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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 14, 2021

2 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL, IRS and PBGC Proposed Revisions to Form 5500 Annual Information Return/Reports and Form M-1

135 pages. "This document contains proposed changes to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report forms filed for employee pension and welfare benefit plans under [ERISA] and the Internal Revenue Code. The proposed form revisions primarily relate to statutory amendments to ERISA and the Code enacted as part of the [SECURE Act]. The [DOL, IRS and PBGC] are also proposing certain additional changes intended to ... update Form 5500 financial reporting to make the financial information collected on the Form 5500 more useful and usable, ... and, transfer to the DOL Form M-1 (Report for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming Exception (ECEs)) (Form M-1) participating employer information for multiple employer welfare arrangements that are required to file the Form M-1."  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]; Internal Revenue Service [IRS]; and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


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[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Proposed Rule: Annual Reporting and Disclosure Using Forms 5500 and M-1

87 pages. "This document contains proposed amendments to [DOL] regulations relating to annual reporting requirements under Title I of [ERISA].... The proposal.... would add new questions to the Form M-1 and instructions to require MEWAs (plan and non-plan) that offer or provide coverage for medical benefits to provide multiple employer participating employer information on the Form M-1 and not as an attachment to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report.... The proposal would also change which MEWAs are required to report the participating employer information."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Fact Sheet: SECURE Act and Related Revisions to Employee Benefit Plan Annual Reporting on Forms 5500 and M-1 (PDF)

"[F]or multiple employer welfare plans that provide medical benefits, the proposal would move the existing requirement to report participating employer information from the Form 5500 to the Form M-1 (Report for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) and Certain Entities Claiming Exception (ECEs)) filed by such plans and extend that reporting requirement to non-plan MEWAs that file the Form M-1....To improve the usability of reported [plan asset data by funded welfare plans], the proposal would: Update the Schedule H and instructions to standardize the electronic filing format for the schedules of assets required to be included in the annual return/report (Schedule H, line  4i Schedules); Add additional disclosures to the schedules of assets regarding the characteristics of  investments that plans hold for investment; Improve the level of detail in direct expense reported on the Schedule H..."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Non-Federal Governmental Plans and MHPAEA Comparative Analysis Reviews (PDF)

27 presentation slides. "The purpose of this presentation is to: [1] Provide an overview of the provisions related to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) added by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA); [2] Discuss how the new provisions apply to non-Fed plans; and [3] Introduce MHPAEA resources and compliance tools."  MORE >>

Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight [CCIIO], Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon Notification Deadline Triggered as COBRA Premium Subsidy Ends

"Under ARPA, a subsidy expiration notice must be provided where premium subsidy assistance will end as a result of the expiration of the individual's [1] subsidy period or [2] COBRA continuation period.... Because plan administrators must notify assistance eligible individuals at least 15 days before the subsidy expires, ... most notices must be mailed by September 15, 2021."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

No Surprises Act: Latest Proposed Regs Focus on Data Collection and Enforcement

"The proposed rule focuses on [1] the submission of information about air ambulance services by air ambulance providers, group health plans, insurers, and Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) carriers; [2] the process that HHS will take to investigate and enforce violations of federal insurance law; and [3] implementation of a CAA provision that requires insurers to disclose the amount they pay in direct and indirect compensation to agents and brokers for enrollment in individual market coverage and short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI)."  MORE >>

Health Affairs Blog

[Guidance Overview]

Missouri Now Requires Employers to Provide Unpaid Leave and Other Accommodations for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence

"Effective August 28, 2021, Missouri employers with at least 20 Missouri employees must provide unpaid leave for employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence (as defined by state statute) or have family or household members who are victims of such violence. Covered employers must also notify current employees of their right to leave under the law by October 27, 2021."  MORE >>


'Uninsured Rate' Measurements and Health Policy Considerations

29 pages. "While different measurement techniques are applied, directional changes in uninsured rate calculations are often used as a primary source to gauge the impact of ACA policy, the administrative management of the program, and the impact of subsequent regulations. Consequently, appropriate comprehension of the uninsured rate is an important measure as it shapes the direction of future policy."  MORE >>

Society of Actuaries

Offering an HSA Pays Off

"[E]mployers who switched from non-HDHPs to HDHPs paired with HSAs saw a 10 to 12 percent decrease in firm-wide healthcare spending in just two years.... [Here's] why offering an HSA pays -- from lower taxes to improved employee retirement readiness and more."  MORE >>


CRS Report: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and COVID-19 (PDF)

33 pages. "The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gives OSHA the ability to promulgate an ETS that would remain in effect for up to six months without going through the normal review and comment process of rulemaking.... On September 9, 2021, President Joe Biden announced that OSHA is developing an ETS that would obligate employers with more than 100 employees to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly for COVID-19." [R46288, Sep. 13, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]


Is the ACA's Preventive Services Mandate Constitutional?

"Section 2713 ... requires that all nongrandfathered health insurance and group health plans cover certain preventive services ... without cost sharing. Studies have shown an increase in the use of preventive services since the law was enacted ... Section 2713 is now being challenged by lawsuits, claiming it is unconstitutional. This post analyzes these claims."  MORE >>

The Commonwealth Fund

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Disaster Relief Notice PA-2021-05, for Pennsylvania Victims of Hurricane Ida

"Victims of remnants of Hurricane Ida that began August 31, 2021 now have until January 3, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Individuals and households affected by remnants of Hurricane Ida that reside or have a business in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Seventh Circuit: ERISA Claims Are Arbitrable But Arbitration Provision Forbidding Plan-Wide Relief Is Unenforceable

"[On the]issue of the enforceability of the arbitration provision in this case, the Seventh Circuit held that the arbitration provision, which precludes plan-wide relief, is unenforceable because it prohibits relief that ERISA expressly permits.... The court did not decide the issue of whether Smith consented to the arbitration provision, whether he received notice, or whether a plan's sponsor can unilaterally amend the plan to include an arbitration provision." [Smith v. Bd. of Directors of Triad Mfg., Inc., No. 20-2708 (7th Cir. Sept. 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Retirement Plan Administrator
for TPS Group Senior Retirement Plan Administrator

TPS Group

Remote / Buffalo NY

View job as Senior Retirement Plan Administrator
for TPS Group

View job as Retirement Benefits Administrator
for Blue Benefits Consulting Retirement Benefits Administrator

Blue Benefits Consulting

Columbus OH

Selected New Discussions

OK to Use Health FSA Forfeitures to Pay Administrative Expenses?

"Can an employer use health FSA forfeitures to defray administrative expenses of other ERISA benefits (for example among many, pay heath plan TPA fees) without violating ERISA's 'exclusive benefit' rule if the heath FSA and the other ERISA benefits are part of one ERISA 'wrap plan'? Assume that the plan document so provides and that the employer keeps all FSA and other employee contributions in its general assets in accordance with DOL guidance. Also assume that there are different participants in each of the employer's ERISA benefits."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Andy Banducci to Lead ERIC’s Retirement & Paid Leave Advocacy Efforts

ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

CAPTRUST Launches Direct Fiduciary Program with T. Rowe Price and National Benefit Services

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Managing the Deluge of Employee Benefit Plan Compliance Requirements, Session 1: Health and Welfare Benefits, Part 1

October 6, 2021 WEBCAST

Thompson Hine LLP

Managing the Deluge of Employee Benefit Plan Compliance Requirements, Session 2: Health & Welfare Benefits, Part 2

October 13, 2021 WEBCAST

Thompson Hine LLP

Managing the Deluge of Employee Benefit Plan Compliance Requirements, Session 4: ERISA Litigation

October 27, 2021 WEBCAST

Thompson Hine LLP

HSAs and Medicare

November 16, 2021 WEBCAST


ERISA Remedies: Key Enforcement Provisions and Scope of Equitable Relief for Benefit Claims

November 17, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Employers Need to Start Preparing for Vaccine Mandates Now


Text of Agency Proposed Regs: Certain Provisions of the No Surprises Act Related to Air Ambulance Services, Agent and Broker Disclosures, and Provider Enforcement

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

IRS Reminder: Cost of Home Testing for COVID-19 Is Reimbursable Under FSAs, HSAs

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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

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