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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 14, 2021

4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Mental Health Parity Remains a DOL Priority: MHPAEA Compliance in Response to the CAA

"[T]he DOL has already started to collect the [nonquantitative treatment limitation (NQTL)] analyses mandated by the [Consolidated Appropriations Act] and is already issuing findings letters based on their initial reviews.... [T]he level of detail demanded by regulators surrounding the evidentiary factors -- including numeric support for parity -- is very detailed, and has not typically been maintained by plans or issuers."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

Drug Pricing and Other Healthcare Policy Changes Targeted in Executive Order on Promoting Competition

"Initiatives [described in the Executive Order] include calls to combat 'excessive pricing,' to enhance domestic pharmaceutical supply chains, to reduce the cost of drugs to the Federal government, and to address 'price gouging'; additional actions to support the implementation of Canadian drug importation and to promote low-cost generics and biosimilars. A number of the proposals may be inconsistent with existing statutory and regulatory authority, with litigation likely to follow if these proposals are finalized and implemented."  MORE >>

Sidley Austin LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Request Form and Employer Reimbursement Process

"While employers were initially advised to prescribe their own request forms, all the information that must be collected is now addressed in the sample form ... The [Executive Office for Administration and Finance (EOAF)] has published the required notice in poster-form and in a form to be sent via electronic communication. Additionally, the EOAF has published instructions for employers to follow in order to seek reimbursement for payments made to employees for use of COVID-19 Sick Leave."  MORE >>

Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP

Predecessor Employer Defeats Proposed Class Action Challenging Spin-Off's Decision to Cut Retiree Benefits

"[T]he court recognized that taking necessary steps to complete a business transaction -- here, predecessor PPG transferring benefits liabilities for its commodity chemicals division to a separate, newly created successor entity, Axiall Corp. -- does not trigger PPG's general fiduciary duties under ERISA, nor create liability for PPG where the terminated benefits were unvested, and where PPG was no longer associated with the plan." [Bellon v. PPG Employee Life & Other Benefits Plan, No. 18-0114 (N.D. W.Va. June 28, 2021)]  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

How Employer Health Benefits Are Changing Due to Coronavirus

"Over nine in ten employers said that they were increasing their mental health and wellness programming in 2021, including pediatric mental health programs ... Almost 75 percent reported that they were extending work-life balance support and nearly 70 percent were expanding their paid leave policies."  MORE >>

HealthPayer Intelligence

CalPERS Announces 4.86% Increase in Health Plan Premiums

"The CalPERS Board of Administration today approved health plan premiums for calendar year 2022, at an overall premium increase of 4.86%. Premiums for CalPERS' Medicare Advantage plans are declining across the board from the previous year."  MORE >>

California Public Employees' Retirement System [CalPERS]

Hospital M&A Volume Remained Slow in Q2, But Revenue Per Transaction Continued to Surge

"There were 27 total transactions through the first two quarters of 2021 ... From 2015 through 2020, there were never fewer than 43 transactions through two quarters. But the average revenue of the selling entity thus far in 2021 is more than $638 million. That's more than $240 million higher than the average through the first two quarters of any of the previous six years."  MORE >>

Healthcare Financial Management Association [HFMA]; free registration required


ERISA, Post-Rutledge: State Bills Threaten Affordable Care for Employer Plans

"Since the Court's ruling in the Rutledge case, several states moved forward with bills that similarly seek to override ERISA pre-emption of pharmacy benefit plans. These types of laws generally require PBMs to pay pharmacies higher reimbursements, which leads to a whole host of consequences, primarily increasing costs to plan sponsors, consumers and the health system in general.... These policies do nothing to reduce health care costs or to limit out-of-pocket costs for plan members and their dependents."  MORE >>

CVS Health


Effort to Decipher Hospital Prices Yields Key Finding: Don't Try This at Home, Folks

"A federal price transparency rule that took effect this year was supposed to give patients, employers and insurers a clearer picture of the true cost of hospital care.... After three months of glazed eyes and headaches from banging my head against walls of numbers, I am throwing in the towel. It was a fool's errand. My efforts ultimately yielded just one helpful piece of advice: Don't try this at home."  MORE >>

News Nation USA

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Michigan Pension & Financial, Inc. Retirement Plan Consultant

Michigan Pension & Financial, Inc.

Telecommute / Farmington MI

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Michigan Pension & Financial, Inc.

View job as Junior Plan Advisor
for DirectAdvisors Junior Plan Advisor


Latham NY

View job as Regional Sales Director
for Pentegra Regional Sales Director


Telecommute / West Harrison NY / CA / NV

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

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

Press Releases

HealthComp Appoints Reference-based Pricing Thought Leader John Powers to Vice President of Sales


NAPA Launches ESG Certificate Program for Advisors

National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

SHRM Introduces ‘SHRM 401(k) Solutions by Raymond James®’ Enabling Small Businesses to Relieve Burden of Offering 401(k)

SHRM [Society for Human Resource Management]

Securian Financial’s Matthew King Elected NIPA President

Securian Financial Group

Natixis Investment Managers to Partner with the National Association of Plan Advisors on ESG Certificate Program

Natixis Investment Managers

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

MHPAEA Compliance in Response to the CAA

July 21, 2021 WEBCAST

Groom Law Group

The No Surprises Act requires changes to your plan coverage

July 27, 2021 WEBCAST


5 Reasons Absence Management Isn't Slowing Down and How to Prepare

September 23, 2021 WEBCAST

Disability Management Employer Coalition [DMEC]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Group Health Plan Sponsors Are Getting Serious About Pricing Transparency


IRS Releases Draft Form 1095-C for 2021 with Minimal Changes


1 in 3 Employees Has Picked Up Bad Cybersecurity Habits Since Working Remotely


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

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