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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 30, 2021

9 New Job Opportunities 9 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

CMS Releases 2022 Premiums and Cost-Sharing Information for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans

"The average premium for Medicare Advantage plans will be lower in 2022 at $19 per month, compared to $21.22 in 2021, while projected enrollment continues to increase.... [T]he average 2022 premium for Part D coverage will be $33 per month, compared to $31.47 in 2021."  MORE >>

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

[Guidance Overview]

Can You Save Too Much in a Health Savings Account?

"The short answer is that it's unlikely, largely because HSAs have generous features around withdrawals. In a worst-case scenario where your HSA account balance exceeds your expected healthcare costs, you have two key ways to get your money out sooner without negating the tax benefits of the HSA."  MORE >>

Christine Benz, in Morningstar

[Guidance Overview]

Oregon Employee Leave Entitlements for Absences Due to Child's COVID-19-Related Illness, School Closures, and Quarantine Orders

"Now that school is back in session in Oregon and most schools and students are returning to in-person attendance, the potential exists for school closures and/or student quarantining due to exposures to COVID-19. Employers may want to refamiliarize themselves with leave entitlements that may be available to Oregon employees under the Oregon Sick Leave (OSL) law and/or the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) in the event that the children of employees are subject to quarantine orders or required closures of their schools or places of care."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Extends COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave to April 2022

"In spring 2021, Massachusetts established a statewide mandate for employers to temporarily provide employees up to 40 hours of MA EPSL when they are unable to work due to specific qualifying reasons related to the pandemic.... [A] legislative amendment has extended the law through April 1, 2022. ... [T]he new law extends the coverage of the MA EPSL to allow leave to care for family members receiving immunization or recovering from immunization."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

"On September 29, 2021, Governor Baker extended the Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (MA EPSL) mandate, which was put in place on May 28, 2021, until April 1, 2022, or until the $75 million fund is exhausted. Many of the provisions are similar to FFCRA's Emergency Paid Sick Leave, however, the MA EPSL is required by all MA employers, regardless of size."  MORE >>


Federal District Court Compels Arbitration of COBRA Claim

"Explaining that 'but for Plaintiff's employment and termination, she would not have a right to COBRA benefits,' the court concluded that the COBRA claim was subject to the arbitration agreement and dismissed the case.... While courts generally enforce arbitration agreements with respect to former employees' COBRA claims, they are less consistent when enforcing such agreements as to covered spouses and family members." [Staugaeno v. Flatrock, Inc., No. 20-13329 (E.D. Mich. Sep. 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

IRS’s Draft 2021 ACA Reporting Forms and Instructions Incorporate Some Expected Changes But Omit Others

"The end of certain forms of relief is unsurprising, given the language of the 2020 extension notice. However, the 250-return threshold for electronic filing differs from the recent proposed regulations reducing the filing thresholds and aggregating different return types ... and suggests that the IRS may not finalize the proposal in time for the March 31, 2022 electronic filing deadline."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Federal Employees Will Pay 3.8% More Toward Health Care Premiums Next Year

"Cost growth during 2021 stems largely from specialty drugs, treatments for chronic illnesses and the COVID-19 pandemic, insurers said, although federal workers will be impacted less than employees of other large organizations."  MORE >>

Government Executive

Warning from FTC Regarding Scope of Health Breach Notification Rule

"The FTC's policy statement serves two purposes. First, to provide notice to connected medical device and health app providers who collect or use electronic personal health records (PHR), that the FTC will start enforcing the Rule. Second, to clarify who is subject to the Rule."  MORE >>


FMLA Does Not Prohibit Termination for Failure to Comply with Call-In Requirements

"While her final diagnosis of ADHD and Major Depressive Disorder may have been a 'qualifying condition,' [the employee] could not show she gave timely notice of a qualifying condition to her employer.... [She] tried to argue her condition prevented her from giving adequate timely notice. However, the evidence showed that she sent/received 702 text messages and made/received more than 10 phone calls during the time period in question." [Koch v. Thames Healthcare Group, LLC, No. 20-5367 (6th Cir. May 13, 2021)]  MORE >>

McAfee & Taft


To Incentivize COVID-19 Vaccination, Give Vaccinated Individuals a Discount on Their Insurance Premiums

"Because existing efforts to achieve wider vaccination have not been adequate, we consider the barriers to vaccination and the ethics and challenges of offering insurance premium discounts (benefit-sharing) to increase vaccination rates."  MORE >>

Ian T.T. Liu and Jonathan J. Darrow , in Health Affairs Blog

Benefits in General

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Employee Benefits in the Supreme Court: October 2021 Update

37 pages. "[In] the Court's last 46 terms ... the Court has issued merits opinions in: 130 argued cases and two unargued cases directly involving employee benefit arrangements including IRAs, and three additional argued cases substantially implicating these arrangements ... for an astonishing total of 135 decisions. As of this writing, the Court has one employee benefit case scheduled for argument during its October 2021 term, although other interesting petitions for certiorari are pending."  MORE >>

Eversheds Sutherland

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Predicting the Future Course of Employee Benefits Litigation

"This article aims to survey the employee benefits litigation scene to highlight the critical legal issues making their way through the courts today (without making any comment on the future of [DOL] investigations and lawsuits). There is still a lot to be seen."  MORE >>

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C.

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Client Service Specialist
for EPIC Retirement Plan Services Retirement Plan Client Service Specialist

EPIC Retirement Plan Services

Remote / Rochester NY / Peoria IL / Saint Louis MO

View job as Retirement Plan Client Service Specialist
for EPIC Retirement Plan Services

View job as 401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator
for Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC 401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator

Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC

Remote / Deerfield IL

View job as 401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator
for Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC

View job as Financial Processor (Distributions Specialist)
for Retirement Solutions Specialists Financial Processor (Distributions Specialist)

Retirement Solutions Specialists

Remote / Jacksonville FL

View job as Financial Processor (Distributions Specialist)
for Retirement Solutions Specialists

View job as General Attorney - Excepted Service
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] General Attorney - Excepted Service

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Remote / Washington DC

View job as Economist
for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] Economist

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

Remote / Woodlawn MD / Bethesda MD

View job as Benefits Coordinator
for Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC Benefits Coordinator

Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC

Washington DC

View job as Head of Product (Health & Benefits)
for Ascensus Head of Product (Health & Benefits)


Remote / Mason OH / Irving TX

View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator
for BSP Retirement Services 401(k) Plan Administrator

BSP Retirement Services

Remote / Oldsmar FL

View job as Regional Sales Consultant
for Definiti Regional Sales Consultant


Remote / Louisville KY

Press Releases

ERISA Law Firm Gold Medal Awarded to the Wagner Law Group by Financial Advisor I!

Wagner Law Group P.C.

OneDigital Acquires Praxis Consulting Inc.


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Recruiting, Engaging & Retaining Talent in a World in Flux

October 7, 2021 WEBCAST

HUB International

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

HDHP Spending Flexibility Permitted Under the CARES Act Expires December 31


HSA Contribution Limits and Other Requirements


PBM Regulatory Landscape Roundup


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

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