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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 5, 2022

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities

 

[Guidance Overview]

Maryland Enacts 'Time to Care Act of 2022' to Provide Paid Family and Medical Leave Funded Through Payroll Taxes

"The MTCA will apply to all employers with a single employee in the state. Only employers with 15 or more employees are required to contribute, as are employees.... Generally, eligible employees may receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave in a 12-month period."  MORE >>

Lockton

Health Plans Brace for Specialty Drugs to Eclipse 50% of Prescription Spending

"Health plans and [PBMs] that manage drug costs ... say specialty drugs now account for 50% or greater of the total prescription spending they manage ... [H]ealth plans say they are working closely with their clients, including employers, to carve out options for them to cover not only ongoing prescription needs but gene therapies that will be increasingly prescribed in the future[.]"  MORE >>

Forbes; subscription may be required

Preparing for 2023 Benefits Enrollment

"Employee benefits are no longer just table stakes; they're a differentiator. This gives employers an opportunity to put their benefits in the spotlight during benefits enrollment season.... [D]ata trends suggest employers lean into three key themes: [1] provide security, [2] give choice, and [3] make it easy."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

DOL and HHS Meet with Health Insurance and Business Leaders to Discuss Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder Parity

"[DOL Secretary Marty Walsh and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra] met with industry leaders in a constructive dialogue, with commitments from attendees to continue to engage on these critical issues. They also raised the importance of contraceptive coverage and the need to do more to ensure women and families get this essential care."  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Employer-Covered Abortion Travel Draws 'Unprecedented Interest'

"If the high court overturns the landmark 1973 decision, large employers that operate self-funded health plans ... could add provisions for beneficiaries in states that restrict the procedure to travel to other states to get abortion services.... Employers that provide travel expenses for abortion could run afoul of state laws ... Employers that don't offer self-funded plans need to be aware of changes in state abortion laws because their health plans are covered by state insurance laws rather than ERISA."  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Mandatory Bereavement Leave Again Being Considered by the California Legislature

"Assembly Bill (AB) 1949 reintroduces the idea of mandatory bereavement leave and expands the allowance from the 2020 proposal. AB 1949 would make it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to grant a request by an eligible employee to take up to 5 days of bereavement leave upon the death of a family member, including a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis

Senate Subcommittee Hearing: Ensuring Fairness and Transparency in the Market for Prescription Drugs

Video of May 5, 2022 hearing. "Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have been described as 'the black box' in the market for prescription drugs. How PBMs operate, and the lack of transparency about how they operate, have contributed to higher drug prices for consumers. This hearing will examine steps Congress can take to increase transparency in drug prices, require PBMs to operate fairly, and ensure the Federal Trade Commission has the authority it needs to stop unfair practices in the prescription drug market."  MORE >>

Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security; U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation

[Opinion]

NCPA Statement for Senate Subcommittee Hearing: Ensuring Fairness and Transparency in the Market for Prescription Drugs (PDF)

"PBMs play an oversized role in federal health care programs as large corporate middlemen. The United States is the only country in the world that utilizes PBMs, and drug prices in this country remain exponentially higher compared to other countries. PBMs determine which pharmacies patients may choose by creating provider networks, determine which drugs patients can be prescribed by creating drug formularies, and determine how much patients pay at the pharmacy counter for their medications. Because of their anticompetitive practices and our nation's ever-increasing drug costs, greater scrutiny over PBM business tactics is imperative."  MORE >>

National Community Pharmacists Association [NCPA]

Benefits in General

Sixth Circuit Rejects Arbitration for Proposed Fiduciary Breach Class Action

"While the court stopped short of deciding whether Section 502(a)(2) claims could ever fall within the scope of an arbitration clause in an individual employment agreement, it held that plaintiffs' claims did not fall within the arbitration clauses here. The court reasoned that because such claims 'belong' to the Plan, they cannot be forced into arbitration based on agreements that bind only individual participants.... [T]he court found that, in this case, the agreements established only plaintiffs' consent to arbitration, but not the plan's." [Hawkins v. Cintas Corp., No. 21-3156 (6th Cir. Apr. 27, 2022)]  MORE >>

Proskauer

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Employee Benefits Investigator - Recent Graduate (English and/or Spanish)
          for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA] Employee Benefits Investigator - Recent Graduate (English and/or Spanish)

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / San Francisco CA

View job as Employee Benefits Investigator - Recent Graduate (English and/or Spanish)
          for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

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

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / San Francisco CA

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

View job as Pension Plan Administrator
          for The Angell Pension Group, Inc. Pension Plan Administrator

The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

Remote

View job as Pension Plan Administrator
          for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

Selected New Discussions

A Child Is Born: Dependent Care FSA Election Change Deadline?

"Our RTO document doesn't specifically address this, and I can't find it in the regs. After someone has a new child, so a Status Change event, is there any sort of deadline that they have to make an election to start contributing to a Dependent Care FSA? It seems like during the 12 week or so maternity leave, the decision for child care could change a couple of times before something is decided. So I can see where an employer might give the employee a pretty long period of time before they shut off the ability to make a DCA election after this Status Change event."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Retirement Income Consortium Launches to Address Retirement Security Challenges

Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Announces 2023 Limits for HSAs, HDHPs and Excepted Benefit HRAs

The Wagner Law Group

Fertility and Family-Forming Solutions Buyer's Guide for Health Plans (PDF)

America's Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]

Hospital Price Transparency Data: Case Studies for How to Use It

Milliman

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

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