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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 1, 2022

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Releases Revised Guidance on Medical and Dependent Care Expenses

"Pub. 502 for 2021 is substantially similar to the 2020 edition. Relevant dollar amounts have been revised to reflect their inflation-adjusted values. The 2021 edition of Pub. 503 has been revised to include the temporary provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021."  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

What Employers Need to Know About California's New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave

"The new law applies to employers with 26 or more employees. Out-of-state employers are covered only if they have at least 26 employees in the State of California.... If the employee, or a family member for whom the employee is providing care, tests positive for COVID, the employee may request up to 40 additional hours of paid sick leave. ... Thus, employees may be entitled to a maximum of 80 hours of paid leave."  MORE >>

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon 2022 Annual Report of ABA Subcommittee on the FMLA: 2021 Court Cases (PDF)

This 193-page report describes, and organizes by topic in detail, approximately 275 FMLA decisions of federal and state courts from November 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021.  MORE >>

American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Committee on Federal Labor Standards Legislation, Subcommittee on the Family and Medical Leave Act

Texas District Court Vacates Portion of Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Process in Agency Rule

"The effect of the Court's decision is to set aside five portions of the Rule, all of which elevate QPA as a factor over the other circumstances set forth in the [No Surprises Act] as relevant when determining the appropriate rate at which out-of-network providers should be compensated for surprise medical bills.... The primary concern for group health plan sponsors is that the Court's decision could lead to increased costs." [Texas Medical Assoc. v. HHS, No. 21-0425 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 23, 2022)]  MORE >>

Verrill Dana LLP

The Texas Medical Association Decision: What Happens Next?

"The IDR process will still go forward. However, it is as if the interim final rule regarding what the IDR Entity can consider was never drafted. The standard to be applied to the original text of the NSA is a good faith compliance standard." [Texas Medical Assoc. v. HHS, No. 21-0425 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 23, 2022)]  MORE >>


No More Surprises, But Much Uncertainty Over Non-Network Bills

"Plan sponsors should be aware ... that in the absence of the regulatory presumption in favor of the QPA, there is a greater risk that an arbitrator would side with the provider rather than the plan, resulting in potentially greater payment obligations from the plan sponsor." [Texas Medical Assoc. v. HHS, No. 21-0425 (E.D. Tex. Feb. 23, 2022)]  MORE >>


More No Surprises Act Lawsuits: An Update

"In addition to the Texas Medical Association lawsuit, five other lawsuits are pending across the U.S.... Here is a short update on each and an introduction to the new lawsuits[.]"  MORE >>


Fourth Circuit Addresses Limits of HIPAA Privacy Defense in Benefits Claims Litigation

"The court ruled that although HIPAA prevented the insurer from turning over certain requested documents to the plaintiff/participant's attorney without a valid HIPAA authorization, the insurer also breached its fiduciary duties under [ERISA] by not informing the participant's attorney that the HIPAA authorization submitted to the plan was potentially defective." [Wilson v. UnitedHealthcare Ins. Co., No. 20-2044 (4th Cir. Feb. 24, 2022)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Benefit Plan Deadlines Extended (Again) Due to COVID-19

"On February 18, 2022, President Biden formally extended the COVID-19 National Emergency. [E]mployees continue to have an additional year to meet certain deadlines.... [1] COBRA election notice, enrollment, and payment; [2] COBRA notifications for divorce, legal separation, child aging out, or disability; [3] HIPAA special enrollment notifications ...  [4] Claims procedure and appeals; [and] [5] External review process."  MORE >>


House HELP Subcommittee Hearing: Improving Retirement Security and Access to Mental Health Benefits

Video of February 17, 2022, House HELP subcommittee hearing, with testimony by: [1] Amy Matsui, National Women's Law Center; [2] Karen Handorf, Berger Montague; [3] Andrew Biggs, American Enterprise Institute; and [4] Aron Szapiro, Morningstar, Inc. and Morningstar Investment Management LLC.  MORE >>

Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions [HELP] Subcommittee, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as New Business Conversion Manager - Retirement Solutions
for Securian Financial Group New Business Conversion Manager - Retirement Solutions

Securian Financial Group

Saint Paul MN

Press Releases

The Cerrado Group Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary

The Cerrado Group

Tax Season 2022: Offers Crucial Guidance On IRS Reporting Changes

DOL Alleges Fiduciaries for a Chicago-Area Employee Benefit Plan Misappropriated More Than $2.8M of Plan Assets

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

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Handling the New CPA Audit Rules for Benefit Plans

March 22, 2022 WEBCAST

Boutwell Fay LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Text of Memorandum from Agencies Regarding Continuing Surprise Billing Protections for Consumers

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]; U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]; and U.S. Treasury Department

How to Manage ACA Compliance for Boomerang Employees

Tango Health

District Court Vacates Rebuttable Presumption Under No Surprises Act Regs

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

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

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