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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 17, 2021

2 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of Agency ACA FAQs Part 48: Coverage of Preventive Care Services (PDF)

"On November 15, 2018, the Departments published final regulations concerning religious and moral exemptions and accommodations regarding coverage of certain preventive services ... [which] expand exemptions for entities with religious or moral objections to the contraceptive coverage requirement to which their health plans would otherwise be subject....The Departments are considering how best to address these provisions in light of recent litigation. The Departments intend to initiate rulemaking within 6 months to amend the 2018 final regulations and obtaining public input will be included as part of the Departments' rulemaking process."  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]; U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]; and U.S. Treasury Department

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon Reminder: Notices Required for the End of COBRA Premium Assistance

"Assistance eligible individuals whose COBRA premium assistance is expiring on September 30, 2021 must be provided with a notice of expiration of premium assistance meeting specific requirements under ARPA between August 16, 2021 and September 15, 2021."  MORE >>

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Implementing Regs for No Surprises Act Answer Some Questions, Leave Others Pending

"The IFR addresses the methodology for calculating the patient's cost-sharing obligation, the types of medical services subject to the Act's protections, how the Act interacts with state balance-billing laws, and the requirements for notice-and-consent waivers exempting non-emergency services from the Act. The IFR invites comment on various regulations, but the Departments did not provide for a full regulatory notice and comment period[.]"  MORE >>

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon Washington's New Long-Term Care Benefit Program: Important Deadlines Loom!

"Workers who are over the age of 18 may take the following steps to opt out of the program: [1] By November 1, 2021, purchase qualifying private long-term care insurance. [2] Between October 1, 2021, and December 22, 2022, apply for a program exemption.... The current law and draft regulations do not require employers to provide advance notice to employees about the program, their ability to opt out or become exempt from the program, or that deductions will begin on January 1, 2022."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Third Circuit Opens the Door to Class Actions Seeking Paid Military Leave

"Though the Third Circuit affirmatively held that pay during military leave could be a 'benefit' or 'right' under the statute when the employer offered paid leave to employees on 'comparable types of leave,' the Court did not answer the more difficult question of what constitutes 'comparable types of leave.' The Third Circuit remanded the case to the district court to determine whether the paid sick leave, paid jury duty leave, and paid bereavement leave at issue in the case are 'comparable' to military leave." [Travers v. Federal Express Corp., No. 20-2073 (3d Cir. Aug. 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Two New Lawsuits Challenge Insurer Transparency Rule

"Both lawsuits challenge the transparency rule under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and focus solely on the requirements related to disclosure of rates and other pricing information ... Even if the Chamber and PCMA are successful here, more transparency requirements are coming." [Pharmaceutical Care Management Assoc. (PCMA) v. HHS, No. 21-2161 (D.D.C. complaint filed Aug. 12, 2021); Chamber of Commerce of U.S. v. HHS, No. 21-309 (E.D. Tex. complaint filed Aug. 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Health Affairs Blog

90% of Insurance Agencies Anticipate Employers Will Want More Insurance Options for Open Enrollment

"As employers continue to face a hiring shortage, attracting talent will almost certainly be contingent upon being able to offer employee benefits that cover a full spectrum of needs.... [The majority of agencies anticipate] the need for worksite benefits options, followed by 40% anticipating their groups will want more overall health insurance plan options. Mental health benefits are also likely to be of greater importance with 35% of respondents saying groups will likely want this type of benefit to aid in the stress brought on by the pandemic."  MORE >>

Benefits in General

Important Factors for Hiring Quality Employee Benefit Plan Auditors

"[H]iring an auditor is considered a fiduciary function. As such, plan administrators should use the same care and prudence in hiring an auditor that they use when hiring any individual or entity that provides services to the plan. The advisory [discusses] four important factors for hiring a quality auditor: experience and professional development, identifying quality audit firms, independence, and licensing."  MORE >>

Meaden & Moore

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Retirement Plan Administrator
for RetireWell TPA Senior Retirement Plan Administrator

RetireWell TPA

Remote / Marlton NJ

View job as Sr. Confidential Specialist (Benefits)
for National Education Association Sr. Confidential Specialist (Benefits)

National Education Association

Washington DC

Press Releases

Refocus, Revive, and Reset with PSCA’s New 401(k) Day® Campaign

PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

Colonial Surety Launches Cyber Liability and Fiduciary Liability Protection Package, Protecting Plan Sponsors Against Significant and Growing Cyber Risk

Colonial Surety Company

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

For Health Benefits, Employee Experience Is Everything

August 17, 2021 WEBCAST

HR Daily Advisor

How to Avoid a Prohibited Transaction Under the New Fee Disclosure Rules for Service Providers of Group Health Plans

September 15, 2021 WEBCAST

Boutwell Fay LLP

Onboarding Your Leave Administration TPA: Creative Strategies to Avoid Common Implementation Pitfalls

October 12, 2021 WEBCAST

Disability Management Employer Coalition [DMEC]

New Federal Surprise Billing Rules Compliance: Navigating the Complex and Far-Reaching Legislation

October 14, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Not All Surprises Are Good: Phase I of the Surprise Billing Rules

Snell & Wilmer

To Mandate or Not? FAQs on Mandatory Vaccine Programs for Employers

Reed Smith

Health Insurance Continuation Coverage Under COBRA (PDF)

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

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

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