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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

March 18, 2024

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Regulators Use 'Carrots and Sticks' to Incentivize Healthcare Sector Cybersecurity Compliance

"In light of ... growing threats and potential disruptive impacts on the healthcare industry, HHS' 2024 agenda continues to encourage compliance with cybersecurity and privacy regulations through a variety of mechanisms. As of the first quarter of 2024, specific efforts include issuance of updated guidance from HHS and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), changes to existing regulations, and leveraging investigatory and enforcement authorities."  MORE >>

Health Law Advisor, Epstein Becker Green

[Guidance Overview]

California Labor Enforcement Agency Clarifies Sick Leave Rule

"[An] employer that uses a 30:1 ratio for a part-time employee is in compliance with California's new PSL law, even if the employee does not earn 24 hours of PSL by the 120th day of employment/120th day of the year or 12-month period, or 40 hours of PSL by the 200th day."  MORE >>

CDF Labor Law LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers (PDF)

14 presentation slides. Topics include: [1] Accrual, use and preemption of local laws; [2] Covered employees; [3] Denying a request to use paid leave under PLAWA; [4] Payout, reinstatement, transfer; [5] Employer policies; [6] Other employer responsibilities.  MORE >>


Eleventh Circuit Ruling on FMLA Retaliation Standard a Win for Employers

"The correct causation standard for retaliation claims has long been a topic of debate among the circuits. The Eleventh Circuit's holding that the heightened 'but-for' standard applies is a win for employers, as it is much more difficult for an employee to prove an employer would not have taken adverse action against them but for their protected activity, than to prove retaliatory animus merely contributed to the employer's decision to take adverse action against the employee." [Lapham v. Walgreen Co., No. 21-10491 (11th Cir. Dec. 13, 2023)]  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green

Healthy Habits for Health Plan Fiduciaries

"[1] Identify the fiduciary who is responsible for health plan administration.... [2] Make sure all plan documentation (plan, SPD, communications, committee charter if applicable, etc.) is regularly updated.... [3] Identify the responsibilities of the health plan fiduciary.... [4] Train the health plan fiduciary on [these] responsibilities and on the litigation risks.... [5] Document the training and the processes and monitoring[.]"  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Manage Health Plan HIPAA, ERISA and Other Exposures from Change Healthcare Ransomware Attack

"While UHG works to remediate and restore the operability and security of the Choice Health tools and systems, health plans, and insurers, their fiduciaries, plan sponsors, and fiduciaries should take timely and prudent steps in response to the breach and resulting disruptions to mitigate the exposure of their health plans, and themselves under HIPAA and ERISA."  MORE >>

Solutions Law Press

Marketplace Enrollee Demographics, Plan Generosity, and Plan Premiums in States, 2015-2022 (PDF)

19 pages. "[F]rom 2015 to 2022, Marketplace enrollees in states selected silver plans with cost sharing reductions as their most common Marketplace plan selection, but the number of enrollees selecting bronze plans increased the most compared to plan selections in other metal levels."  MORE >>

Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]


If Litigated, There May Be No Winners in Child Mental Health Treatment Disputes

"Two recent cases from the Tenth Circuit dealt ... how to treat severe mental health issues of children and how decisions are made about their treatment.... These cases should not have been litigated. Through mediation, there should have been ways to develop compromises that would protect the key needs of the children, parents, and insurance companies. One possibility would have been to create more balance in the decision process, including in that process physicians responsive to the needs of each party."  MORE >>

Bob Blum Mediation, via Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal


Congress Has the Opportunity to Deliver Health Care Price Transparency

"[With] positive momentum from policy makers in both chambers of Congress and on both sides of the aisle, the likelihood of a final price transparency bill getting passed and signed into law seems high. [Two current] proposals include many of the same provisions but differ in other ways. So, what would these price transparency provisions do? Which provisions could have the most significant impact on the cost of health care for consumers and employers? And what more still needs to be done to fully achieve the cost-containment objectives of requiring price transparency in health care?"  MORE >>

Health Affairs Forefront


CAHC Response to House Committee on Education and the Workforce RFI on Strengthening ERISA (PDF)

"CAHC believes Congress should instead strengthen ERISA by [1] expanding options for employers and their employees; [2] providing financial incentives to ensure employer coverage remains viable; and [3] enacting policies to lower the cost of health services and drugs to reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs."  MORE >>

Council for Affordable Health Coverage [CAHC]


Coalition Letter to House Education and Workforce Supporting E-Delivery as a Means of Strengthening ERISA (PDF)

"[The authors] appreciate the Committee's ongoing engagement with the Tri-Agencies to prioritize rulemaking that would enable ERISA health and welfare plans to use electronic delivery (e-delivery) as a default means for providing plan communications. This important step would create consistency and alignment in a manner similar to the 2020 E-Delivery Safe Harbor for Employee Pension Benefit Plans."  MORE >>

20 Industry Organizations Representing Organized Labor, Employers, Health and Welfare Plans, Benefits Administrators, and Environmental Advocates


PACT Letter to Congress: Recommendations to Improve and Modernize Mental Health Care (PDF)

"While employers have made significant progress responding to the mental health challenges faced by their workforce, Congress and the Administration should take meaningful steps to break down obstacles that are critical to enhancing mental health services across the nation. Through expanding access to telehealth, strengthening the provider workforce, and better integrating care, ... barriers to quality care will be reduced, patient outcomes will be better, and costs will be lowered."  MORE >>

Protecting Americans’ Coverage Together (PACT),

Benefits in General

District Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Illinois Equivalent Benefits Law for Temporary Workers

"The court held that the Act conflicted with ERISA by requiring agencies to make judgment calls about eligibility and benefit levels on an individualized and continual basis.... [T]he court did not enjoin, nor did plaintiffs seek to enjoin, provisions of the amendments providing for equal pay to temporary laborers who work for more than 90 days in a 12-month period for the same third-party client." [Staffing Servs. Ass'n. of Ill. v. Flanagan, No. 23-16208 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 11, 2024)]  MORE >>


Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act Equivalent-Benefits Provision Enjoined

"[A]lthough the court's decision enjoins the requirement to provide 'equivalent benefits,' temporary laborers who are assigned to a third-party client for more than 90 days after April 1, 2024, will be entitled to receive the same rate of pay as a comparable directly hired employee." [Staffing Servs. Ass'n. of Ill. v. Flanagan, No. 23-16208 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 11, 2024)]  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Enrolled Actuary for Ascensus

Enrolled Actuary



View job as Enrolled Actuary for Ascensus

View job as Retirement Compliance Testing Coordinator for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Retirement Compliance Testing Coordinator

FuturePlan, by Ascensus


View job as Retirement Compliance Testing Coordinator for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Selected New Discussions

FSA Over Contribution for Prior Year

"Benefits dept found that an employee had overcontributed to FSA (2022) because of an employer error (having 2 deductions for FSA, 1 was not end-dated). It is now 2024, how does payroll refund the employee?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

NCPERS Announces New Pension Fund Roundtable for Member Services Directors

National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems [NCPERS]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

Annual Summit - Full Throttle: Navigating the Accelerating Benefits Landscape

May 15, 2024 WEBINAR

New England Employee Benefits Council [NEEBC]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

COBRA and Severance Agreements: Important Considerations for Employers

Fisher Phillips

Don't Set It and Forget It: Keeping Up Your Fiduciary Committee

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans Will See Effects of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2025


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BenefitsLink® Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595.

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