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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 12, 2024

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Can a Qualified Educational Assistance Program Be Used to Repay Employees' Student Loans? (PDF)

"Educational assistance programs under Code Section 127 currently can be used to help employees repay certain student loans, but this benefit is only available for a limited time and certain restrictions apply. "  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Ninth Circuit Opinion: Plausible Allegation of More Stringent Review of MH/SUD Claims in Violation of MHPAEA Survives Motion to Dismiss (PDF)

"[An] ERISA plan can violate the Parity Act ... by applying ... a more stringent internal process to MH/SUD claims than to medical/surgical claims. A plaintiff ... may be able to allege a plausible claim without having to allege a categorical practice or differential treatment for his or her medical/surgical claims. It is enough for such a plaintiff to allege the existence of a procedure used in assessing MH/SUD benefit claims that is more restrictive than those used in assessing medical/surgical claims under the same classification[.]" [Ryan S. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., No. 22-55761 (9th Cir. Apr. 11, 2024)]  MORE >>

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Fifth Circuit: Employee Must Provide Adequate Notice of Need for FMLA Leave

"The Fifth Circuit observed that while the employer knew about the father’s condition, the employee did not express an intent or desire to take leave, let alone FMLA leave. Accordingly, it determined that that was insufficient to put the employer on notice that the employee intended to take leave or that that leave qualified for FMLA protection." [Cerda v. Blue Cube Operations, No. 23-40404 (5th Cir. Mar. 19, 2024)]  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

Physician with Long COVID Wins Claim Seeking Long-Term Benefits

"The ruling offers a lesson to claimants on how to prove a disability claim involving long COVID, but also teaches insurers what not to do.... Although the court ... acknowledged that Unum may have had some basis for questioning Abrams' claim due to the absence of definitive objective test results, the court was convinced by the consistency of the medical findings presented." [Whitehouse v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of America, No. 22-1736 (D. Minn. Mar. 21, 2024)]  MORE >>

DeBofsky Law

HSAs vs. PPOs: Impact of Plan Type on Use of Health Care Services and Spending.

"Inpatient admissions and days were higher in HSA plans than in PPOs.... HSA plan enrollees used emergency departments less than PPO enrollees.... HSA plan enrollees filled fewer prescriptions as compared with PPO enrollees.... Among individuals with no health conditions, HSA plans resulted in fewer emergency department visits relative to PPO enrollees, fewer specialist visits, and fewer prescription drug fills, while visits to primary care providers increased."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Evaluating HSA Providers

"Retirement and health experts encourage the use of health savings account, but also warn that not all HSA providers are the same when it comes to fee structures and investment options.... [A]llowing participants to select their own HSA provider could enable participants to seek different investment options, but it would dramatically reduce the operational efficiency for the employer."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Compliance Officer for New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds

Compliance Officer

New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds

New York NY

View job as Compliance Officer for New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds

View job as Senior Health Benefits Consultant for The Segal Group

Senior Health Benefits Consultant

The Segal Group


View job as Senior Health Benefits Consultant for The Segal Group

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for Definiti

Retirement Plan Consultant



View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for Definiti

Press Releases

IRALOGIX Announces CEO Transition


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Health and Welfare Benefits Monthly Update, April 2024 (PDF)

Alston & Bird

Are Annual Fees Charged by Concierge Doctors Considered an Eligible Medical Expense for Reimbursement from an HSA or FSA?

Burnham Benefits

Employers Must Remain Vigilant in Addressing IRS Letters 226J for Employer Shared Responsibility Payments

Laner Muchin

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

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