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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 25, 2022

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

No Surprises Act Impact on Ground Ambulance Billing

"Air ambulance services are included in the No Surprises Act, but the ban doesn't extend to ground ambulance services.... [A]bout 50% of emergency ground ambulance rides and 39% of non-emergency rides resulted in an out-of-network charge for people with private health insurance.... [T]here is a good chance that ambulance billing will be included under the No Surprises Act at some point, especially in light of the advisory committee the federal government created to assess options to improve disclosure of charges and fees for ground ambulance services."  MORE >>

Moss Adams LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Agencies Finalize Portions of Surprise Billing Independent Dispute Resolution Regs

"These final regulations are narrow in scope, addressing only certain issues critical to the implementation of the IDR process. The agencies note that they intend to finalize the remaining provisions of the current interim final regulations 'at a later date.' "  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

Agencies Issue FAQs Part 55, with Wide-Ranging Surprise Medical Billing and Transparency Guidance

"These FAQs cover a wide range of surprise billing and transparency issues, including specific guidance for air ambulance services and emergency services furnished in a behavioral health crisis facility. Although the agencies have touched on some of the issues before, the FAQs provide much needed clarifications and details as the various compliance deadlines loom."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Fifth Circuit Outlines Analysis for Determining Partnership Arrangement’s ERISA Plan Status

"Absent ERISA group health plan status, this arrangement generally would be subject to [ACA] individual insurance market rules because, according to HHS and Treasury, it would not be a 'group health plan' for purposes of those agencies' group market rules. Since the injunction has been set aside, the DOL could refuse to acknowledge the arrangement's ERISA status, potentially rendering it out of compliance with the individual market rules." [Data Marketing Partnership, LP v. DOL, No. 20-11179 (5th Cir. Aug. 17, 2022)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Federal Student-Debt Relief Raises Issues for Workplace Benefits

"The administration's action comes as employers are considering student debt assistance for the coming year as part of their employee benefits packages.... Through 2025, employers can continue to make contributions of up to $5,250 per employee annually toward eligible education expenses, such as tuition or student loan assistance, without raising the employee's gross taxable income. Advocates of tax-advantaged loan benefits are lobbying Congress to make this change permanent."  MORE >>

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

Amazon to Shut Down Amazon Care Health Unit

" Inc. is closing its Amazon Care service as the company looks to retool its healthcare offerings following the purchase last month of a line of primary care clinics.... The unit has operated as an employee-based telehealth service that has also dispatched medical providers to patients' homes."  MORE >>

The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

Disposal of Specimen Containers Labeled with PHI in Parking Lot Dumpster Leads to HIPAA Settlement

"In May 2021, the provider submitted a breach notification to HHS indicating that empty specimen containers -- with individuals' PHI on the labels -- had been discarded in a dumpster in the provider's parking lot.... In addition to the $300,640 payment, the provider must comply with a CAP that imposes obligations concerning HIPAA policies and procedures and training for the provider's workforce members."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Benefits in General

Improving Benefits Engagement Through Personalization

"Competitive pay and benefits will continue to play a major role in attracting and retaining key talent, but a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer effective. The time has come for HR to embrace the personalization of benefits, driven by technology that connects employees to relevant content in the moments that matter, making it easy for them to focus on what's important."  MORE >>

Alight Solutions

Congress Considers Major Changes to Adjudication of ERISA Claims

"[The Employee and Retiree Access to Justice Act (HR 7740 and S 4219)] would upend the Firestone exception that grants deference to a fiduciary's benefits determination. Instead, the Act would prevent a court from extending deference to a fiduciary's benefits determination and require a de novo review of all benefit claim lawsuits. The only exception to this standard would be for multi-employer plans[.]"  MORE >>

Hall Benefits Law

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Contribution Consultant
          for Aimpoint Pension Defined Contribution Consultant

Aimpoint Pension


View job as Defined Contribution Consultant
          for Aimpoint Pension

View job as Documents and Operations Coordinator
          for Jordan & Associates Retirement Services Documents and Operations Coordinator

Jordan & Associates Retirement Services

Remote / Santa Rosa CA

View job as Documents and Operations Coordinator
          for Jordan & Associates Retirement Services

View job as Actuary
          for The Angell Pension Group, Inc. Actuary

The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

Remote / East Providence RI

View job as Actuary
          for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

Press Releases

Marcia S. Wagner Appointed to The New England Legal Foundation Massachusetts Advisory Council

The Wagner Law Group P.C.

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

ERIC Analysis of the Surprise Medical Billing Final Rule

August 26, 2022 WEBCAST

ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

Sweeping Changes to Michigan’s Minimum Wage and Paid Medical Leave: How Employers Need to Prepare Now for 2023

September 29, 2022 WEBCAST

Jackson Lewis LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Administering COBRA Continuation Coverage in Mergers and Acquisitions Can Be Complicated

Paul M. Hamburger, via HR Daily Advisor

ACA Section 1557: The Past Is the Present and May Be the Future

HUB International

New 'No Surprises Act' Regs Address 'Downcoding' and Vacated QPA Presumption

Nixon Peabody LLP

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

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