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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 10, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon COBRA Subsidy Ends September 30: Don't Forget to Provide Notice!

"If an AEI's period of coverage begins mid-month and extends into October, then the individual is entitled to the full subsidy for that entire period of coverage.... Unless the AEI is also reaching the end of the maximum COBRA coverage period at the end of September, the COBRA coverage must automatically continue, assuming that the AEI submits timely COBRA premium payments per the plan's normal COBRA procedures."  MORE >>

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

[Guidance Overview]

When Does the Premium Subsidy End for a Biweekly COBRA Billing Cycle?

"[T]he IRS has clarified that, under certain circumstances, subsidy availability will not be cut off on September 30 ... [T]he subsidy will continue until the end of an AEI's last period of coverage that begins on or before September 30."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

OSHA to Develop Rule Requiring All Employers with 100+ Employees to Implement Vaccine Mandate

"President Biden has directed OSHA to develop a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. The rule will also require covered employers to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are ill post-vaccination."  MORE >>


President's Path Out of the Pandemic Adds Hurdles for Employers

"Employers who are impacted by the Plan, and who may be impacted by an ETS once issued, are advised to start thinking through how they will navigate many legal issues and operational challenges related to required vaccination and testing. These issues include policy requirements, workplace testing strategies, vaccination tracking and management, medical record collection and retention, and accommodations for religion, disability and pregnancy, as well as wage and hour implications, bargaining obligations for unionized workplaces, employee confidentiality and privacy issues."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

FAQs on Employee Privacy Issues Related to the COVID-19 Vaccine

"Our company plans to require employees to provide proof of their vaccine status by emailing human resources a copy of their vaccine card. Does this present any data-privacy concerns? ... Our company plans to hire a third-party vendor to create a portal where information about vaccine status can be uploaded and stored. Does that present any additional data-privacy concerns? ... What if an employee lost their vaccine card, and asks their medical provider to send the vaccine-status information to HR directly?"  MORE >>

Reed Smith

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Plan Payments for Specialty Medications Tripled Depending on Site of Treatment (PDF)

"[On] average, plan payments to [hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs)] were triple what plan payments were to [physician offices (POs)] for the same unit of medication. The median unit price differential was 100 percent, or double for HOPDs vs. POs.... [E]mployers could cut spending by $14.1 billion by shifting patients away from more costly HOPD settings or by negotiating site-neutral pricing for specialty medications. This represents 1.5 percent of total health care spending on workers and their families."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Hospital Telehealth Visits Leveling Off; Claims Hit Lowest Level Since Start of Pandemic

"About 40% of hospital executives report that up to 10% of their appointments are done virtually ... Telehealth use overall has stabilized at levels 38 times higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from 13% to 17% of visits across all specialties[.]"  MORE >>


Health Insurance Premiums Not Expected to Change Significantly for 2022

"Premiums for health insurance for individuals and small group markets are not expected to see large adjustments from carriers in 2022 ... However, regional differences in healthcare delivery might result in some variation in premiums, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic[.]"  MORE >>

Treasury & Risk; free registration required

How to Use Your Health Plan's Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits

"[T]hings to know when seeking out care: [1] Check your plan's mental health benefits.... [2] Find the treatment option that's best for you.... [3] Use free online resources.... [4] Have questions about your plan or protections? Reach out to a benefits advisor."  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]


Biden Proposes Government Price Controls on Prescription Drugs

"The Biden proposal would reduce the prices Medicare pays for prescription drugs ... It would also [impose] the prices Medicare sets to govern its own purchases ... on private payers in the form of price controls [and] impose additional price controls on private transactions by limiting how much drug companies could increase their prices from year to year."  MORE >>

Cato Institute

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Treasury Department 2021-2022 Priority Guidance Plan (PDF)

"The 2021-2022 Priority Guidance Plan contains 193 guidance projects that are priorities for allocating Treasury Department and Service resources during the 12-month period from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 (the plan year)." [Employee benefit items begin on page 3, including 19 retirement plan items and 16 items relating to executive compensation, employment taxes, health care and other benefits.]  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS], U.S. Department of the Treasury

[Official Guidance]

IRS Extends Hurricane Ida Disaster Relief to Victims in Mississippi

"Victims of Hurricane Ida in parts of Mississippi now have until November 1, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Currently, individuals and households affected by Hurricane Ida that reside or have a business in all 82 counties and the Mississippi Choctaw Indian Reservation qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Ways and Means Budget Reconciliation Bill: Summary and Analysis of Paid Leave and Retirement Provisions

"On Tuesday, Sept. 7, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) released part of the committee's portion ... [of] the expected $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation measure ... This alert summarizes Subtitles A (Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave) and Subtitle B (Retirement)."  MORE >>

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant (RPC)
for Qualified Plan Consultants, LLC (QPC) Retirement Plan Consultant (RPC)

Qualified Plan Consultants, LLC (QPC)


View job as Retirement Plan Consultant (RPC)
for Qualified Plan Consultants, LLC (QPC)

View job as Associate Counsel
for UMWA Health and Retirement Funds Associate Counsel

UMWA Health and Retirement Funds

Washington DC

View job as Retirement Services Consultant
for Insperity Retirement Services Consultant


Kingwood TX

View job as Account Manager
for MAP Retirement Account Manager

MAP Retirement

Remote / Appleton WI

View job as Account Services Representative (Entry-Level)
for Newport Account Services Representative (Entry-Level)


Folsom CA

Press Releases

National Alliance Releases Resource to Help Employers Better Manage Drug Costs Under Medical Benefit

National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Mandates, Masks and More: The Latest on COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace



Can Employers Impose a Health Insurance Surcharge on Plan Participants Not Vaccinated for COVID-19?


Williams Mullen

Path Out of the Pandemic: Challenges for Employers

September 15, 2021 WEBCAST

Thompson Hine LLP

Employers, Uncle Sam Wants You to Step Up Your Efforts with Mandatory Vaccination and Testing!

September 17, 2021 WEBCAST

Ogletree Deakins

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates vs. Surcharge

Burnham Benefits

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

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

2022 IRS Limits: What We Know So Far


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

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