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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 26, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Minnesota's New Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law

"Minnesota's new earned sick and safe time (ESST) law will allow employers to frontload forty-eight hours of ESST in the first year of employment and pay out in cash the value of unused hours at the end of the year and not carry over unused hours into the next year.... An employer may avoid the administrative burden of tracking earned and used ESST hours by using the frontloading method."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

Can Employers Use a 'Sampling' Approach to Review Health FSA and DCAP Claims? (PDF)

"Because all claims are subject to the claim substantiation requirements, administrators cannot engage in substantiation shortcuts such as reviewing only a percentage of claims (i.e., sampling) or automatically reimbursing claims that are below a 'de minimis' dollar threshold ... These actions jeopardize the income exclusion that would otherwise apply to reimbursements from these arrangements ... and could cause all reimbursements to be taxable, not just those approved using the impermissible techniques."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Abrogating Precedent, Fourth Circuit Narrows Equitable Remedies for Fiduciary Breach (PDF)

"This change to potential remedies for fiduciary breach, at least in the Fourth Circuit, is notable. Even if the claimant can demonstrate that the fiduciary was unjustly enriched by its actions, tracing the funds may present a significant challenge. A dissent disagreed that the Supreme Court had rejected Amara's 'blessing' of surcharge as an available remedy and would conclude that the ability to obtain relief does not turn on traceability." [Rose v. PSA Airlines, Inc., No. 21-2207 (4th Cir. Sep. 11, 2023)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

OIG Notice to EBSA of Upcoming Audit of EBSA Enforcement of Mental Health Parity (PDF)

"This audit will focus on assessing the extent of EBSA's enforcement of mental health parity laws and regulations, as well as its corresponding corrective actions."  MORE >>

Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

What’s Driving Benefits Renewal Hikes and How Can You Prepare?

"Many companies used the lower premium increases of recent years as an opportunity to increase their point solutions offerings. They focused on a variety of specialty areas like mental health, fertility, caretaking, and employee perks. The 2024 increase in premiums will drive more focus on assessing the use and impact of those solutions versus their budget impact."  MORE >>

Woodruff Sawyer

Improving Out-of-Pocket Cost Transparency in the Emergency Department

"[S]uccessfully addressing cost transparency in the [emergency department] could be transformative in reducing financial harm from unexpected medical care ... [The authors] share a vision for how policies and legislation that promote investment in key technical infrastructure and care team development could help facilitate out-of-pocket cost transparency in the emergency setting."  MORE >>

Health Affairs Forefront

Designing Benefits That Provide Meaningful Financial Support for Employees All Year Long

"Use engagement surveys and other tools to understand the challenges your people are feeling. Find out more about the benefits that already mean the most to them.... [C]ommon, but potentially overlooked, items to include in your benefits packages [include:] [1] Student loan repayment support ... [2] Financial planning ... [3] Consumer-directed benefits (CDBs) ... [4] Benefits literacy ... [5] Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs)."  MORE >>


Workers Remain Financially Fragile: Healthcare Options to Improve Financial Resilience

"[T]he new transparency mandates to disclose prices for 'shoppable services' are too complex to be effective for most participants. The best opportunity to facilitate consumerism is to make available an innovative Advanced Explanation of Benefits (A-EOB) ... Because [DOL] guidance on the A-EOB has yet to be issued, any organization that strategically implements their own version of a 'best practices' A-EOB could capture a competitive financial advantage -- reducing both employer spend and employee out-of-pocket costs -- by putting the economic purchasing power and decision-making in the participant's hands."  MORE >>


Senate Finance Committee Hearing: Exploring Paid Leave -- Policy, Practice, and Impact on the Workforce

Video of October 25 hearing, including testimony by: [1] Ben Verhoeven, Peoria Gardens, Inc.; [2] Jocelyn Frye, National Partnership for Women & Families; [3] Rachel Greszler, The Heritage Foundation; and [4] Elizabeth Milito, National Federation of Independent Business.

   MORE >>

Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives

Benefits in General

The Eastern District of Kentucky Enters the Fray, Compels Individual Arbitration

"The court agreed with the trustee that the Plan's waiver language was enforceable, following Sixth Circuit precedent ... Rejecting [the employees'] argument that the Plan provisions operated as a prospective waiver of statutory remedies under ERISA, the district court.... reasoned that '[a]n arbitration agreement thus does not alter or abridge substantive rights; it merely changes how those rights will be processed.' " [Merrow v. Horizon Bank, No. 22-123 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 24, 2023)]  MORE >>

Miller & Chevalier

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Enrolled Actuary
            for Robin S. Weingast & Associates

Enrolled Actuary

Robin S. Weingast & Associates

Remote / Garden City NY / Hybrid

View job as Enrolled Actuary for Robin S. Weingast & Associates

View job as Plan Consultant
            for Edberg Perry LLC

Plan Consultant

Edberg Perry LLC

AZ / Hybrid

View job as Plan Consultant for Edberg Perry LLC

Press Releases

Candidly Expands Beyond Student Debt Solutions with Emergency Savings Solution to Build Financial Resilience


Hint Announces Partnership with Clearwater Benefits to Expand Member Healthcare and Prioritize Patient-Centric Care

Hint Health

News OneDigital Company Announces Launch of Broker-Carrier RFP and Quoting API Integration with MetLife


Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

The Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act

November 9, 2023 WEBINAR

Jackson Lewis LLP

Family-Forming Benefit Plans: ERISA and Tax Considerations

November 14, 2023 WEBINAR

Trucker Huss

Cybersecurity and Employee Benefit Plans: Where Are We Now?

December 13, 2023 WEBINAR

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

The Cost of Not Complying with HIPAA Is High and Rising

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

District Court Vacates HHS Guidance on Copay Accumulator Programs

Willis Towers Watson

Firing a High-Cost Claimant Can Be Even More Costly

HUB International

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

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