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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 10, 2023

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[Guidance Overview]

CMS Updates Could Help Employers on Second Round of Drug Cost Reporting

"Employers facing a June 1, 2023, deadline for 2022 prescription drug cost reporting have important new clarification on issues such as plans that cover more than one employer, average monthly premium calculations, and medical plans that carve out prescription drug benefits. That clarification and more come in updated instructions recently released by [CMS]. The updates respond to many questions raised during the initial round of reporting, which covered 2020 and 2021 data that was generally due December 27, 2022."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

We've Come to the End of the COVID-19 Outbreak Period Road

"[1] COVID-19 diagnostic testing ... [2] Rapid coverage of preventive service and vaccines for coronavirus ... [3] Extension of certain time frames for employee benefit plans subject to ERISA and the Code ... [4] Special enrollment periods after loss of eligibility for Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) ... [5] High-deductible health plans, Health Savings Accounts and benefits for COVID-19 testing and treatment."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Considerations for Group Health Plan Coverage of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing as Emergency Declarations End

"The COVID-19 diagnostic testing coverage mandate ends with the expiration of the PHE. Group health plan sponsors will need to consider ... [1] Whether the group health plan will continue to cover all COVID-19 diagnostic testing and -- if so -- whether cost-sharing requirements will apply.... [2] Whether a plan amendment or participant notice is required."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Health and Welfare Benefits Monthly Update, April 2023 (PDF)

20 presentation slides. Topics include: [1] Braidwood Management v. Becerra; [2] The Public Health Emergency is ending -- so now what? [3] The Outbreak Period is ending -- but when? [4] It's time to renegotiate my ASO.  MORE >>

Alston & Bird

[Guidance Overview]

NLRB Questions Confidentiality and Nondisparagement Provisions in Separation Agreements

"None of the choices available to employers ... are perfect solutions ... One option would be to remove all language requiring the employee to keep the terms of the severance confidential and all language prohibiting the employee from disparaging the employer.... Another alternative would be to narrowly tailor the confidentiality and nondisparagement provisions, while adding language making clear that nothing in the agreement is intended to impinge on any employee's Section 7 rights."  MORE >>

Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Rules Released for Paid Sick and Safe Leave in Bloomington, MN

"Bloomington employers receive clarification about how they can request documentation to support absences. Robust anti-retaliation provisions put the 'protected' in protected leave. Rules titled 'initial,' so additional rules might soon follow."  MORE >>


A Growing Benefits Trend: Time Off for Pregnancy Loss

"Miscarriage leave has historically been a rare company offering ... [A]handful of employers [are] now offering employees the benefit, pointing to it as an emerging trend.... [A]ccording to the Mayo Clinic, roughly 10 percent to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage."  MORE >>

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

Texas Judge Invalidates ACA Preventive Care Mandates: Impact on Employer-Sponsored Plans

"[In] implementing the ACA, multiple entities were authorized to make recommendations regarding what care and services constitute preventive care. It is only the A and B recommendations issued by the PSTF and mandated coverage of PrEP that have been impacted. Other required ACA preventive care requirements remain in effect, meaning those promulgated by ACIP and HRSA continue to apply, as well as certain recommendations made prior to March 23, 2010." [Braidwood Management, Inc. v. Becerra, No. 20-0283 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 30, 2023; notice of appeal filed Mar. 31, 2023)]   MORE >>

Holland & Knight


Repairing the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force After Braidwood v. Becerra

"A central concern articulated by Judge O'Connor was that the Task Force is not 'directed and supervised at some level by others who were appointed by Presidential nomination with the advice and consent of the Senate.' ... [T]he Administration has several choices by which it can intervene to resolve the Task Force's challenges, without involving Congress or overstepping in the realm of evidence-based policymaking[.]" [Braidwood Management, Inc. v. Becerra, No. 20-0283 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 30, 2023; notice of appeal filed Mar. 31, 2023)]  MORE >>

Health Affairs Forefront

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Pension Consultant
            for National Benefit Services, A "Remote First" Company

Senior Pension Consultant

National Benefit Services, A "Remote First" Company

Remote / Sandy UT

View job as Senior Pension Consultant for National Benefit Services, A "Remote First" Company

Press Releases

IMA Financial Group Expands Executive Leadership Team

IMA Financial Group

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Everything Old Is New Again: How to Navigate the End of COVID-19 Benefits Regs

April 27, 2023 WEBINAR


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

The End of the COVID-19 Emergency Periods Is Fast Approaching

Trucker Huss

What Leads to Greater Satisfaction with Health Plan Coverage? (PDF)

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Potential Pitfalls Surrounding Sabbaticals

Ogletree Deakins

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

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