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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 1, 2022

7 New Job Opportunities 7 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Publication 15-B: Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, for Use in 2022 (PDF)

34 pages. "What's New ... [1] The business mileage rate for 2022 is 58.5 cents per mile. You may use this rate to reimburse an employee for business use of a personal vehicle, and under certain conditions, you may use the rate under the cents-per-mile rule to value the personal use of a vehicle you provide to an employee.... [2] For 2022, the monthly exclusion for qualified parking is $280 and the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes is $280.... [3] For plan years beginning in 2022, a cafeteria plan may not allow an employee to request salary reduction contributions for a health FSA in excess of $2,850."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Agencies Provide Guidance for Required Coverage of OTC COVID-19 Tests

"The individual reimbursement option prohibits the imposition of a dollar limit per test, which could increase costs for plan sponsors. Under the direct coverage option, plan sponsors can limit the cost of seller reimbursements to $12/test. However, this option requires coverage through the medical benefit and/or the pharmacy benefit to meet access requirements. Health plans may be subject to increased costs if claims cannot be accumulated between medical and pharmacy benefits, reducing the plan's ability to impose limits."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

What State Legislatures Don't Understand About Health Savings Accounts

"Oklahoma is the latest state to pass well-intentioned legislation that unintentionally has adverse consequences for individuals who are covered by Oklahoma-governed health insurance contracts and who want to make health savings account (HSA) contributions."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

New York Announces 2022 HCRA Covered-Lives Assessment Rates

"New York has posted its 2022 regional covered-lives assessment (CLA) rates and percentage surcharges for graduate medical education (GME) under the state's Health Care Reform Act (HCRA). The HCRA imposes on 'electing' health claim payors -- including self-funded plans -- an annual CLA, which is based on the number of covered individuals (and families) who live in New York.... The GME CLA rates and percentage surcharges vary among eight regions[.]"  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Colorado's Public Health Emergency Paid Sick Leave Requirement Continues Into 2022

"If the HHS COVID-19 public health emergency declaration remains in effect until April 16, 2022, the [Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act ] requirement for Colorado employers to provide public health emergency leave would not expire until May 14, 2022, at the earliest."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Medical Plan Surcharge for COVID-19 Unvaccinated: Checklist for Plan Sponsors (PDF)

"A medical plan surcharge for the COVID-19 unvaccinated is workable, but complex. To implement a surcharge for COVID-19 unvaccinated participants, plan sponsors need to take [these] steps."  MORE >>

Fox Rothschild LLP

Report on Tri-Agency 'Listening Session' on Provider Non-Discrimination Rules: The Impact on Group Health Plans

"On January 19, 2022, the Departments hosted what was billed as a 'listening session' regarding provider non-discrimination under Section 2706(a) of the Public Health Service Act.... While the participants in the listening session represented diverse and competing interests, there were some areas of agreement.... [T]he session also exposed certain fault lines that divided interested parties."  MORE >>


First Circuit Revives ERISA Claims Against Group Health Plan for Alleged Violation of Mental Health Parity Act

"N.R. alleged that Defendants denied his coverage based solely on his ASD diagnosis but if his diagnosis was based on a purely physical illness, the Plan would have covered the treatment. The court found that this was enough to get discovery to find out whether he is correct.... [Further, the] district court erred when it dismissed this claim on the basis that the Parity Act's requirement is not a term of the Plan. " [N.R. v. Raytheon Company, No. 20-1639 (1st Cir. Jan. 31, 2022)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

Proposed Legislation Would Require Group Health Plan Coverage Option for Parents

"The Family Plus Health Care Act of 2022 (HR 6508) ... aims to expand group health plan coverage by requiring plans to offer participants the option of enrolling their parents in the plan, as long as the parents are not eligible to enroll in either Medicare or Medicaid. The cost of the parents' group health plan coverage would be excluded from the gross income of the employee participating in the plan."  MORE >>


Vermont Issues RFI for Statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance

"On January 24, the State of Vermont issued a Request for Information for a voluntary paid family and medical leave insurance program for employers and employees in the State.... [T]he State is interested in exploring a phased approach to FMLI that would begin by covering the approximately 8,100 State of Vermont employees before eventually expanding to be available universally to all working-eligible Vermonters."  MORE >>

American Council of Life Insurers [ACLI]


Mercer and ERIC Comment Letter to CMS on Reporting on Pharmacy Benefits and Prescription Drug Costs (PDF)

"Some employer-sponsored medical benefits (such as expatriate plans, standalone telehealth plans, and other unique benefit designs) provide insignificant coverage of prescription drugs. Requiring these plans to report prescription drug information would be statistically inconsequential and would not benefit the Departments.... Currently, there are many programs offered to employers called copay maximizer and accumulator programs that allow the value of these programs to be captured by plan sponsors.... The Departments' approach excludes this type of cost-sharing assistance from the definition of 'prescription drug rebates, fees and other remuneration.' "  MORE >>

The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC] and Mercer


American Academy of Actuaries Comment Letter to CMS on Draft 2023 Actuarial Value Calculator Methodology (PDF)

"[The Academy recommends] that CMS work with the Department of the Treasury to update the Minimum Value (MV) Calculator, which has never been updated since first launched, to reflect more current, large group data and to incorporate appropriate model changes that have been made to the AV Calculator."  MORE >>

American Academy of Actuaries

Benefits in General

Overview of Employee Benefits Provided to State and Local Government Employees (PDF)

"As of early 2021, there were approximately 18.5 million state and local government employees, across all 50 U.S. states, approximately 39,000 general-purpose local governments, and 51,000 special districts, filling positions in education, utilities, transportation, hospitals, and general administration, among other key responsibilities. This Issue Brief details the benefits provided to these public servants[.]"  MORE >>

Mission Square Research Institute

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Bates & Company, Inc. Retirement Plan Administrator

Bates & Company, Inc.

Remote / Winter Park FL

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Bates & Company, Inc.

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for KB Pension Services Retirement Plan Administrator

KB Pension Services


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for KB Pension Services

View job as Retirement Specialist, Revenue
for Guideline, Inc. Retirement Specialist, Revenue

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA / CO / FL / GA / MA / ME / MI / NC / NY / OH / OR / PA / SC / TX / WA

View job as Retirement Specialist, Customer Operations
for Guideline, Inc. Retirement Specialist, Customer Operations

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA / CO / FL / GA / MA / ME / MI / NC / NY / OH / OR / PA / SC / TX / WA

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant (RPC)
for Qualified Plan Consultants, LLC (QPC) Retirement Plan Consultant (RPC)

Qualified Plan Consultants, LLC (QPC)


View job as Plan Services Consultant
for CUNA Mutual Group Plan Services Consultant

CUNA Mutual Group

Remote / Madison WI

View job as Employee Benefits Associate - Junior Level
for Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Employee Benefits Associate - Junior Level

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Seattle WA

Press Releases

Mintz Announces Updated Compassionate Leave Policy for Losses Including Miscarriage, Failed Surrogacy, Adoption, or Fertility Treatment


Family Law Trial Attorney Patrick Galasso Joins The Wagner Law Group

Wagner Law Group P.C.

OneDigital Acquires Benefit Services Group


Empower Renames to Bolster Engagement With Customers

Empower Retirement

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Preserving the Harvest: Leveraging HSAs

February 17, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Governor Signs Bills to Delay and Modify Washington State Long-Term Care Act


District Court Finds Provider Can Bring Suit to Enforce COVID Test Coverage Requirement (PDF)

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

Surprised Providers Seek Changes to Latest Provisions of the No Surprises Act


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

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