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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 15, 2021

6 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarifies 'Involuntary Termination' for Purposes of COBRA Subsidy Under ARPA

"An employee-initiated termination of employment can be deemed an involuntary termination if the termination is for 'good reason' in response to employer actions resulting in a material negative change in the employment relationship, similar to constructive discharge.... [Notice 2021-31] identifies a number of other termination scenarios that qualify as an involuntary termination for purposes of COBRA premium assistance[.]"  MORE >>

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

[Guidance Overview]

What's in the 86 COBRA Subsidy Q&As Released by the IRS?

"[1] Who qualifies as an AEI? ... [2] How does a reduction in hours work?.... [3] What is an involuntary termination?.... [4] What coverage is subsidy-eligible?.... [5] When does the subsidy begin and end?.... [6] How does the extended election period work? ... [7] How is the COBRA premium assistance credit calculated? ... [8] How does an employer claim the credit?"  MORE >>

Frost Brown Todd LLC

[Guidance Overview]

Pennsylvania Employers Must Provide Leave to Organ Donors (PDF)

"The new regulation requires employers subject to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide FMLA-eligible employees undergoing donor surgery the same leave they would be entitled to under the FMLA for their own serious health condition or that of a family member. Employees are entitled to leave for organ donor surgery by or for themselves or a spouse, child, or parent. The new law goes into effect on June 27, 2021."  MORE >>

Cowden Associates, Inc.

[Guidance Overview]

Sonoma County Extends Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

"[If] an employee has at least 80 hours of accrued paid sick leave benefits as of June 8, 2021, or at least 160 hours of paid sick leave, vacation, and paid time off benefits, then employers are not required to grant additional CPSL under the Ordinance. If an employee has fewer than such hours of accrued paid leave benefits, then employers are only required to provide CPSL sufficient to make up the deficit."  MORE >>

Reed Smith

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Seventh Circuit: USERRA May Require Employers to Provide Paid Military Leave (PDF)

"The potential impact of the White decision on employers with large reservist workforces is significant, as the denial of paid leave is a prime candidate for class action treatment." [White v. United Airlines, Inc., No. 19-2546 (7th Cir. Feb. 3, 2021)]  MORE >>

Akin Gump, via Employee Benefit Plan Review

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Cybersecurity and HIPAA: OCR Issues New Warning and Guidance in Wake of Increased Threats

"Healthcare providers using VMware are especially encouraged to implement the patches immediately to ensure protected health information remains safe from cyberattacks, including ransomware.... Since 2015, there has been a 300% increase in recorded ransomware attacks in the United States."  MORE >>

Holland & Hart

How America's Top Hospitals Send Patient Costs Soaring

"Rising deductibles and out-of-pocket costs are increasingly leaving patients responsible for bloated medical bills. A new analysis by Johns Hopkins University reveals that many of the top 100 hospitals by revenue in the U.S. use predatory tactics to pursue patients with unpaid bills."  MORE >>


Employer-Provided Health Coverage: State-By-State 2021 (PDF)

59 pages. "This report catalogues what health plans contribute in terms of: [1] Access to health care coverage; [2] Number of jobs the industry generates, both directly and indirectly; [3] Number of active physicians and community hospitals financed."  MORE >>

America's Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]

What to Consider When Choosing a Mental Health Benefits Strategy

"A mixed model that includes several components -- from proven full-service EAPs that integrate with behavioral health networks for continuity of care to digital programs that leverage AI and tele-behavioral health -- may offer the greatest opportunity to drive success ... This model can offer a tailored approach to employees based on their needs and engagement preferences."  MORE >>

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]


Cutting the Gordian Knot of Employee Health Care Benefits and Costs: A Corporate Model Built on Employee Choice

"[L]arge corporations ... currently spend $962 billion to purchase health care insurance on behalf of their employees. But because they offer their employees only a modest number of insurance options, their dollars are not impacting the market -- to control costs, improve quality, and enable access -- as they should.... If employers instead gave their employees pre-tax employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) cash to purchase their own [ACA]-compliant insurance, and save any residual as after-tax income, the market would respond vigorously to these employees' preferences by offering more innovative, cost-effective plans, along with improved transparency and the navigational aids needed to choose them."  MORE >>

Regina Herzlinger and Barak D. Richman, in Health Affairs Blog

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Text of EBSA Information Letter 06-14-2021: Upon Claimant's Request, Plan Fiduciary Must Provide Copy of Audio Recording and Transcript of a Telephone Conversation

"[A] recording or transcript of a conversation with a claimant would not be excluded from the requirements under 29 CFR 2560.503-1 to disclose relevant 'documents, records, and other information' merely because the plan or claims administrator does not include the recording or transcript in its administrative record; does not treat the recording or transcript as part of the claim activity history through which the insurer develops, tracks and administers the claim; or because the recording or transcript was generated for quality assurance purposes."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior 401(k) Administrator
for Actuaries and Associates Senior 401(k) Administrator

Actuaries and Associates

Fort Worth TX / El Paso TX / Houston TX

View job as Enrolled Actuary
for Charles Schwab Enrolled Actuary

Charles Schwab

Richfield OH / TX

View job as General Attorney
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] General Attorney

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

View job as Compliance (Retirement) Lawyer
for Segal Compliance (Retirement) Lawyer


New York NY / DC

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Nicholas Pension Consultants Retirement Plan Administrator

Nicholas Pension Consultants

Telecommute / Rancho Cordova CA / Corona CA

View job as Training Specialist
for Compass Retirement Consulting Group/Compass 360, LLC Training Specialist

Compass Retirement Consulting Group/Compass 360, LLC

Telecommute / Stratham NH

Press Releases Releases Major Update to the Qualified Plan eSource

OneAmerica® Emerges from 'Pandemic Year' with Strong Capital Position and Profitable Growth


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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Kushner & Company

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

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