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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 2, 2022


[Official Guidance]

Text of CMS Bulletin: Timing of QHP Data Submission and Certification for the 2023 Plan Year for Issuers in the Federally-Facilitated Exchanges (PDF)

"[T]his bulletin [establishes] the submission deadlines ... for health insurance issuers applying to offer qualified health plans (QHPs) on the Federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFEs).... The dates in this bulletin apply to all states in which an FFE operates ... Some of the dates included in this bulletin also apply to issuers in State-based Exchanges on the Federal Platform (SBE-FPs); ... New for PY2023, CMS will no longer establish a separate submission deadline for issuers to request changes to their service area."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

Feds Clarify At-Home COVID-19 Test Coverage Rules

"The original guidance left several questions unanswered concerning delivery of at-home tests and what effect shortages of tests might have on plan sponsors. The [February 4 FAQs] outline how plans can comply with the original mandate but grant latitude to deal with testing kit scarcity and other issues."  MORE >>

Fisher Phillips

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act to End on March 15

"The act was set to remain in effect until April 1, 2022, or until the exhaustion of $100 million in program funds, whichever came first. On February 28, 2022, the Commonwealth announced that the act will end on March 15, 2022."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Will Expire on March 15th

"Since applications for reimbursement from the program fund have reached $85 million, the program will end ... on March 15, 2022.... [The] deadline for employers to apply for reimbursement [is] April 29, 2022. Employers should notify employees of the program's end date and submit any outstanding reimbursements[.]"  MORE >>


Employers Are Offering Medicare Advantage to Retirees to Save on Costs

"Over the past decade, an increasing number of employers have ... [used] the government's Medicare Advantage program as an alternative to their existing retiree health plan and traditional Medicare coverage. Employers and insurers negotiate behind closed doors to design a private Medicare Advantage plan available only to retirees from that employer. Then, just as it does for private individuals choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, the federal government pays the insurer a set amount for each person in the plan."  MORE >>


Responses by Congress and Administration to Growing Mental Health and Substance Use Challenges

"This alert will discuss administration and congressional action on SUD and mental health policies and identify key policy areas to watch over the next year.... Issues to watch ... [2] Telehealth expansion ... [2] Mental health parity ... [3] Substance use disorder ... [4] Youth mental health."  MORE >>

Akin Gump

Capping Medicare Beneficiary Part D Spending at $2,000: Who Would It Help and How Much?

"in 2019, about 866,000 Part D enrollees without access to the program's low-income subsidy program would have benefited from the introduction of a $2,000 spending cap for prescription drugs. These enrollees would have saved $900 on average.... [I]mplementing such an enrollment cap would have raised overall drug spending by about $782 million in 2019 and would raise Medicare Part D expenditures by less than 1 percent of total Part D spending in that year."  MORE >>

Urban Institute

Press Releases

Quantum Health Launches New Preferred Partners Program to Give Consumers a Better Healthcare Experience and Deliver Better Results for Employers

Quantum Health

Transamerica Bolsters Pooled Retirement Plan Offerings with the Acquisition of TAG Resources, LLC


PGIM Hires Michael Miller to Lead New DC Solutions Business


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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


IRS Releases Revised Guidance on Medical and Dependent Care Expenses

The Wagner Law Group

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


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

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