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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 11, 2021

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Expands Employer Tax Credits for Paid COVID-19 Vaccination Leave

"[E]ligible employers now may claim tax credits for qualified leave wages and certain other wage related expenses related to voluntarily paid leave provided to an employee to either obtain and recover from their own COVID-19 vaccination, or to accompany an individual with a qualifying relationship to the employee who seeks to obtain a vaccination and to care for such individual while the individual recovers from side effects related to the vaccination."  MORE >>

Husch Blackwell

[Guidance Overview]

Surprise Billing Regs: Out-of-Network Providers at In-Network Facilities

"Out-of-network providers may not bill patients for an amount that exceeds in-network cost sharing, as determined in accordance with the balance billing provisions, when furnishing services at an in-network health care facility. Such balance billing prohibitions will not apply if the patient has been provided with adequate notice as has agreed to waive such requirements pursuant to a valid consent, with certain enumerated exceptions. Providers and facilities will further be required to make certain additional disclosures regarding protections against balance billing, including written disclosures to patients and prominent public displays on-site and online."  MORE >>

K&L Gates

The Collapsing Legal Basis for Cross-Plan Offsetting

"As a federal district court case, strict application of the ruling is generally limited to the litigants. However (especially in light of comments the [DOL] expressed in the 2019 Eighth Circuit case), it strongly appears that the prevailing view going forward deems that cross-plan offsetting violates an array of fundamental ERISA principles -- and for that reason this case holds greater than usual implications." [Lutz Surgical Partners PLLC v. Aetna, Inc., No. 15-2595 (D.N.J. Jun. 21, 2021)]  MORE >>

BenefitsPro; free registration required

GAO Report on Private Health Coverage: Results of Covert Testing for Selected Sales Representatives Listed on

"GAO was asked to obtain insights on the marketing and sales practices of sales representatives specifically listed on In this report, GAO describes the results of covert tests it conducted involving selected sales representatives listed on when contacted by GAO undercover investigators posing as individuals needing to purchase health insurance to cover pre-existing conditions." [GAO-21-568R, Aug 10, 2021]  MORE >>

U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Client Services Administrator
for HUB International New England, LLC Client Services Administrator

HUB International New England, LLC

Foxboro MA

Selected New Discussions

Legality of Contributing to Cafeteria Plan Without Reasonable Expectation of Its Use

"Can someone point me towards any applicable rules prohibiting cafeteria plan contributions without a reasonable expectation of use? I feel sure this can't be allowed, but I'm struggling to find specifics. Obviously, the goal is to increase compensation on paper to allow for a larger profit sharing distribution annually. The non-ERISA plan funds would typically all be forfeited back to the business each year. You could argue that anyone could 'acquire' a dependent any given year, but I wouldn't try to argue that's a reasonable expectation. It doesn't seem to pass the sniff test, but I can't even find what sniff tests might apply."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Principal® Completes Integration of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement Business

Principal Financial Group

HealthComp and Grand Rounds Health Partner to Expand Employer Access to the Industry’s Leading Healthcare Navigation Offering


Vitality Adds Apple Fitness+ to Gateway Flex, the First Pay-as-you-go Benefits Marketplace


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Cybersecurity Compliance + Indexing Myths - Virtual Double Header

August 24, 2021 WEBCAST

Pension Education Council of Atlanta [PECA]

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Part 3, for Group Healh Plan Sponsors

September 9, 2021 WEBCAST

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

HSAs - Beyond the Fundamentals

October 21, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Health Plan Premium Surcharges for Those Not Vaccinated for COVID-19?

Jackson Lewis P.C.

ARPA COBRA Subsidies and the Remaining Action Item for Plan Sponsors

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Latest COBRA Subsidy Guidance May Prompt Filing Amendments

Corporate Synergies

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

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