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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 14, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities 5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

2020 FSA Runout Dates Extended Into 2022

"Back in May 2020, the [DOL and IRS] extended certain deadlines for plans subject to ERISA ... [including] the runout period ... where Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) participants can submit claims from their 2020 Healthcare FSA.... This relief will last until 60 days following the federal government's declaration of the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency ... [P]lans may implement an extended runout period to file FSA claims for available 2020 FSAs."  MORE >>


Costs for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans Rose Sharply in 2021, Outlook for 2022 Is Uncertain

"Average costs for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 6.3% in 2021 to reach $14,542 per employee, following last year's increase of just 3.4% ... Employers halted traditional cost management strategies -- like shifting cost to employees -- as they focused on improving health care affordability and access to mental health care ... [E]mployers can optimize health benefit value with quality initiatives, virtual care and personalization of benefits."  MORE >>


Healthcare Trends: Hard Truths for Employers

"[1] Spending is going up (and has been since 1970) ... [2] Mergers are rising (and so too are acquired hospitals' prices).... [3] As healthcare costs rise, quality remains stagnant.... [4] non-profits are providing less charity care & suing more patients."  MORE >>

The Alliance

Avoid Fraudulent Medical Claims with AI-Based Fuzzy Logic

"[M]any insurers simply pay low-value, high-volume claims because it's not cost effective to investigate them.... Leveraged in all aspects of claims management, AI-based fuzzy logic provides a unique opportunity to uncover previously unidentified fraud, ensuring bogus medical claims are flagged and that fraud is effectively stopped before it occurs."  MORE >>

The Value of Long-Term Benefits Planning During Disruptions

"This pandemic has left many organizations, and especially nonprofits, coping with reduced budgets, increased costs and competition for talent ... [many employers] pivoted to survival mode when COVID-19 hit.... Organizations that had a plan had an advantage when they needed to pivot because they knew where they were on the path and why they had chosen that path."  MORE >>

Corporate Synergies

Kroger Ending Emergency Leave for Unvaccinated Employees

"Kroger Co. will eliminate paid emergency leave for unvaccinated employees who contract COVID-19 and require some unvaccinated employees on the company's health care plan to pay a $50 monthly surcharge ... The grocery chain, which employs around 465,000 U.S. workers, is one of the largest private employers to institute stricter COVID-19 rules for unvaccinated employees without outright requiring the vaccine."  MORE >>

The Hill

What Does the Halt on Vaccine Mandates Mean for Employers?

"There has yet to be a final determination on the validity of any COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The US Supreme Court is currently not posed to address this issue, and Congress has yet to do so either. Until vaccination requirements are set in stone, employers are in position to choose."  MORE >>

Fraser Trebilcock

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

For Kentucky Tornado Victims, IRS Extends 2021 Tax Filing Deadline, Other Deadlines to May 16

"Victims of this weekend's tornadoes in Kentucky will have until May 16, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.... [T]he IRS is providing this relief to taxpayers affected by storms, tornadoes and flooding that took place starting on December 10 in parts of Kentucky. Currently, relief is available to affected taxpayers who live or have a business in Caldwell, Fulton, Graves, Hopkins, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Taylor and Warren counties."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Summary of 2022 Benefits-Related Cost-of-Living Adjustments (PDF)

22 pages. "The IRS, [PBGC], Social Security Administration (SSA), and [CMS] have issued 2022 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement, health and fringe benefit plans; Medicare; and Social Security and Supplemental Security income (SSI). Puerto Rico's Treasury Department has not yet announced 2022 limits for retirement plans qualified in Puerto Rico, but those figures are tied to U.S. limits."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Implementation Specialist
for Nova 401(k) Associates Implementation Specialist

Nova 401(k) Associates

Remote / Houston TX / Dallas TX / Scottsdale AZ

View job as Retirement Client Services Manager
for Newport Retirement Client Services Manager


Remote / Folsom CA / Chicago IL / Saint Petersburg FL / Lake Mary FL / La Crosse WI / Charlotte NC / Mobile AL / Overland Park KS / Dallas TX / West Des Moines IA / Los Angeles CA / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Sr. Actuarial Analyst
for Newport Sr. Actuarial Analyst


Chicago IL / Dallas TX

View job as Investment Consultant Analyst / Associate Consultant - Fiduciary Consulting Services
for Newport Investment Consultant Analyst / Associate Consultant - Fiduciary Consulting Services


Lake Mary FL / Saint Petersburg FL

View job as DB/DC Consultant
for Nova 401(k) Associates DB/DC Consultant

Nova 401(k) Associates

Remote / Houston TX / Dallas TX / Scottsdale AZ

Press Releases

Nelu Expands Into the United Kingdom and Launches Global DE&I in Benefits Certification Suite

Nelu Diversified Consulting Solutions

Prime Pensions Acquires Pension Planners Northwest

Prime Pensions

K&L Gates Adds Antitrust, Employee Benefits Partners to Washington, D.C., Office

K&L Gates

Federal Court Holds Wisconsin Business Owner in Contempt for Failing to Comply with the Court's Prior Order to Restore $53,122 to Employee Benefit Plan

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

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Self-Funded Health Plan Sponsors Are Required to Comply with Illinois Disclosure Law

HUB International

DOL Regulatory Agenda, Fall 2021, Including Employee Benefit Items

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

No Surprises Act Implementation: What to Expect in 2022

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

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

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