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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 10, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon ARPA COBRA Subsidies and the Remaining Action Item for Plan Sponsors

"[A]ssistance eligible individuals (or AEIs) receiving subsidized coverage must be sent notice of the end of their subsidy no less than 15 days and no more than 45 days in advance.... While this requirement has applied all along ... these notices must be sent to the vast majority of the AEIs between August 16 and September 15 to reflect the end of the COBRA subsidy period generally on September 30, 2021."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Latest COBRA Subsidy Guidance May Prompt Filing Amendments

"Employers and plan sponsors may now need to look back more than 18 months for an assistance eligible individual's (AEI) extended second election opportunity. Under the previous guidance, employers would not have needed to look back more than 18 months.... [S]ome plan sponsors that thought that they would qualify as premium payees, and therefore, be eligible to claim the tax credit, may now no longer be able to do so."  MORE >>

Corporate Synergies

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Health Plan Premium Surcharges for Those Not Vaccinated for COVID-19?

"Implementing a COVID-19 premium surcharge wellness program to provide an incentive for more plan participants to get vaccinated comes with some compliance challenges. Those challenges depend largely on the design of the program and the administration of it. And, unfortunately, the guidance surrounding wellness programs, particularly from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), remains less than clear."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Dependent Verification Case Study: University of Arkansas Saves $1.5M

"Alight's dependent verification center reviewed nearly 40,000 documents and fielded over 5,500 phone calls in the process of auditing 19,000 dependent children and spouses. In the end, they identified 750 ineligible dependents, accounting for 3 percent of the university's total dependent population. The university ... realized annual premium savings of just over $1.5 million, equal to a little over 1 percent of total premiums at the time."  MORE >>

Alight Solutions

2021 HSA Survey (PDF)

50 pages. "The average participant contribution in 2020 was $2,958, up from $2,595 in 2019 and 2018. However, roughly a quarter of responding employers noted that fewer than five percent of workers maxed out contributions ... Most employers (83.2 percent) make contributions to the HSA ... More than 80 percent of employers cited employee education as a top HSA concern ... The top education priority for more than 60 percent of survey respondents is explaining HSA tax preferences[.]"  MORE >>

Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Novel Treatments Challenge Traditional Reimbursement

"Paying for high-cost, breakthrough drugs is one of healthcare's abiding challenges -- and tied to so many of the 'pre-existing' conditions that plague the industry as it tries to innovate.... Novel therapies need financing and reimbursement strategies that are equally innovative. Multiple, diverse collaborations are working to define a path forward."  MORE >>

HealthLeaders Media

Expanded Medicare Benefits in Democrats' Plan Include Dental, Hearing and Vision

"Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released an outline of a coming budget bill that includes a directive to the Senate Finance Committee to expand Medicare 'to include dental, vision, hearing benefits.' ... [A]ll the Democrats in the Senate and almost all in the House will have to agree on the entire budget bill for Schumer's proposal to become law."  MORE >>

National Public Radio [NPR]

Using Artificial Intelligence to Enhance the Value of PTO

"Companies are using AI-based analysis of PTO internally to understand and optimize vacation and time-off schedules. But multiple companies are also using AI to analyze PTO seasonally as well as across industries and regions and in relation to other factors such as COVID-19 and economic indices.... PTO is now the second most requested benefit across all workforce generations."  MORE >>

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

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Analyst
for LoVasco Consulting Group, Inc. Senior Analyst

LoVasco Consulting Group, Inc.

Detroit MI

View job as Senior Analyst
for LoVasco Consulting Group, Inc.

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Heritage Administrative Services, LLC Retirement Plan Administrator

Heritage Administrative Services, LLC

Woodbury NY

View job as Enrolled Actuary
for Nova 401(k) Associates Enrolled Actuary

Nova 401(k) Associates

Remote / Houston TX

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Cetera Retirement Plan Specialists Retirement Plan Consultant

Cetera Retirement Plan Specialists


View job as Senior Client Executive
for Transamerica Senior Client Executive


Remote / OH

Selected New Discussions

Welfare Benefit Plan's Form 5500 Was Filed 2 Days Late

"The client thought they had filed the 5500 for their welfare plan when it was signed on 7/21; however it was not realized until 8/4 that it was never actually filed, so they filed on 8/[4] The deadline of July 31s, fell on a Saturday so the next business day was August [2] So it was filed 2 days late. I know the DOL can assess penalties per day for being late. What's the likelihood the DOL will penalize them?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Pentegra and LeafHouse Financial Launch the American 401(k) Pooled Employer Plan

Pentegra Retirement Services

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

A $50 Monthly Paycheck Deduction by Your Employer: Coming Soon for the Unvaccinated?

Forbes; subscription may be required

Implementing Regs for the No Surprises Act: Part I

Robinson & Cole LLP

What Is an 'Arbitrary and Capricious' Benefit Denial?

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C.

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

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