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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 9, 2021

8 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Temporary Regs: Recapture of Excess Employment Tax Credits under the American Relief Plan Act

23 pages. "These temporary regulations authorize the assessment of any erroneous refund of the tax credits paid under sections 3131, 3132 (including any increases in those credits under section 3133), and 3134 of the Code.... These temporary regulations provide that erroneous refunds of these credits are treated as underpayments of the taxes imposed under section 3111(b) ... These temporary regulations authorize the IRS to assess any credits erroneously credited, paid, or refunded in excess of the amount allowed as if those amounts were taxes imposed under section 3111(b) ... subject to assessment and administrative collection procedures."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Enforcement Priority: New Mental Health Parity Requirements for Plan Sponsors

"[P]lans and insurers that impose NQTLs with respect to their MH/SUD benefits must be prepared to make available a 'comparative analysis' demonstrating that the processes, strategies, evidentiary standards, and other factors used to apply NQTLs to MH/SUD benefits are comparable to, and are applied no more stringently than with respect to Med/Surg benefits in each of the six classifications."  MORE >>

Kilpatrick Townsend

[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon ACA’s 2022 Reduced Affordability Limit: Employer Action Needed

"Even though one of the IRS' interpretations of the affordability standard makes little sense, be sure to calculate not just the dollar amount of the actual employee premium co-share but to add any medical opt-out offering ... [Be] sure to add any wellness surcharges to your calculations.... And yes, if you offer wellness credits (the opposite side of the surcharge 'coin'), you would exclude those from the final affordability calculation."  MORE >>

Kushner & Company

[Guidance Overview]

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates vs. Surcharge

"Initial [EEOC] guidance on vaccination surcharges or incentives most closely follows how surcharges and incentives work as part of a wellness programs such as tobacco surcharges or smoking cessation programs.... An Applicable Large Employer (ALE) must calculate the affordability of the plan based on an employee receiving the vaccination surcharge, which might cause an employer to unintentionally create an unaffordable plan to a large portion of its employee population."  MORE >>

Burnham Benefits

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon Required Notice Deadline Looms as ARPA COBRA Subsidy Comes to an End

"The purpose of the notice is to give covered individuals enough time to evaluate alternative coverage options before losing the ARPA premium assistance. Although the [DOL] has issued a model notice, it's important for plan sponsors to work with their legal counsel and recordkeepers to customize the notice as appropriate."  MORE >>

Nixon Peabody LLP

[Guidance Overview]

San Francisco HCSO Expenditure Rates Updated for 2022

"On June 22, 2021, the Board of Supervisors passed an amendment to the HCSO providing that if a public health order places restrictions on onsite work in San Francisco, employees' hours working from home will be treated as hours worked in San Francisco for HCSO purposes if the employee was, is, or after the pandemic will be permitted or required to work from the employer's office or worksite in San Francisco. Note that currently there is no public health order recommending telework."  MORE >>


CDHPs Remain Popular But Waning as Sole Option

"In 2020, 64% the Business Group's large, [self-insured] employers offered only CDHPs.... 97% offered HSAs in 2021, compared to 22% for HRAs.... 57% of the Business Group 2021 respondents make predefined HSA contributions that may be wage-based, matched, or seeded."  MORE >>

HealthLeaders Media

2021 Medical Stop-Loss Premium Survey (PDF)

"The occurrence of catastrophic claimants in excess of $1 million is further verified with 29% of respondents reporting such a claimant in the last two policy years.... The primary focus of the survey remains current premium rates, as shown in [several] graphs and tables."  MORE >>

Aegis Risk, for International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS]

2022 IRS Limits: What We Know So Far

"The IRS recently decreased the affordability baseline from 9.83% in 2021 to 9.61% in 2022.... The IRS [has] also released 2022 HSA contribution limits, minimum annual HDHP deductibles, plan out-of-pockets maximums for HSA eligibility, and out-of-pocket maximums for ACA compliance[.]"  MORE >>


HHS Report to White House Competition Council: Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices

"The Report presents principles for equitable drug pricing reform through competition, innovation, and transparency; describes promising legislative approaches; and summarizes actions already underway or under consideration across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)." [2-page Executive Summary and 29-page Full Report]  MORE >>

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

Coverage and Cost Effects Insurance Reforms Under Consideration by Congress

"Making ARPA premium subsidies permanent and filling the Medicaid coverage gap would reduce the number of people without insurance by nearly one-quarter, or 7.0 million people, in 2022. All states would see a drop in their uninsured population ... Enrollment in subsidized marketplace plans would nearly double, while premiums would fall by 18 percent on average. Federal spending would increase by an estimated $442 billion over 10 years[.]"  MORE >>

The Commonwealth Fund

Payers, Providers Seek Leeway on Surprise Medical Bill Ban Going Into Effect in 2022

"Providers believe that new requirements for notices of impending out-of-network charges and estimates on costs could provide a major administrative burden, according to comments on a regulation that outlines the protections. Payers, meanwhile, say they will need more time to implement parts of the rule and want a safe harbor from any inadvertent penalties."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Extends Hurricane Ida Tax Relief to Victims in New York and New Jersey

"Victims of Hurricane Ida in parts of New York and New Jersey now have until Jan. 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... In New York, this currently includes Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond and Westchester counties, and in New Jersey, it includes Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset counties. Taxpayers in Ida-impacted localities subsequently designated by FEMA in other parts of these states will automatically receive the same filing and payment relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


As Remote Work Becomes Normal, Could the Office Be a New Employee Benefit?

"A company with an office needs to start thinking about how their space acts as a unique, long-term benefit. Whether it’s building a social group, professional development or engagement with the local community, working in an office has big advantages—The company just needs to protect, encourage and promote them."  MORE >>

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as DC Plan Administrator
for Retirement, LLC DC Plan Administrator

Retirement, LLC

Remote / Oklahoma City OK

View job as DC Plan Administrator
for Retirement, LLC

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for The Retirement Group, LLC Retirement Plan Administrator

The Retirement Group, LLC

Remote / Verona NJ / NY

View job as Employee Benefits Associate
for Shipman & Goodwin LLP Employee Benefits Associate

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

Hartford CT / New Haven CT / Stamford CT / Washington DC

View job as Consultant
for Cap Strat Advisory Consultant

Cap Strat Advisory

Remote / Villa Park IL

View job as Associate Retirement Plan Administrator
for Certified Financial Group Associate Retirement Plan Administrator

Certified Financial Group

Altamonte Springs FL

View job as Account Manager for Large Groups
for Employee Benefits International Arizona, Inc. Account Manager for Large Groups

Employee Benefits International Arizona, Inc.

Phoenix AZ

View job as Account Coordinator for Large Groups
for Employee Benefits International Arizona, Inc. Account Coordinator for Large Groups

Employee Benefits International Arizona, Inc.

Phoenix AZ

View job as Actuary
for Alerus Financial Actuary

Alerus Financial


Press Releases Announces Release of PDI Email Pro

DOL Recovers $14k for Illinois Retirement Plan After Investigation Finds Company Owner Failed to Forward Contributions

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

OneDigital Acquires Virginia Medical Plans / Katz Insurance Group


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Healthcare Cost Transparency: What you Need to Know NOW

September 28, 2021 WEBCAST

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Dallas Chapter

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Employers Consider Raising Premiums for Unvaccinated Workers

Holland & Hart LLP

2022 Affordability Percentage Will Be Lower; Your Company's Health Plan May No Longer Be Affordable


U.S. Employers Rethinking Employee Benefit Strategy

Willis Towers Watson

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

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