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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 2, 2022

6 New Job Opportunities 6 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Updates PCORI Fee Amount for Certain Payments Due in 2022

"[T]he amount used to calculate the PCORI fee for plan years ending on or after October 1, 2021, but before October 1, 2022, including 2021 calendar year plans, is $2.79 per covered life. For 2021 plan years [that ended] on or before September 30, 2021, the PCORI fee due in 2022 remains at $2.66 per covered life. Sponsors of self-insured health plans are required to file and pay the applicable fee by July 31, 2022"  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Newly Enacted Bills Make Changes to WA Cares Act

"[T]he amendments broaden the populations of employees eligible to voluntarily opt out of the WA Cares program. These additional populations of employees can begin opting out under the new opt-out criteria starting January 1, 2023."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon Washington Legislature Instructs Employers Not to Deduct WA Cares Act Premiums

"Employers should immediately stop any WA Cares payroll deduction ... Employers that collected any premium from employees with the first paychecks of 2022 under the then-existing version of the Act have 120 days to refund those premiums to employees in full.... Employers should maintain copies of all exemption approval letters for those employees who purchased their own insurance and obtained approved exemptions ... Be aware of new exemptions."  MORE >>

Fisher Phillips

In COBRA Election Notice Dispute, Court Requires Employer to Provide Retroactive Coverage and Pay Penalties

"The district court found that the employer's failure to correct the participant's COBRA eligibility date was arbitrary and capricious. The court reasoned that the employer's decision to use January 1, 2014, as the end date for the participant's active-employee coverage was inconsistent with: The COBRA election notice furnished to the participant [and the] employer's decision to pay for his active-employee coverage through February 28." [Buford v. Gen. Motors, LLC, No. 16-14465 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 26, 2022)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

ERIC Petitions Supreme Court: Does ERISA Preempt Seattle's Healthcare Mandate for Private-Employer Hotel Workers?

"A City of Seattle ordinance requires large hotels and related businesses to give workers either health insurance coverage or additional compensation. [T]he ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) [has] petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking a determination of whether this ordinance is preempted by [ERISA]. This update summarizes the ordinance and key arguments in ERIC's petition for a writ of certiorari." [ERISA Industry Committee vs. City of Seattle, No. 20-35472 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2021, unpub.; cert. pet. filed Jan. 14, 2022)]  MORE >>

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

When Must Employers Pay for Employee Covid-19 Tests? (PDF)

"Some employers may not want to pay for tests their employees take as a condition for continued employment, but others may wish to do so. Reasons include retaining unvaccinated workers, complying with state workplace rules, or meeting collective bargaining obligations. Providing such coverage, however, can create traps for the unwary."  MORE >>

Dorsey & Whitney LLP, via Bloomberg Law

The 2021 Mental Health Parity Grades Are In: Everybody Failed

"[T]he DOL issued 156 letters to plan sponsors and insurance providers requesting information about comparative analysis for NQTLs, and the initial responses were all insufficient. [The report] contains helpful information for those sponsors who were not part of the initial investigation. The agencies characterized the responses as generic, unresponsive, and lacking in sufficient detail and supporting documentation."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Telehealth Use in 2021: Disparities in Utilization Across Patient Populations, and Audio vs. Video Services

"Telehealth services expanded rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic.... [T]his Issue Brief analyzes national trends in telehealth utilization across all payers and examines how use of video-enabled vs. audio-only telehealth services differ across patient populations. The study finds notable disparities by race, ethnicity, income, age, and insurance status in access to video-enabled telehealth."  MORE >>

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

Telehealth Expansion Hampered by Insufficient Access to Broadband (PDF)

"[D]espite the positive feedback from patients, lawmakers and doctors alike are asking the same question: Can you conduct a proper virtual consultation -- whether physical or behavioral -- when the patient doesn't have the proper equipment to log onto their appointment? ... As the digital divide becomes more apparent, [Massachusetts] state lawmakers are looking for ways to support lower-income residents with proposals to expand broadband internet."  MORE >>

MetroWest Daily News, via McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Manager, Client Relationship Management
for Guideline, Inc. Manager, Client Relationship Management

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA

View job as Manager, Client Relationship Management
for Guideline, Inc.

View job as OMNI Programmer
for BPAS OMNI Programmer



View job as OMNI Programmer
for BPAS

View job as Compliance Program Manager - Customer Operations
for Guideline, Inc. Compliance Program Manager - Customer Operations

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA / CO / FL / GA / ME / TX

View job as Government Filing Operations Associate
for Guideline, Inc. Government Filing Operations Associate

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA / CO / FL / GA / ME / NC / TX

View job as Operations Associate - Customer Operations
for Guideline, Inc. Operations Associate - Customer Operations

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA / CO / FL / GA / ME / TX

View job as Benefits Advisor (English and/or Spanish)
for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA] Benefits Advisor (English and/or Spanish)

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / New York NY

Selected New Discussions

Comprehensive Source Showing Compliance Deadlines for State Laws Affecting Employee Benefits?

"Does anyone have a good resource for a high-level health plan compliance items/dates by state? For example, Massachusetts has a Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure that is annually due. I'd like to track some of these big ones if I can. Thanks!"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Calfee's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Welcomes Partner Jason A. Rothman to Its Cleveland Office

Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP

DOL Obtains Judgment After Investigation Finds Michigan Company Failed to Forward Retirement Contributions

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

SEC Files Fraud Charges Alleging a Multi-Million Dollar Scheme that Targeted Retirement Accounts

Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Leaves, Accommodations and Important Tax Considerations for Remote Workforces


Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Annual Legal and Regulatory Update

March 10, 2022 WEBCAST

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Northeast Ohio Chapter

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

What State Legislatures Don't Understand About Health Savings Accounts


Medical Plan Surcharge for COVID-19 Unvaccinated: Checklist for Plan Sponsors (PDF)

Fox Rothschild LLP

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

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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

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