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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 11, 2021

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[Guidance Overview]

2022 Health FSA Limit Increased to $2,850

"[F]or plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2022, the health FSA salary reduction contribution limit will increase to $2,850 ... a $100 increase to the current $2,750 [limit] ... The indexed carryover limit for plan years starting in calendar year 2022 to a new plan year starting in calendar year 2023 will increase to $570."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon You Are Here: A Mall Directory for Healthcare Transparency Requirements

"[T]his post seeks to orient group health plan sponsors regarding where they are with respect to the health care transparency guidance, provide a high-level overview of the guidance issued to date, briefly review the most recent guidance, and offer some recommendations regarding next steps for plan sponsors."  MORE >>

Verrill Dana LLP

Fifth Circuit: Terms of SPD Trumped Employer's Errors

"The spouse contended that the plan misrepresented the status of her husband's supplemental life insurance coverage with its statements and by continuing to deduct premiums from his paycheck.... The Court ruled that their reliance was not reasonable.... The Court then said the insurer's Summary of Benefits, provided by the insurer to the employee, is the governing document. It states, 'in no uncertain terms', that '[e]vidence of insurability is required for any amount of life insurance.' Therefore, the employee was on notice that 'coverage was contingent on the insurer's approval of the Evidence of Insurability form for supplemental life insurance.' " [Talasek v. National Oilwell Varco, L.P., No. 20-20069 (5th Cir. Oct. 19, 2021)]  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

First Circuit: ERISA's 2002 Regs Give Disability Claimants Chance to Respond to New Evidence Generated During Administrative Review

"[T]he First Circuit read the plain language of [29 C.F.R. Section 2560.503-1(h)(2)(iii)] as requiring an administrator to provide a claimant with all documents relevant to her claim for benefits prior to making a final claims decision. The term 'claim' refers to the request for benefits under the Plan. The court rejected United's narrow construction of the term 'claim' to only apply to the initial claim for benefits.... There is no dispute that the 2016 version of the ERISA regulations require disclosure of new evidence on appeal, however, the parties disagreed as to whether the 2002 Regulations require the same disclosure." [Jette v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., No. 20-1713 (1st Cir. Nov. 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey

"Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $22,221 this year, up 4% from last year, with workers on average paying $5,969 toward the cost of their coverage. The average deductible among covered workers in a plan with a general annual deductible is $1,669 for single coverage. Fifty-eight percent of small firms and 99% of large firms offer health benefits to at least some of their workers, with an overall offer rate of 59%. This year's report also looks at changes employers made to their health benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic."  MORE >>

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Premiums and Worker Contributions Among Workers Covered by Employer-Sponsored Coverage, 1999-2021

"[This] graphing tool ... allows users to look at changes in premiums and worker contributions over time for covered workers at different types of firms."  MORE >>

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Fee Disclosure Requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act [Video]

"A key requirement of the [Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA)] going into effect on December 27, 2021 will require brokers and consultants of ERISA covered group health plans to disclose their compensation if they expect to receive $1,000 or more in either direct or indirect compensation for providing their services."  MORE >>


Class Action Lawsuit Seeks to Strike Down Washington's First-in-the-Nation Long-Term Care Act

"[T]he lawsuit argues ... that the WA CARES Act violates [ERISA, which] forbids the state from passing any law that requires employees to participate in a plan that provides sickness or medical benefits.... The lawsuit further alleges that WA Cares and its Trust constitute a multiple employer welfare arrangement that is subject to both ERISA and state insurance law. The Act, by its explicit terms, violates both." [Pacific Bells, LLC v. Inslee, No. 21-1515 (W.D. Wa. complaint filed Nov. 9, 2021)]  MORE >>

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon 2022 Quick Benefit Facts (PDF)

"[This] single-sheet reference [shows] key 2020-2022 annual limits for retirement plans on one side, with health, fringe benefit and [ACA] figures on the other. Nearly all 2022 amounts are now official."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

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

Press Releases

Lockton and Creative Planning Announce Agreement to Join Forces Creating a Market Leading Retirement Practice


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

New ERISA Disclosure Rules for Health Plan Brokers and Consultants: What Plan Sponsors Need to Know

November 17, 2021 WEBCAST

Miller Johnson

The San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO)

December 7, 2021 WEBCAST


Ask A Benefits Attorney

December 15, 2021 WEBCAST

Miller Johnson

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Health & Welfare Plan Update (PDF)

Alston & Bird

Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2021-45: Inflation-Adjusted Items for 2022 (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

The San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance (PDF)


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

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