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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

September 15, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Makes It More Difficult to Meet ACA Affordability Safe Harbors in 2024

"[Rev. Proc. 2023-29] lowers the affordability threshold from 9.12% in 2023 to 8.39% in 2024.... [E]mployers that rely on the federal poverty line affordability safe harbor may charge an employee premium up to $101.94 in 2024, which represents a decrease from $103.28 in 2023. Although the dollar amount may appear small, penalties for noncompliance can be significant."  MORE >>

Snell & Wilmer

[Guidance Overview]

October 15 Deadline for Medicare Part D Notice

"With the October 15 start of the Medicare Part D annual election period looming comes the reminder that the Part D Notice of Creditable Coverage and/or Non-Creditable Coverage is due to employees prior to that October 15 start date. The purpose of the Notice is to inform employees whether their employer-sponsored group health plan's prescription drug coverage is at least as rich as a Medicare Part D plan."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

California State Disability Insurance: Removal of Wage Ceiling Set to Impact Employers and Employees in 2024

"SDI provides short-term disability and paid family leave wage replacement and is funded through a 0.9% tax withholding on employee wages in CA. Today, wages are taxed up to a maximum of $153,164 which equates to a maximum withholding of $1,378.48 per year ... [S]tarting in 2024, the wage ceiling will be eliminated and all California wages will be subject to the 0.9% tax."  MORE >>


Departing from Prior Panel Decisions, Fourth Circuit Holds Surcharge Remedy Is Not Equitable Relief Available Under ERISA

"The Fourth Circuit agreed with the district court that Rose's ERISA Section 502(a)(1)(B) fails because this provision provides a plaintiff with either reimbursement of plan benefits that they paid out-of-pocket or an injunction to force the plan provider to give the treatment. This provision does not authorize a plaintiff to seek the monetary cost of a benefit that was never provided. This is because the statutory language speaks only of enforcing the terms of the plan, not changing them." [Rose v. PSA Airlines, Inc., No. 21-2207 (4th Cir. Sep. 11, 2023)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

District Court Provides Roadmap for Opposing Grant of Attorney Fees Even When Court Grants Benefit Claim

"Should plaintiffs always recover attorney fees when the ultimate decision to deny benefits 'was a close call' …and both sides' positions had merit? No. And this new case explains the point." [Messing v. Provident Life and Accident Ins. Co., No. 20-0351 (W.D. MI Aug. 25, 2023)]  MORE >>

Lane Powell PC


ERIC and Large Employers Urge the Senate to Pass PBM Legislation

"EmployersRx, a coalition of the nation's largest employers ... calls on ... all Senators to support private market insurance by enacting the PBM Reform Act (S 1339), which contains commonsense reforms to ensure PBMs are held accountable to fair market practices as business partners to employers and 178 million American workers and their families, public purchasers and, ultimately, taxpayers."  MORE >>

The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Extends Grace Period for Obtaining Credentials for EFAST2 Filing System Until End of 2023 (PDF)

"The extended compliance date for obtaining credentials is welcome relief to affected plan sponsors that could not meet, or did not know about, the September 1, 2023, deadline. Note that filers that transmit their filings using third-party software approved by the DOL for use under EFAST2 generally do not need to log into the EFAST2 website"  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Participant Services Associate
            for July Business Services

Participant Services Associate

July Business Services


View job as Participant Services Associate for July Business Services

View job as Implementation Specialist
            for Nova 401(k) Associates

Implementation Specialist

Nova 401(k) Associates


View job as Implementation Specialist for Nova 401(k) Associates

Selected New Discussions

Pre-Paid Legal Services Plan

"Can a pre-paid legal services plan that an employer makes available to employees fit into the DOL safe harbor for voluntary plans and thus not be subject to ERISA assuming all the requirements of the safe harbor are satisfied?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Lincoln Financial Launches LincSmart, a Simplified Benefits Administration Experience

Lincoln Financial Group

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Don't Choke on the Gag Clause Prohibition Compliance Attestation Requirement of the CAA

Bond, Schoeneck & King

Managing Increasing Health and Welfare Fiduciary Risks

Nixon Peabody LLP

DOL Poised to Issue Two High-Profile Proposed Regulations

Miller & Chevalier

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

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