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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 23, 2022

5 New Job Opportunities 5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon March 1 Deadlines for Group Health Plans

"An employer with a group health plan that provides prescription drug coverage to Medicare-eligible individuals must make an annual disclosure to [CMS] ... [within] 60 days after the beginning of the plan year -- no later than March 1, 2022 for calendar-year plans.... [T]he plan must report small [HIPAA] breaches occurring in 2021 no later than March 1, 2022. (A 'small' breach is one affecting 500 or fewer individuals.)"  MORE >>

Venable LLP

[Guidance Overview]

California Institutes New Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Requirement

"The California Labor Commissioner has now issued FAQs to provide guidance on interpreting the SPSL, and published the required workplace poster (PDF download)."  MORE >>

Armstrong Teasdale

[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon DOL Announces Ramped-Up FMLA Audits for Employers in Select Industries

"The DOL is back at the FMLA audit game, so all of us are wise to prepare for the inevitable.... [M]ake an FMLA self-audit a priority ... [and] focus on the following: [1] Conduct a thorough review of your FMLA policy.... [2] Adhere to the Employer Posting Requirements.... [3] Ensure your FMLA forms are legally compliant.... [4] Prepare legally compliant FMLA correspondence.... [5] Conduct a comprehensive audit of your FMLA practices and procedures.... [6] Clean up your recordkeeping now.... [7] Train your employees!"  MORE >>

FMLA Insights

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon Deadline for San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance Fast Approaching

"Employers with employees in the city of San Francisco, who have a self-funded plan (medical, dental, vision, or pharmacy) have until February 28, 2022, to make sure that their plans meet the San Francisco HCSO health care expenditure requirements.... The required expenditure varies based on the size and type of the employer[.]"  MORE >>

HUB International

Large Employers Launch PBM

"Tired of grappling with the rising costs and poor quality of healthcare, a coalition of major healthcare purchasers is ... establishing a company that is designing healthcare products to meet its members' needs.... The nonprofit [Purchaser Business Group on Health (PBGH)] represents almost 40 large private employers and public entities that together spend $100 billion each year on healthcare services for more than 15 million Americans and their families. PBGH members include Microsoft, Walmart and American Airlines."  MORE >>

Managed Healthcare

Introduction to Fiduciary Duties for Health and Welfare Plans

"[1] Fiduciary duties generally ... [2] Naming fiduciaries ... [3] Functional fiduciaries ... [4] Ministerial functions ... [5] Settlor functions."  MORE >>

HUB International

An $80,000 Tab for Newborns Lays Out a Loophole in the New Law to Curb Surprise Bills

"In the past, health plans sometimes have said they would pay for emergency care even if it's out of network. The No Surprises Act now makes this a legal requirement in every state. The provider and insurer are supposed to negotiate a reasonable payment, leaving the patient out of the equation. But what if the insurance company denies that the care is for an emergency? Or the hospital doesn't supply the paperwork to prove it?"  MORE >>

Kaiser Health News


Amicus Brief of Employer Organizations to Supreme Court in Challenge to Seattle Health Benefit Mandate

"Amici and their members are gravely concerned about the consequences if state and local governments are permitted to impose play-or-pay laws, and circumvent ERISA's clear and broad preemption provision, by simply adding that, as an alternative mode of compliance employers may make a payment of the same amount directly to employees or the government." [ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) v. City of Seattle, No. 20-35472 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2021; unpub.; cert. pet. filed Jan. 14, 2022)]  MORE >>

American Benefits Council; Business Group on Health; HR Policy Association; National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions; Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; Alabama Employer Health Consortium; and Healthcare Purchaser Alliance

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Second Quarter Update to IRS 2021-2022 Priority Guidance Plan (PDF)

31 pages. Employee benefits items begin on page 3, including 19 retirement-related projects and 17 projects related to executive compensation, employment taxes, health care, and other benefits.  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Courts Continue to Split Over Enforceability of Benefit Plan Arbitration Provisions

"Recent decisions show that courts remain split on key issues, including the interpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Assoc., who must/can consent to a plan amendment, and the applicability and application of the 'effective vindication' doctrine. Recent court decisions in the Seventh Circuit, as well as Delaware, New York, and Florida district courts have reached different results, and for different reasons."  MORE >>

Holland & Knight

Born in the USA, But I'm a Cool Rockin' Employee Not in the USA Now

"Employers may need to consider customized health care solutions to specifically cover employees living in a foreign country.... Typically, qualified retirement plan participation is not affected for U.S. citizens living and working abroad for a limited period of time.... Employers should also consider childcare benefits, employee wellness programs, tuition reimbursement, travel insurance and expense reimbursement benefits[.]"  MORE >>

Holland & Hart LLP

Changes to Your Annual Employee Benefit Plan Audits Are Here: What You Need to Know

"The official 110-page SAS 136 includes a plethora of information and changes that affect all phases of the audit, including engagement acceptance to reporting. [Two] key provisions may have significant implications for plan sponsors. [1] Communication and disclosure of management's responsibilities in the engagement letter.... [2] ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C) audits and the auditor's opinion."  MORE >>

Withum Smith+Brown, PC

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement New Business Development Manager (Sales)
for GuideStone Financial Resources Retirement New Business Development Manager (Sales)

GuideStone Financial Resources

Remote / Dallas TX

View job as Retirement New Business Development Manager (Sales)
for GuideStone Financial Resources

View job as Regional Sales Director
for BPAS Regional Sales Director


Remote / Syracuse NY

View job as Regional Sales Director
for BPAS

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Hessel & Associates, LLC Retirement Plan Administrator

Hessel & Associates, LLC

Remote / IL

View job as Economist (Data Scientist)
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Economist (Data Scientist)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Remote / Washington DC

View job as Economist
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Economist

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Remote / Washington DC

Press Releases

Comparing Medicare Prescription Drug Plans Can Save Retirees Hundreds of Dollars


Brian Giles Joins Ascensus' Retirement Product and Solutions Group as Director of Sales


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Answering Mental Health and Addiction with Benefits


HR Daily Advisor

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

No Surprises Act Fails to Remove All Surprises

Employee Benefits Report

State Law Telehealth Update

K&L Gates

Group Health Plan Mandate to Cover Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests

Armstrong Teasdale

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

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