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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 3, 2021

10 New Job Opportunities 10 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

No Surprises Act Part II Interim Final Rule: Air Ambulance Data Reporting Requirements

"The Part II regulations state that plans, issuers and providers of air ambulance services must submit data for each air ambulance claim and transport for the two years covered by the reporting requirements in the [No Surprises Act].... The Part II Rules also establish civil monetary penalties for violations of the regulatory requirements."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave: 2021 End-of-Year Update

"The average weekly wage (AWW) for 2022 will be $1,694.24 ... an increase from the prior AWW of $1,487.78.... The maximum weekly PFML benefit amount for 2022 will be $1,084.31 ... an increase from the previous maximum amount of $850 per week ... As of January 1, 2022, the overall contribution rate for employers with 25 or more covered individuals will decrease from .75 percent of eligible wages to .68 percent."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

Illinois Mandates Health Plan Disclosure with EHB Comparison

"The state contends ... that employers providing self-funded ERISA plans are subject to the provisions of the [Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act (CCDA)]. The state reasons that the law merely requires a benefits notice for covered Illinois employers ... and does not mandate insurance provisions or otherwise have any direct impact on employer-provided group health plan."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Mandatory Employee Vaccines: Coming to a State Near You?

"The chart [in this article] -- current as of December 2, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. (Central) -- provides basic information on vaccination mandates issued at the federal and statewide levels. It covers directives that affect public or private entities as employers. This chart also includes information about state responses to the (currently enjoined) vaccine-or-test emergency temporary standard (ETS), which was released on November 4, 2021 by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Form W-2 Reporting Obligations for Health and Welfare Benefits (PDF)

"[C]ertain employers are required to report the total cost of employer-sponsored coverage on an employee's Form W-2.... While the Internal Revenue Code permits the value of many employer-provided benefits to be excluded from an employee's gross income, there are important exceptions.... Employers are required to report contributions made to an employee's HSA ... The amount reported should include all contributions made on a pre-tax basis through a cafeteria plan -- both employee and employer contributions."  MORE >>

VCG Consultants

District Court Finds No Mental Health Parity Violation, Despite Offending Plan Provisions

"Although this case illustrates the uphill road faced by plan participants alleging MHPAEA violations, it also serves as a warning of the costly litigation expenses that a plan may face due to allegations of a parity violation -- especially when the plan's coverage standards differ between medical/surgical and mental health benefits." [Christine S. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.M., No. 18-874 (D. Utah Oct. 14, 2021)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

2021 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (PDF)

35 pages. "Key findings: [1] Telemedicine's role more important than in the past.... [2] Traditional plan enrollees are more satisfied with health coverage.... [3] HDHP enrollees have less experience with their health plans.... [4] HDHP enrollee satisfaction increases with time on their health plan.... [5] Rise in HDHP & CDHP enrollment paused in 2021.... [6] Certain aspects of health plans are more important than others.... [7] HDHP enrollees exhibit more cost-conscious behavior than traditional plan enrollees.'

   MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

CMS Medicare Telemedicine Snapshot (PDF)

11 pages. "[This] Medicare Telemedicine Data Snapshot is about people with Medicare who utilized telemedicine services between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021. The data for the Snapshot comes from Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) claims data, Medicare Advantage (MA) encounter data, and Medicare enrollment information." [Also available: FAQs (PDF) about the Medicare Telemedicine Snapshot and data file.]  MORE >>

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

Medicare Beneficiaries' Use of Telehealth in 2020: Trends by Beneficiary Characteristics and Location

"Medicare in-person visits dropped while telehealth visits increased significantly at the start of the pandemic. Subsequently, telehealth visits declined before plateauing by the end of 2020. Visits to behavioral health specialists showed the largest increase in telehealth. Most telehealth visits were from the beneficiary's home. Disparities in telehealth were found by race/ethnicity, rural location, and geographic region."  MORE >>

Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Program Applications Are Now Open

"[T]he Connecticut Paid Leave Authority is now accepting applications for Connecticut residents who want to participate in the state's new paid family and medical leave program. Approved applicants will be eligible to receive benefits beginning January 1, 2022. The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority expects 1,000-1,500 applications per day[.]"  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Former Employees Can't Sue Employers Under Utah's Mini-COBRA Statute

"The district court agreed with [the employer], concluding the mini-COBRA law contains no private right to sue. The judge specifically noted 'looking at the language of the statute, the entire chapter as well as this particular [s]ection, 722, that there is not an implied cause of action.' ... The court of appeals ... affirmed the district court's ruling." [Hayden v. Burt & Payne PC, No. 20200345-CA (Utah App. Sep. 30, 2021)]  MORE >>

HR Daily Advisor


Fine-Tuning Cost Sharing as Part of Healthcare Reform

"For the government and Medicare trust fund, which bear the financial risk of people using health care, cost sharing helps constrain health care spending. However, when patients face greater cost sharing, they typically consume less of both high value and low value care. Thus, simply asking patients to pay more does not necessarily make them more effective shoppers for higher-value care. Meanwhile, lower cost sharing can analogously encourage consumption of both high- and low-value care."  MORE >>

Health Affairs Blog

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as ERISA Attorney
for Smith & Downey ERISA Attorney

Smith & Downey

Towson MD

View job as ERISA Attorney
for Smith & Downey

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 Plan Administrator
for Prime Benefits Retirement Plan Administrator

Prime Benefits

Remote / Baltimore MD

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Prime Benefits

View job as Manager, Corporate Benefits
for Bertelsmann, Inc. Manager, Corporate Benefits

Bertelsmann, Inc.

New York NY

View job as DC Plan Administrator
for SPS DC Plan Administrator


Remote / NJ / PA

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Latitude Service Company, Inc. Retirement Plan Consultant

Latitude Service Company, Inc.

Cincinnati OH / Glendale AZ / Indianapolis IN

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

Newport Group

La Crosse WI

View job as ESOP Manager
for Newport ESOP Manager


Remote / AZ / CA / CO / FL / GA / IA / IL / KS / MA / MD / MI / MO / NJ / NY / OH / SC / TX / VA / WI

View job as Retirement Recordkeeping Operations Associate
for Newport Retirement Recordkeeping Operations Associate


Saint Petersburg FL

View job as DB/DC Plan Consultant
for NPPG, Inc. DB/DC Plan Consultant

NPPG, Inc.

Remote / FL / NJ / NY / TX

Press Releases

Northeast Business Group on Health and AARP Release Digital Employer Caregiving Toolkit

Northeast Business Group on Health [NEBGH]

DWC Selected as TPA for Franklin Templeton Retirement Group Plan Solution with Transamerica

DWC - The 401k Experts

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

New Prescription Drug and Health Coverage Reporting Requirements


Williams Mullen

The Interplay of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and Workers Compensation

December 10, 2021 WEBCAST

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs): A Secret Behind High Drug Costs

December 15, 2021 WEBCAST

Trucker Huss

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Proposed Regs Extend ACA Individual Statement Due Dates


Illinois DOL Releases Guidance for Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act


CMS Makes Templates Available to Help with Aspects of the New Surprise Billing Regs

Healthcare Financial Management Association [HFMA]; free registration required

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

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