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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

January 19, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Sets 2023 Penalties for Health and Welfare Benefit Plan Violations

"The higher rates apply to penalties assessed after Jan. 15, 2023, for violations occurring after Nov. 2, 2015. DOL rarely assesses the maximum and often waives penalties entirely for failures due to reasonable cause. But the penalty threat is an important enforcement and deterrent tool."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

HIPAA Regulation of Online Tracking Technologies

"[C]overed entities and business associates must review tracking technologies on their website and mobile app to ensure that they are consistent with HIPAA's privacy and security rules, and that business associate agreements are in place with tracking technology vendors that may receive PHI. There are several key steps that covered entities and business associates should consider in response to this [OCR bulletin]."  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Opens ACA Information Returns (AIR) System for 2023 Electronic Filings

"The IRS has announced the production schedule for filing [ACA] 2022 information returns electronically through the ACA Information Returns (AIR) System, with the 2023 filing season beginning on January 13, 2023. The AIR System is used for filing Forms 1094/1095-B and 1094/1095-C.... The threshold for mandatory electronic filing with the IRS remains at 250 returns, applied separately to each type of return and to original and corrected returns."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

Washington CARES Deductions to Start July 1, 2023

"Washington State's Long-Term Services and Supports Trust Program (now called 'WA Cares') ... is again set to go into effect on July 1, 2023. WA Cares will require employers to withhold a payroll tax equal to .58 percent of certain employee wages unless the employee has provided a state-issued letter of exemption to their employer prior to July 1."  MORE >>

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Paid Leave for Any Reason Is Coming to Illinois

"The bill ... would require nearly all employers with one or more employees working in Illinois to provide paid leave. Leave would begin to accrue on January 1, 2024 ... [C]overed employers could impose a 90-day waiting period before leave may be used. With limited exceptions, all employees would be eligible to accrue leave[.]"  MORE >>

LaborSphere, a blog by Drinker Biddle

[Guidance Overview]

California and Illinois Require Bereavement Leave

"California now makes it unlawful for employers to refuse to grant eligible employees up to five days of bereavement leave. This leave is separate from any leave required by the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).... The existing [Illinois] Child Bereavement Act was renamed the Family Bereavement Leave Act and expanded to include the death of a child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner (whether recognized by law or designated as such by the employee), sibling, parent, in-law, grandparent, grandchild or stepparent."  MORE >>


Ground Ambulance Surprise Billing Variations

"[A new study] reviewed public and private billing data for nonelderly patients for 2014-17 and found that 28 percent of commercially insured emergency ground transports resulted in a potential surprise bill. For nonemergency transports, surprise bills occurred 26 percent of the time.... In 2016-17, private-sector ambulances charged 38 percent more than public-sector ambulances, which resulted in 25 percent higher cost sharing for patients."  MORE >>

Health Affairs Forefront

Meet America's Largest Employer of Physicians: UnitedHealth Group

"The largest employer of physicians in the United States is not HCA, the VA, or Kaiser Permanente -- it's UnitedHealth Group's Optum. With at least 60,000 employed or aligned physicians across 2,000 locations in 2023, Optum has cemented itself at the forefront of the quickly changing healthcare delivery landscape.... From 2019 to 2022, corporate-owned practices grew 86 percent while corporate employment of physicians grew 43 percent[.]"  MORE >>

Becker's Healthcare

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Notice GA-2023-01, for Victims of Severe Storms, Straight-Line Winds, and Tornadoes in Georgia

"Victims of severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes beginning January 12, 2023, now have until May 15, 2023, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... [I]ndividuals and households affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes that reside or have a business in Butts, Henry, Jasper, Meriwether, Newton, Spalding, and Troup counties qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Benefit Calculation Specialist/Actuary
            for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

Defined Benefit Calculation Specialist/Actuary

The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

Remote / East Providence RI

View job as Defined Benefit Calculation Specialist/Actuary for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

View job as Plan Document Specialist
            for Benetrends, Inc.

Plan Document Specialist

Benetrends, Inc.

Remote / Lansdale PA

View job as Plan Document Specialist for Benetrends, Inc.

Selected New Discussions

Looking for Comprehensive List of State Laws More Stringent Than HIPAA

"The HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices must be tailored to include state laws that are more restrictive than HIPAA (see Is there a resource that puts out a good survey of those state laws? Practical Law does not appear to have have anything like that."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

iJoin Introduces Game-Changing Fee Management Functionality for 401(k) Managed Accounts


New Research Examines the Influence of Employee Belonging on Wellbeing, Quiet Quitting, and Employee Engagement

LifeSpeak Inc.

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Kate Bundorf on the Stabilization of the Employer-Sponsored Insurance Coverage


Health Affairs

Benefits-Related Provisions in the 2023 Federal Spending Bill


NFP Corp.

The Future of Work and its Impacts on Employee Benefits

January 25, 2023 WEBINAR

ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

M&A Academy: How Labor, Employment, and Benefits Specialists Can Best Add Value to Your Deal - 2023

January 31, 2023 WEBINAR

Morgan Lewis

Managing Mental Health Parity Compliance in 2023

February 9, 2023 WEBINAR

Corporate Synergies

Priorities of the DOL Assistant Secretary for EBSA

February 14, 2023 WEBINAR

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Tracking Health Information Using Online Technologies: New OCR Guidance, HIPAA Obligations for Regulated Entities

March 1, 2023 WEBINAR


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Dependent Care FSA Election Changes


Illinois Set to Become Third State to Mandate Paid Leave for Any Reason


MHPAEA Exemption Eliminated for Self-Funded Non-Federal Governmental Health Plans

Woodruff Sawyer

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

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