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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 7, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon Medicare Part D Notices Required Before October 15

"The Medicare Part D notice requirement is generally straightforward, but [there are still] questions every year regarding these notices.... [T]his guide [is designed to] help answer some of the most common employer inquiries."  MORE >>

Fisher Phillips

[Guidance Overview]

Departments Delay Enforcement of Transparency Disclosure Requirements

"[HHS, DOL and Treasury] recently issued FAQ guidance specifically to help plan sponsors understand their duties under the final Transparency in Coverage Rules issued under the ACA and similar provisions in the CAA. The FAQ also extend the deadlines by which plan sponsors must comply with the rules."  MORE >>

Fisher Phillips

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon New Missouri Law Requires Employers to Provide Leave to Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence

"Missouri employers with at least 20 employees will soon be obligated to provide leave to victims of domestic or sexual violence under ... [The new law] also requires employers to provide employees notice of the new law no later than October 27, 2021."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

New Cook County Ordinance Requires Vaccination Pay for Employees

"The Ordinance, which became effective July 1, 2021, outlaws taking adverse or negative personnel actions against an employee for taking time during a shift to get a vaccine. Notably, this includes a prohibition on giving the employee attendance consequences for the absence under an attendance policy."  MORE >>

Quarles & Brady LLP

Upcoming Deadline icon Don't Forget Your COBRA Subsidy Expiration Notice

"For [assistance-eligible individuals (AEIs)] whose subsidies will expire on Sept. 30, 2021, notices must be sent between Aug. 16 and Sept. 15, 2021. Subsidy expiration notices must, at a minimum, include the following information: [1] A prominent identification of the date the subsidy will expire. [2] A statement that the AEI may be eligible for coverage without a subsidy through COBRA or coverage under a group health plan. The [DOL] has provided a model notice."  MORE >>



Register for the 2021 CCA Annual Meeting before Sept. 24 and Save

Register for CCA’s Annual Meeting by the early bird deadline & save $100. The program offers world-class education & networking that is mindful of the health challenges we face due to the pandemic. The program offers 65 sessions and 37.6 credits.

Sponsored by Conference of Consulting Actuaries [CCA]

Recent Ruling Highlights Importance of ERISA Document Disclosures

"A recent federal district court decision highlights the importance of making sure all necessary information has been disclosed, which may be more than just the summary plan description or underlying plan document.... [P]lan sponsors should consider incorporating certain details of plan administration, such as the delegation of claims administration and decision-making duties, into the governing plan document and summary plan description." [M.S., L.S., and C.J.S. v. Premera Blue Cross, Microsoft Corp., and the Microsoft Corp. Welfare Plan, No. 19-199 (D. Utah Aug. 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Haynes and Boone, LLP, via Lexology

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Ruling on the Domestic Violence and Abuse Leave Act Holds Lessons for Employers

"Learning of an abusive situation that could require time off in the future may be enough to trigger exposure for a DVLA retaliation or interference claim.... [This] decision also confirms that employers should keep the DVLA -- and safety concerns -- in mind when investigating candidates' backgrounds. The [court] clarified that the DVLA protects individuals whom employers traditionally classify as 'candidates' for employment[.]" [Osborne-Trussell v. The Children's Hospital Corp., No. SJC-12991 (Mass. Aug. 25, 2021)]  MORE >>


DOL and State of New York Settle Mental Health Parity Case with Country's Largest Health Insurer

"The DOL alleged that United systematically under-reimbursed out-of-network mental health services when compared to the reimbursement methodologies used for out-of-network medical or surgical services across its various plan types.... The December 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) provided the DOL with additional tools to pursue potential violations of the MHPAEA in addition to corresponding MHPAEA compliance requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers." [Walsh v. United Behavioral Health and UnitedHealthcare Ins. Co., No. 21-4519 (E.D.N.Y. settlement agreement filed Aug. 11, 2021); Walsh v. UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Oxford Health Ins. Inc., No. 21-4519 (E.D.N.Y. settlement agreement filed Aug. 11, 2021)]  MORE >>

Troutman Sanders

2022 Open Enrollment Checklist (PDF)

"For employers operating their group health and welfare plans [on a calendar year basis], now is the time of the year to prepare for open enrollment. Typically, the focus is on evaluating the services and performance of vendors, renewing rates, and considering design changes. In addition to these items, employers need to address various legal requirements. This Benefits Brief provides a checklist that covers these requirements for the 2022 plan year."  MORE >>

VCG Consultants

Community Pharmacies Stepped Up During COVID -- and Changed for Good

"Today's community pharmacists administer vaccines, manage chronic disease, supply birth control, optimize medication regimens, and in some cases assess genetic markers for personalized medicine, to name just a few services.... The pandemic closed many health care practices and opened doors for pharmacies to step in."  MORE >>



Joint Employer Letter to Congress in Support of Federal Paid Leave Legislation

"We strongly support federal paid leave legislation that builds on private-sector solutions and allows employers to treat workers equitably regardless of where they live or work. Managing the plethora of state and local employee paid leave mandates is extremely burdensome for multistate employers and compels them to treat employees differently based on their location. This problem has become even more complex as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a dramatic rise in remote work and many remote workers have permanently relocated to other states."  MORE >>

American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2021-52: Special Per Diem Rates 2021-2022 (PDF)

"This annual notice provides the 2021-2022 special per diem rates for taxpayers to use in substantiating the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home, specifically [1] the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates, [2] the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction, and [3] the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

It's Time to Dust Off Your ERISA Fiduciary Liability Insurance Policy

"A review of a policy ... should consider issues such as whether the policy covers all plan fiduciaries (including a committee) and whether the level of coverage is adequate to cover full liability exposure for issues like statutory taxes/penalties (e.g., IRS penalties for retirement plans, HIPAA violations, ACA coverage, and reporting assessments), pre-claim investigations, audits, regulatory correction program participation, and cybersecurity, to name a few."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Account Analyst
for Nolan Financial Senior Account Analyst

Nolan Financial

Remote / Bethesda MD

View job as Senior Account Analyst
for Nolan Financial

View job as Account Representative
for Nolan Financial Account Representative

Nolan Financial

Remote / Bethesda MD

View job as Account Representative
for Nolan Financial

View job as Quality Assurance Manager
for Nova 401(k) Associates Quality Assurance Manager

Nova 401(k) Associates

Remote / Houston TX / Dallas TX / Scottsdale AZ

Press Releases

Jim Keightley, Harold Ashner, and Linda Rosenzweig named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 list in the field of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Keightley & Ashner LLP

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

2021 Top 10 HSA Issues

November 4, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

How the 2022 ACA Affordability Decrease Affects Employers


Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2021-36: Adjustments to ACA Applicable Percentage Table and Required Contribution Percentage for Calendar Year 2022

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employee Benefit Plan Audits Set for Major Changes, More Transparency

Journal of Accountancy

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

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