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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 5, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of OPM Interim Final Regs: Establishment of the Postal Service Health Benefits Program

88 pages. "This interim final rule establishes the Postal Service Health Benefits (PSHB) Program within the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program ... The PSHB Program will include health benefits plans available only to United States Postal Service employees, Postal Service annuitants, and their eligible family members starting January 1, 2025."  MORE >>

U.S. Office of Personnel Management [OPM]

[Guidance Overview]

Guidance Issued on the End of the COVID-19 Emergency Periods and Impact on Benefits Plans

"The FAQs provide helpful examples on application of the relief at the end of the Outbreak Period.... The examples make clear that the relief under the Joint Notice applies to toll an applicable timeframe for taking action until the earlier of one year or the end of the Outbreak Period (July 10, 2023)."  MORE >>

Ice Miller LLP

[Guidance Overview]

COVID-19 Public Health and National Emergencies to End May 11 -- or Earlier

"[On] March 29, the Senate passed a bill to end the national emergency, and President Biden is expected to sign it into law. Although unclear, it appears the bill will become effective upon signature, which means the presidential declaration of national emergency could end earlier than the HHS public health emergency. This means group health plans may have to contend with two separate timeframes in unwinding the emergency declarations or choose to extend the timeframes associated with the national emergency for administrative ease."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

RxDC Reporting Considerations for Employers

"[E]mployers should ... confirm with their insurance carriers that they will be timely processing the reporting.  ... [E]mployers should assist their insurance carrier by providing any requested P2 and D1 information for the RxDC report that the carrier may not have access to on their own.... Employers with self-insured plans should confirm that their TPA or PBM will be completing the RxDC report as the 'reporting entity' on behalf of the plan (and request documentation to confirm the filing)."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

NLRB General Counsel Memos Outline 2023 Agenda, Provide Guidance on Severance Agreement Ruling

"[In] addition to its discussion of the severance agreement clauses directly targeted by McLaren Macomb, [Memorandum GC 23-05] also hints at further aggressive action by the General Counsel regarding other types of restrictive covenants often contained in severance agreements (including non-compete and non-solicitation clauses), as well as restrictive language contained in other common employment documents (including offer letters) that could have the effect of chilling activity protected by the Act."  MORE >>

Ice Miller LLP

Federal Court Blocks Enforcement of Part of the ACA Preventive Care Mandate

"For employers with self-insured group health plans, the injunction would allow employers the option to amend their plans to make changes, including implementing cost-sharing for those USPSTF-recommended preventive care services impacted by the decision." [Braidwood Management, Inc. v. Becerra, No. 20-0283 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 30, 2023; notice of appeal filed Mar. 31, 2023)]  MORE >>


Court Finds Health Insurer's TPA Activities Are Subject to ACA Section 1557

"The court ruled that the insurer's TPA activities qualify as the operation of a health program or activity under the 2016 regulations, subjecting those activities to the application of Section 1557.... The court further rejected the insurer's arguments that ERISA required it to administer the plan exclusions as written and that it was not subject to Section 1557 when administering a plan of a religious organization exempt from the rules under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)." [C.P. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, No. 20-6145 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 9, 2022)]  MORE >>

Hall Benefits Law

Key Takeaways from OCR's Latest Annual HIPAA Reports to Congress

"The reports offer HIPAA-regulated covered entities and their business associates critical insight into the agency's enforcement priorities and challenges ... Complaints of HIPAA violations increased significantly in 2021.... Hacking and IT incidents main cause of largescale information breaches in 2021.... OCR restructures and seeks increased funding to support enforcement activities."  MORE >>

ArentFox Schiff LLP


Healthcare Industry Predictions for 2023

"Streamlining benefits to combat rising healthcare costs ... Prioritization of healthcare quality and cost ... New solutions to address rising cancer rates ... A greater focus on health equity and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) ... Behavioral health solutions that take a proactive approach ... Virtual primary care integration ... Adding women's reproductive health benefits ... More options for preventive medicine ... Worsening healthcare staffing shortages."  MORE >>

Alight Solutions

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Sr. Retirement Plan Consultant
            for Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc.

Sr. Retirement Plan Consultant

Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc.

Remote / Stratham NH

View job as Sr. Retirement Plan Consultant for Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc.

View job as Senior Retirement Plan Administrator
            for Strongpoint Partners - Retirement Strategies Group

Senior Retirement Plan Administrator

Strongpoint Partners - Retirement Strategies Group


View job as Senior Retirement Plan Administrator for Strongpoint Partners - Retirement Strategies Group

Press Releases

Nestimate Debuts Software Solution for In-Plan Guaranteed Income Products

Newtimate, Inc.

Former Envestnet Leader Neel Ray Joins Pensionmark, a World Company, as Head of M&A


Experienced Employee Benefits Attorney Sarah Sise Joins Quarles as Partner

Quarles & Brady LLP

New National Study by Employee Benefits News Sponsored by Quantum Health Finds 67% of Employees Navigate Their Healthcare Journey Without Expert Help

Employee Benefits News

Public Sector Pension Plans Highlight Rising Risk Profiles

Ortec Finance

Pentegra Welcomes Kevin Finnegan as Senior Vice President and General Counsel


AHIP Appoints Two New Executive Leaders in Its Continued Mission to Guide Greater Health

AHIP [America's Health Insurance Plans]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Preparing for the End of the Public Health Emergency: Stark, HIPAA, Medicare, and Other Regulatory Compliance

April 18, 2023 WEBINAR


Professionalism for Employee Benefits Professionals: ASOP 6

May 10, 2023 WEBINAR

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

ERISA Long-Term Disability Claims: Appeal Strategies, Rights and Protections, Best Practices for Counsel

June 14, 2023 WEBINAR


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Preparing for the End of the COVID-19 Emergency: Tri-Agencies Issue FAQs to Assist Plans and Issuers

McDermott Will & Emery

New Guidance Helps Employers Navigate End of the COVID-19 Emergency Orders

Ogletree Deakins

Agencies Release FAQs in Advance of the Upcoming Gag Clause Attestation Filing Deadline

Woodruff Sawyer

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

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