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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 31, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities 5 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of CMS Draft 2023 Actuarial Value Calculator Methodology (PDF)

25 pages. "The AV Calculator represents an empirical estimate of the AV calculated in a manner that provides a close approximation to the actual average spending by a wide range of consumers in a standard population. This document is meant to detail the specific methodologies used in the AV calculation.... [CMS] will accept comments on the draft 2023 AV Calculator [XLSM], as well as ... [this] draft 2023 AV Calculator Methodology until 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on January 30, 2022."  MORE >>

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

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2021-03: Temporary Enforcement Policy Regarding Group Health Plan Service Provider Disclosures Under ERISA Section 408(b)(2)(B)

"[T]he Department will not treat [a covered service provider] as having failed to make required disclosures to a responsible plan fiduciary ... as long as the person made disclosures in accordance with a good faith, reasonable interpretation of ERISA section 408(b)(2)(B).... Guidance on good faith and reasonable interpretations [8 Q&As] ...The CAA does not require the Department to issue regulations under ERISA section 408(b)(2)(B), and ... the statutory provisions borrow heavily from and mirror a long-standing Department regulation governing service provider disclosures for pension plans. Accordingly, the Department does not believe that comprehensive implementing regulations are needed."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Announces Enforcement Policy on Disclosure Requirements for Group Health Plan Service Providers

"FAB 2021-03 is intended to support the efforts of service providers who have been working diligently to comply with the new statutory requirements by providing stakeholders with an assurance that the Department will be focused on helping service providers comply with the new requirements, and will focus its enforcement activities on cases in which covered service providers do not act in accordance with a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the statute. The FAB also contains a set of questions and answers that, pending further guidance, are designed to explain the Department's view about what constitutes a good faith, reasonable interpretation of the statute with respect to several key issues that had been raised by stakeholders."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed 2023 Payment Rule, Part 2: Standard Plans and Other Exchange Provisions

"[T]his article addresses proposed changes to the exchanges. This includes a requirement that insurers offer standard plans, new federal network adequacy standards, heightened standards for the inclusion of essential community providers in provider networks, new display standards for web-brokers, user fees, program integrity and oversight, requests for comments on health equity, climate health, and plan choice, and more."  MORE >>

Health Affairs

[Guidance Overview]

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Joins the Jurisdictions Requiring Paid Sick Leave

"[T]he Allegheny County Council passed a Paid Sick Leave law (the Act) in September 2021 to require employers to provide certain employees in Allegheny County with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year.... In most respects, the Act tracks the Pittsburgh Paid Sick Days Act, which will make compliance easier since Pittsburgh sits within Allegheny County.... [T]he effective date for compliance [is] March 10, 2022[.]"  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

New York State Finalizes Paid Sick Leave Rules

"All accrued sick leave hours must be carried over into the following year ... Employees are allowed to use sick leave immediately upon hire.... Only after the third day absent from work may an employer request that an employee provide documentation supporting the need for safe or sick leave.... [E]mployers cannot require that employees provide advanced notice for sick leave for foreseeable events, such as a pre-scheduled doctor's appointment."  MORE >>

Fox Rothschild LLP

Administration Defends Its Authority on Large-Employer Vaccine Mandate to Supreme Court

"The Biden administration told the Supreme Court [on December 30] that federal law gives it the authority to impose a nationwide vaccine-or-testing requirement for large employers, and the court should not stand in the way of a program that will save thousands of lives." [National Federation of Independent Business v. OSHA, No. 21A244 (S. Ct. response of the Solicitor General filed Dec. 30, 2021)]  MORE >>

The Washington Post; subscription may be required

Benefits in General

What to Keep on Your Radar, and a Wish List for 2022

"[1] The Supreme Court could limit 401(k) and 403(b) fee litigation.... [2] More about surprise billing and health care ... [3] Amendments and more amendments to pension plans.... [4] New legislation.... [5] Changes to Trump administration investment guidance.... [6] Clarification of arbitration rules? ... [7] Cryptocurrency as a plan investment.... [8] Cybersecurity will continue to take center stage."  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

In Memoriam: John Mark Vine

"John Mark Vine of Washington, DC, passed away on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.... He came to Washington to clerk for Judge Arnold Raum on the U.S. Tax Court and spent the remainder of his legal career at Covington & Burling, where he was instrumental in shaping important aspects of [ERISA] following its passage in 1974.... In addition to his groundbreaking work in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation, John was a model and teacher for generations of younger lawyers."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as PCS Retirement
for Legal Counsel PCS Retirement

Legal Counsel


View job as VP,  Sales Consultant (Retirement Industry)
for FuturePlan, by Ascensus VP, Sales Consultant (Retirement Industry)

FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Remote / Boston MA / CT / ME / NH / RI

View job as Plan Administrator
for BlueStar Retirement Services Inc. Plan Administrator

BlueStar Retirement Services Inc.


View job as Pension Administrator
for Retirement Plan Administrators, LLC Pension Administrator

Retirement Plan Administrators, LLC

Atlanta GA / Savannah GA / Augusta GA

View job as Employee Benefits Investigator (English or Spanish Bilingual); Also: Recent Graduates
for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA] Employee Benefits Investigator (English or Spanish Bilingual); Also: Recent Graduates

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / San Francisco CA / Atlanta GA / Chicago IL / Kansas City MO / Covington KY / Philadelphia PA / Boston MA / Dallas TX / Silver Spring MD / Fort Lauderdale FL / Seattle WA / New York NY / Silver Spring MD

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Text of Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Process Guidance for Certified IDR Entities (PDF)

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

Text of CMS Guidance for States, Plans, and Issuers on State External Review Processes Regarding Requirements in the No Surprises Act (PDF)

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

Should Employers Withhold WA Cares Fund Premiums Starting January 1?

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

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

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