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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 15, 2021

6 New Job Opportunities 6 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

CMS Announces 2022 Medicare Parts A and B Premiums and Deductibles/2022 Medicare Part D Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts

"The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $170.10 for 2022, an increase of $21.60 from $148.50 in 2021. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $233 in 2022, an increase of $30 from the annual deductible of $203 in 2021."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Ending Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs)

"The proposed rule would rescind the regulatory framework used to establish and govern IRAPs. If the proposal is finalized, the department says it will work with previously recognized SREs and IRAPs to explore options to become program sponsors or intermediaries under the Registered Apprenticeship system."  MORE >>

Solutions Law Press

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Deadline Relief Continues for Health Plans and Participants

"The deadline relief [for a number of employee benefit plan requirements] under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code applies during the 'outbreak period,' which runs from March 1, 2020, through 60 days after the announced end of the COVID-19 National Emergency.... President Biden has continued the emergency to March 1, 2022, unless congressional or presidential action terminate the emergency earlier."  MORE >>


Fifth Circuit Opinion, Extending Stay of Enforcement of OSHA Vaccine Mandate (PDF)

22 pages. "[T]he Mandate's strained prescriptions combine to make it the rare government pronouncement that is both overinclusive (applying to employers and employees in virtually all industries and workplaces in America, with little attempt to account for the obvious differences between the risks facing, say, a security guard on a lonely night shift, and a meatpacker working shoulder to shoulder in a cramped warehouse) and underinclusive (purporting to save employees with 99 or more coworkers from a 'grave danger' in the workplace, while making no attempt to shield employees with 98 or fewer coworkers from the very same threat). The Mandate's stated impetus -- a purported 'emergency' that the entire globe has now endured for nearly two years, and which OSHA itself spent nearly two months responding to -- is unavailing as well. And its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA's statutory authority. " [BST Holdings v. OSHA, No. 21-60845 (5th Cir. stay upheld Nov. 12, 2021)]  MORE >>

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Fifth Circuit Enjoins OSHA from Enforcing Mandatory Vaccination or Test Emergency Regulations

"Because OSHA is barred from both enforcing the ETS and taking any steps to implement the ETS, the December 6 and January 4 deadlines are no longer in effect pending further court action. While the ETS is no longer in effect, the Fifth Circuit ruling has no impact on the [CMS] interim final rule for healthcare workers and President Biden's Executive Order 14042 on mandatory vaccinations for federal contractors. Employers should continue to adhere to these requirements as applicable." [BST Holdings v. OSHA, No. 21-60845 (5th Cir. stay upheld Nov. 12, 2021)]  MORE >>


Ten States Sue CMS Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers

"A group of states has sued President Joe Biden and his administration challenging the [CMS Interim Final Rule] setting COVID-19 vaccination requirements for a range of employees working at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers.... This lawsuit is similar to ones challenging new Biden Administration COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal contractors and employers with a total of 100 or more employees."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

In California, Your Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs Need Not Be a Mystery

"A [new] California law ... requires most state-regulated private-sector health plans to send enrollees updates, for every month in which they received care, showing how much they have paid toward their annual deductible -- the amount a person must shell out before insurance begins to cover most of their care -- and how close they are to reaching out-of-pocket limits, the amount after which the insurer pays for 100% of care."  MORE >>

Kaiser Health News

Support for Paid Family Leave Among Small Employers Increased During the COVID-19 Pandemic

"[The authors] surveyed firms with 10-99 employees in New York and New Jersey on their attitudes towards PFL programs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. [They] found high support for state PFL programs in 2019 that rose substantially over the course of the pandemic: by the fall of 2020, almost 70% of firms were supportive.... Increases in support were larger among firms that had an employee use PFL, suggesting that experience with PFL led to employers becoming more supportive."  MORE >>

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document

The Impact of Provider Payments on Health Care Utilization: Evidence from Medicare and Medicaid

"This paper analyzes the effects of a large, federally-mandated provider payment increase for primary care services provided to low-income elderly and disabled individuals ... The estimates indicate that the provider payment reform led to a 6.3% increase in the targeted services provided to eligible beneficiaries[.]"  MORE >>

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document

Benefits in General

Steps to a Smooth Employee Benefit Plan Audit

"[1] Take a hard look at your auditors ... [2] Invest time and effort to prepare ... [3] Discuss the audit plan ... [4] Be available and involved during your audit ... [5] Seek actionable feedback from the audit report ... [6] Keep your auditors informed all year."  MORE >>

Clark Schaefer Hackett

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Conversions Specialist
for BlueStar Retirement Services, Inc. Conversions Specialist

BlueStar Retirement Services, Inc.


View job as Conversions Specialist
for BlueStar Retirement Services, Inc.

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Compensation Planning Inc. Retirement Plan Administrator

Compensation Planning Inc.

Remote / Warwick RI

View job as Sales Executive
for Custodia Financial, LLC Sales Executive

Custodia Financial, LLC

Remote / Dallas TX

View job as Sales Development Representative
for Custodia Financial, LLC Sales Development Representative

Custodia Financial, LLC

Dallas TX

View job as 401(k) Administrator [TESTING]
for Creeksong TPA, Inc. [TESTING] 401(k) Administrator [TESTING]

Creeksong TPA, Inc. [TESTING]

Remote / Whittier NC

View job as Retirement Plan Benefits Consultant
for Compass Retirement Consulting Group Retirement Plan Benefits Consultant

Compass Retirement Consulting Group

Remote / Stratham NH

Press Releases

The Cerrado Group Announces AimPoint Pension as Newest Member Firm

The Cerrado Group

Faced with Rising Taxes and Ongoing Market Uncertainty, Pre-Retirees Lean on New Investment Options to Maximize Savings Potential

Lincoln Financial Group

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Best Practices for Saving Time on ACA Compliance


Tango Health

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Infrastructure Legislation Includes Employee Benefits Provisions

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

New Illinois State Law Imposes Group Health Coverage Disclosure Requirements on Certain Employers with Illinois Employees


KPMG Swaps 401(k) Match for Automatic Employer Contributions, Expands Parental Leave, and Reduces Employee Healthcare Premiums

HR Dive

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

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