sufficient political support could be identified."  MORE >>

The Commonwealth Fund

Nevada Becomes Second State to Adopt a Public Health Insurance Option

"Under the new law, Nevada's public option plan won't be available for purchase until 2026, giving state officials time to conduct an actuarial study of the proposal to determine whether it will accomplish proponents' goals of increasing health care access and affordability and at what cost."  MORE >>

The Nevada Independent

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Notice LA-2021-03, for Victims of Severe Storms and Flooding in Louisiana

"Victims of severe storms and flooding that began May 17, 2021 now have until August 16, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Individuals and households affected by severe storms and flooding that reside or have a business in Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, and Lafayette Parishes qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

DOL Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2021, Including Employee Benefit Items

Proposed Rules (EBSA)

  • Implement SECURE Act and Related Revisions to Employee Benefit Plan Annual Reporting on the Form 5500
  • Definition of the Term "Fiduciary"
  • Implementing Executive Orders 13990 and 14030
  • Prohibited Transaction Exemption Procedures
  • Provider Nondiscrimination Requirements for Group Health Plans and Health Insurance Issuers in the Group and Individual Markets

Final Rules (EBSA)

  • Pension Benefit Statements -- Lifetime Income Illustrations
  • Adoption of Amended and Restated Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
  • Requirements Related to Surprise Billing, Part 1
  • Requirements Related to Surprise Billing, Part 2
  • Amendment of Abandoned Plan Program


U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Official Guidance]

IRS Regulatory Agenda, Fall 2020, Including Employee Benefit Items

Numerous employee benefits items, some of which are:

Proposed Rules

  • Determination of Governmental Plan Status
  • Guidance on Rules Applicable to IRAs Under Sections 408 and 408A
  • Reporting and Notice Requirements for Deferred Vested Benefits Under Section 6057
  • Rules Relating to Employer-Provided Meals and Employer-Operated Eating Facilities
  • Definition of Church Plan
  • Application of Nondiscrimination Requirements, Backloading Limitations, Certain Plan Termination Rules, Benefit Limitations, and Top Heavy Rules to Statutory Hybrid Plans
  • MEPs and the Unified Plan Rule
  • Determination of Line of Business for Purposes of No-Additional-Cost Service and Qualified Employee Discount Fringe Benefits
  • Guidance on 401(a)(9) Required Minimum Distributions
  • Requirements Related to Surprise Billing, Part 1
  • Requirements Related to Surprise Billing, Part 2

Final Rules

  • Definition of Dependent Under Section 152
  • Reporting and Notice Requirements for Deferred Vested Benefits Under Section 6057
  • Update to Minimum Present Value Requirements for Defined Benefit Plan Distributions
  • Application of Normal Retirement Age Regulations to Governmental Plans
  • Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans
  • Minimum Value of Eligible Employer-Sponsored Plans
  • Withholding on Certain Retirement Plan Distributions Under Section 3405(a) and (b)
  • Application of the Employer Shared Responsibility & Certain Nondiscrimination Rules to HRAs and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans Integrated With Individual Health Insurance Coverage or Medicare

   MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS], U.S. Department of the Treasury

[Guidance Overview]

SAS 136: The New Audit Standard for Employee Benefit Plans and Its Impact on Plan Sponsors

"The new standard affects all phases of audits, including engagement acceptance and reporting. It also significantly revises the form and content of the audit report to provide greater transparency regarding the scope and nature of the audit.... [T]he new standard requires plan sponsors to provide additional information and documentation to the auditor. [Certain] key provisions may have major implications for plan sponsors."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Finalizes Regs on Federally Declared Disaster Postponement of Tax Deadlines

"[In] the case of any person described in Sec. 7508A(b) (generally pensions and employee benefit plans), the time-sensitive acts postponed for the mandatory 60-day postponement period include ... various contributions, distributions, and rollovers."  MORE >>

Journal of Accountancy

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Product Support Consultant
for part of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory Product Support Consultant part of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory


View job as Product Support Consultant
for part of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory

View job as Employee Benefits/Health and Welfare Attorney
for Miller Johnson Employee Benefits/Health and Welfare Attorney

Miller Johnson

Telecommute / Grand Rapids MI / Kalamazoo MI / Detroit MI

View job as Employee Benefits/Health and Welfare Attorney
for Miller Johnson

View job as DB/DC Administrator
for Primark Benefits DB/DC Administrator

Primark Benefits

Telecommute / Burlingame CA

View job as DB/DC Administrator
for Primark Benefits

View job as Director of Finance
for NYCDC of Carpenters Benefit Funds Director of Finance

NYCDC of Carpenters Benefit Funds

New York NY

View job as Sr. Retirement Plan Administrator
for Compass Retirement Consulting Group Sr. Retirement Plan Administrator

Compass Retirement Consulting Group

Telecommute / Stratham NH

View job as Senior Retirement Analyst
for Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc. Senior Retirement Analyst

Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Telecommute / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Relationship Manager/Consultant
for The Retirement Plan Company (TRPC)/an ABG firm Relationship Manager/Consultant

The Retirement Plan Company (TRPC)/an ABG firm


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator & Team Lead - 3(16) Services
for Compass 360, LLC Retirement Plan Administrator & Team Lead - 3(16) Services

Compass 360, LLC

Stratham NH / MA / ME

Selected New Discussions

Reporting 'Back' Commissions on Form 5500 Schedule A

"I'm preparing a Form 5500 for a large welfare benefit plan. The agent informed me that one of the insurance companies failed to pay them commissions for several years and that, when this was discovered, they made one large payment of those commissions in 2020. Would I report the entire amount paid on the 2020 Schedule A even though a majority of the amount reported was actually for other plan years?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

iJoin Expands its Availability to Advisors as 40th Recordkeeper Signs On


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

What’s New for Insurers in Mental Health Parity Compliance


Epstein Becker & Green

Compliance 2021 Mid-Year Update: Key Leave, Accommodation and COVID Developments

June 17, 2021 WEBCAST

Sun Life Financial

Mitigation of Risk for American Rescue Plan Act COBRA Subsidies

June 22, 2021 WEBCAST

Jackson Lewis LLP

The State of Specialty Drug Spend

July 13, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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


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

Eversheds Sutherland

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

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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.