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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 2, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Additional ARPA COBRA Subsidy Guidance

"[In] Notice 2021-46, the IRS has indicated that all individuals who still have a right to enroll in COBRA and/or make COBRA payments between April 1, 2021–September 30, 2021, are eligible for the subsidy, unless eligible for other major group health coverage or Medicare. In other words, they don't need to be currently enrolled in COBRA and making payments. This may require employers to offer these AEIs COBRA coverage and the subsidy if the employer or plan administrator are notified by these individuals of such events."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Takes Second Bite Into COBRA Subsidy Questions Under ARPA

"IRS Notice 2021-46 provides helpful clarifications on the following topics: [1] AEIs may be eligible for the COBRA subsidy for extended coverage periods (e.g., disability extensions or second qualifying events), even if the AEI didn't elect extended coverage before April 1, 2021; [2] Eligibility for other health coverage that does not include vision or dental benefits terminates an AEI's eligibility for the COBRA subsidy for vision-only or dental-only coverage; and [3] Additional clarification on the entity that may claim the tax credit for the COBRA subsidy."  MORE >>

Miller Johnson

[Guidance Overview]

Revised Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave Expands List of Covered Family Members

"[T]he term 'family member' ... has been expanded to include 'any individual who regularly resides in the employee's home or with whom the relationship creates an expectation that the employee care for the person, and that individual depends on the employee for care.' The term 'family member' does not include a person who simply resides in the same home with no expectation that the employee care for the individual."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Enacts Another Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

"626B was passed as a new law, but it is nearly identical to Pittsburgh's original Temporary COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (626A) that was in effect from December 8, 2020 through June 17, 2021. Though new 626B's text largely mirrors that of 626A, there are some important differences.... [It] appears 626B requires an entirely new bank of leave because it is a separate ordinance rather than an amendment to or extension of the original ordinance."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Duluth, Minnesota Amends Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance

"[E]ffective August 19, 2021 ... Employees will be able to use leave when they lose work hours when their place of employment closes for public health reasons ... If employers maintain an employee handbook, it will need to include a copy of the company's ESST policy ... Employers must either display or provide the city-created poster to employees or provide a company-created notice that advises employees of their rights under the ordinance."  MORE >>


Chicago Amends Paid Sick Leave Law

"The Chicago City Council amended its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PSLO) to clarify and expand the bases to take paid leave ... [T]he paid sick leave amendments took effect on Aug. 1."  MORE >>

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

California Legislative Update: Family Leave and Sick Pay

"Two bills, currently pending in the Senate, seek to expand the scope of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The second bill also looks to expand sick pay."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Health Insurance Coverage Among Working-Age Adults with Disabilities: 2010-2018

"From 2010-11 to 2017-18, the proportion of U.S. adults with disabilities who lacked health insurance coverage for a full year was nearly halved, falling by about 46% from 17% to 9%. There was also an increase of about 14% in the proportion of adults with disabilities who had continuous coverage, from about 71% to 81%. These improvements were concentrated immediately after 2014, when the largest ACA-driven insurance expansions first took effect."  MORE >>

Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]


Use Value-Based Payment to Resolve the Debate About Telehealth Payment Parity

"Some argue that telehealth requires less clinical effort and fewer overhead costs than in-person care, undercutting the case for payment parity.... Those who support payment parity believe it would help clinicians adopt and maintain telehealth as a way to support health care access and patient experience. Arguments on both sides would be strengthened by more high-quality studies."  MORE >>

Health Affairs Blog

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Recordings of Phone Calls Made for Quality Assurance Purposes Must Be Disclosed to ERISA Benefit Claimants

"Plan administrators should work with their carriers or third party administrators to ensure that such recordings are retained for the relevant limitations period, and are disclosed upon request, even if the recordings were not relied upon in denying the claim."  MORE >>

Hodgson Russ LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Plan Cybersecurity Guidance: DOL Enforcement Warrants Plan Sponsor Action

"Although the most detailed piece of the package -- the best practices summary -- is framed as applying to plan service providers (such as recordkeepers and administrators), enforcement actions already implemented suggest that these standards likely also apply to plan-related information maintained by the plan fiduciary.... [P]lan sponsors and fiduciaries should be aware that this cybersecurity guidance likely applies to all plans governed by ERISA, not just retirement plans."  MORE >>

Poyner Spruill LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as DC Senior Plan Administrator
for Steidle Pension Solutions DC Senior Plan Administrator

Steidle Pension Solutions

Remote / NJ / PA

View job as DC Senior Plan Administrator
for Steidle Pension Solutions

View job as Retirement Plan Internal Sales Analyst
for ERISA Services, Inc. Retirement Plan Internal Sales Analyst

ERISA Services, Inc.

Knoxville TN

View job as Enrolled Actuary
for McHenry Advisers, Inc. Enrolled Actuary

McHenry Advisers, Inc.

New Albany OH

Press Releases

HBL Welcomes Partner Tim Kennedy, Opens Philadelphia Office

Hall Benefits Law

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Greater Price Transparency, Advanced Explanation of Benefits Requirements Coming Soon

Hall Benefits Law

HHS and DOJ Issue Guidance on 'Long COVID' as a Disability

Jackson Lewis P.C.

CMS Toolkit on COVID-19 Vaccine: Health Insurance Issuers and Medicare Advantage Plans (PDF)

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

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

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