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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 3, 2022

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon The FSA/HRA/HSA Double Dipping Prohibition and OTC COVID-19 Tests

"The IRS has a blanket rule prohibiting individuals from 'double dipping' with account-based plans that prevents using the account for expenses reimbursed by the health plan. Now that OTC COVID tests are generally covered by the health plan, employees will need to be careful to avoid double dipping with their health FSA, HRA, or HSA."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Full Cost of Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests Will Be Covered by Medicare

"There are a number of issues that have made it difficult to cover and pay for over-the-counter COVID-19 tests.... CMS has identified a pathway that will expand access to free over-the-counter testing for Medicare beneficiaries. This new initiative will enable payment from Medicare directly to participating pharmacies and other participating entities to allow Medicare beneficiaries to pick up tests at no cost. "  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

Intermittent Leave Under the FMLA (PDF)

"[B]ecause of the nature of conditions that trigger the need for intermittent leave, it isn't always possible for an employee to work out a fixed reduced schedule with the employer.... Even so, employers should require employees to communicate with their supervisors in writing each time they must take intermittent leave without advance notice and explain the reason, consistent with the employer's attendance policy."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues 2021 Versions of Publications 502 and 503 for Medical and Dependent Care Expenses

"Publication 502 provides valuable guidance on what qualifies as a medical expense under Code Section 213(d), and thus helps identify the expenses that may be reimbursed or paid by health FSAs, HSAs, or HRAs, or covered on a tax-favored basis under other group health plans ... But Publication 502 does not account for differences in the rules for reimbursing expenses under health FSAs, HSAs, or HRAs. Likewise, Publication 503 is written primarily to help taxpayers determine whether expenses qualify for the DCTC.... [C]aution is advised when consulting the publication for DCAP purposes because there are some differences."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Releases 2021 Form 8889 and Instructions for HSA Reporting

"While Form 8889 is filed by HSA holders, employers and advisors working with HSAs should have a basic understanding of its scope. The similarity of the 2020 and 2021 versions was expected, as the rules for HSAs have remained relatively stable since last year."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon 2022 QSEHRA Annual Report

"Since it first became available in 2017, the qualified small employer HRA (QSEHRA) has been offering small employers the unique opportunity to reimburse their employees, tax-free, for their individual insurance premiums and qualifying healthcare expenses.... In 2021, 10% of employers chose to max out their contributions to the full allowance cap.... [O]rganizations employing between 1 and 4 employees offered nearly 13% more than organizations employing between 20 and 49 employees.... Roughly two-thirds (65%) of employers chose not to impose a waiting period for new employees to join the benefit."  MORE >>


Cost of Generic Drug Development and Approval

"This study develops an analytical framework for examining the expected net present value (ENPV) (i.e., the difference between the present value of expected revenues over product life and cost of product development and approval) to a generic drug developer in different size drug markets. The developed framework forms the basis for an accompanying operational model that enables the user to specify numerous details of a generic drug development project and provides cost, revenue, and ENPV estimates for the project being examined."  MORE >>

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

Senate Subcommittee Hearing: The Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and the Future of Medicare Financing

Video of Feb. 2, 2022, hearing with testimony by: [1] Michael E. Chernew, Ph.D., Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; [2] Susan Rogers, MD, FACP, Physicians for a National Health Program; [3] Prof. Amy Kapczynski, Yale Law School; [4] Katherine Baicker, Ph.D., University of Chicago; and [5] James C. Capretta, American Enterprise Institute.  MORE >>

Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth, Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate


SHRM Seeks Continuation of Pre-Deductible Telehealth Coverage

"[SHRM] wrote to Democratic and Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate urging them to restore pre-deductible coverage of telehealth services for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), including those that are linked to health savings accounts (HSAs).... SHRM research reported that 43 percent of organizations expanded telehealth services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, while 49 percent maintained telehealth benefits[.]"  MORE >>

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article


The Second Failed Attempt at Public Insurance for Long-Term Services and Supports

"A version of a public insurance approach to LTSS was part of the [ACA], called Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS).... More recently, Washington State decided in 2019 to set up a semi-mandatory state LTSS social insurance program.... [We] have another public LTSS insurance program that is deeply unpopular, poorly designed, unstable, insolvent ab initio, perhaps illegal, and, without major changes, failed."  MORE >>

Mark J. Warshawsky, via Health Affairs

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Conversion & Installation Manager
for ERISA Services, Inc. Conversion & Installation Manager

ERISA Services, Inc.


View job as Retirement Account Administrator
for Alerus Retirement Account Administrator



View job as ESOP Retirement Account Administrator, Senior
for Alerus ESOP Retirement Account Administrator, Senior



Press Releases

HUB International Acquires the Assets of kornerstone, Inc. to Expand Retirement Capabilities in California

HUB International

American Trust Leverages iJoin to Fuel Growth


IRI Unveils New Logo and New Website

Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

ERISA for Employers: An Overview of EB's Overarching Legal Framework

February 15, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

The 2021 Mental Health Parity Grades Are In: Everybody Failed

Jackson Lewis P.C.

IRS Updates PCORI Fee Amount for Certain Payments Due in 2022


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

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

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

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