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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 20, 2024

5 New Job Opportunities 5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

PCORI Fee Deadline Just Around the Corner (PDF)

"PCORI fees are reported on IRS Form 720 Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, which includes a section specific to the PCORI fee. The version of Form 720 should indicate a revision date of June of the year in which the fee is being reported.... The Form 720 and PCORI fees are due annually by July 31 of the calendar year following the end- date of the policy or plan year to which the fee applies."  MORE >>

VCG Consultants

[Guidance Overview]

Reproductive Health Care Gets More Protection Under HIPAA

"Regulated Entities must adopt an attestation form and implement a process for administering the attestation form according to the Final Rule's requirements. Regulated Entities should also consider whether it will be more administratively straightforward to require attestations for all PHI requests that fall within 'non-healthcare' categories ... Because reproductive health care is such a broad concept, an across-the-board approach could limit the possibility that a Regulated Entity will fail to identify whether PHI is related to this type of care."  MORE >>

MZQ Consulting, LLC

[Guidance Overview]

'Final' Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Regs, Round 3: Impact on Employer Health Plans

"[T]he 2024 Final Rule will likely have the same challenging road as its predecessors. Litigation involving prior Section 1557 legislation remains pending in more than one federal district court. And, on May 6, 2024, mere days after the 2024 Final Rule was passed, the state of Florida filed a lawsuit on behalf of a religious medical group seeking an injunction against the 2024 Final Rule."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

Does Section 1557 Apply to Employer Group Health Plans? (And Why That Question May Not Even Matter)

"While most employer health plans will not be considered covered entities under the Final Rule (and, as such, will be exempt from many of the rule's process requirements), employers will likely determine they cannot impose such exclusions or limitations regardless, either by operation of the rule's impact on their third-party administrator, or due to other Federal laws."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

OPM Announces New 'Safe Leave' for Domestic Violence Victims

"[OPM] introduced a new form of paid leave designed for federal workers to use in connection with instances of domestic violence or other sexual or relationship-based trauma.... [T]he new safe leave will fall into a series of pre-existing leave categories, depending on what the federal employee intends to do while on leave. Feds may use annual leave to secure housing, seek help from a domestic violence-focused nonprofit, go to court, engage in safety planning or otherwise deal with the consequences of abusive behavior."  MORE >>

Government Executive

[Guidance Overview]

OPM Fact Sheet: Time Off for Safe Leave Purposes

"[This] guidance encourages departments and agencies to make maximum use of existing leave and work schedule flexibilities to the extent permitted by law to allow Federal employees time off for purposes related to seeking safety and recovering from domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or related forms of abuse or harassment. It also recognizes employees' important caregiving relationships with family members, including individuals with equivalent relationships regardless of biological or legal relationship as outlined in the broad family member definition used for sick leave."  MORE >>

U.S. Office of Personnel Management [OPM]

[Guidance Overview]

Contribution and Benefit Limits Announced for 2025

"[IRS] has provided these dollar limits well in advance of the 2025 open enrollment process. Plan sponsors should ensure the increased dollar limits are appropriately communicated to employees and participants. Payroll procedures should also be updated for 2025 to reflect these revised limits."  MORE >>

Winston & Strawn LLP

District Court Dismisses Class Action Seeking Wilderness Therapy Benefits

"[T]he court found no violation of MHPAEA on the face of the plans themselves because the plans' language broadly excluded any 'experimental, investigational, or unproven' treatment, whether for mental health/substance use disorders or medical/surgical benefits. Similarly, the court determined that plaintiffs' allegation that Cigna tailored its coverage guidelines to exclude mental health/substance use disorder treatment was purely speculative." [S.F. v. CIGNA Health & Life Ins. Co., No. 23-0213 (D. Utah May 1, 2024)]  MORE >>


Unlocking Transparency in PBM Pricing

"[L]arge PBMs, in particular, may make opaque models more appealing, even if its business practices aren't ideal. The complexity associated with PBM implementation may deter payers from making a change. And/or a PBM may be willing to offer pricing improvements to compensate for its lack of transparency. So, even if a payer wants more transparency, it can be incentivized to maintain the status quo."  MORE >>

MedCity News

ICHRA Growth Up Nearly 30% Since 2023

"ICHRA adoption grew 29% year over year between 2023 and 2024. ICHRAs grew 84% among employers with 50 or more employees. Among employers surveyed, 83% were not able to offer health benefits until they offered an ICHRA or Qualifying Small Employer HRA. 17% of employers switched from traditional group coverage."  MORE >>

Becker's Healthcare

Psychedelic Drug Therapy: Alternative Mental Health Benefits

"An increasing number of employers are offering their employees access to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, as part of their mental health coverage to treat depression, anxiety and PTSD -- and to lower costs."  MORE >>

BenefitsPro; free registration required

Using Member Engagement to Balance Personalization, Participation

"Health plans need to balance widespread participation and personalization for incentive programs to be successful; technology and meaningful communications are key."  MORE >>

HealthPayer Intelligence

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Disaster Relief Notice IA-2024-03, for Taxpayers Impacted by Severe Storms and Tornadoes in Iowa

"[I]ndividuals and businesses in Iowa that were affected by severe storms and tornadoes that occurred on April 26, 2024 ... now have until Oct. 15, 2024, to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.... [I]ndividuals and households that reside or have a business in Clarke, Harrison, Mills, Polk, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Shelby, and Union counties qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Retirement Solutions Specialists

Retirement Plan Administrator

Retirement Solutions Specialists

Remote / Jacksonville FL / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Retirement Solutions Specialists

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Bates & Company, Inc.

Retirement Plan Administrator

Bates & Company, Inc.

Remote / Winter Park FL

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Bates & Company, Inc.

View job as Retirement Plan Reviewer and Document Specialist for Karel-Gordon & Associates

Retirement Plan Reviewer and Document Specialist

Karel-Gordon & Associates

Remote / Deerfield IL

View job as Retirement Plan Reviewer and Document Specialist for Karel-Gordon & Associates

View job as ERISA Paralegal for Karel-Gordon & Associates

ERISA Paralegal

Karel-Gordon & Associates

Remote / Deerfield IL

View job as ERISA Paralegal for Karel-Gordon & Associates

View job as Employee Benefits Attorney for Hill Ward Henderson

Employee Benefits Attorney

Hill Ward Henderson

Tampa FL

View job as Employee Benefits Attorney for Hill Ward Henderson

Selected New Discussions

COBRA Deferred Loss of Coverage

"[An] employee terminates employment on May 2, 2024. By the terms of the fully insured policy, coverages ends on May 31, 2024.... [M]ost plan sponsors would continue 'active' coverage through May 31, then send a COBRA notice stating that they are eligible for COBRA starting on June 1, 2024 (and ending 18 months from June 1 and not from May 2).... [T]he COBRA rules default to an 18-month period based on the date of the qualifying event (here, termination) even if the loss of coverage occurs on a later date. However, the regulations allow plans to measure the 18-month COBRA period based on the date of the loss of coverage following the qualifying event.... [M]ost available wrap plan documents and policies either don't squarely address the issue or simply state that participants are eligible for COBRA based on a qualifying event without additional clarity (maybe by design). In practice, ... starting a full 18-month COBRA period on the day after the loss of coverage (June 1, in the example above) is far more prevalent, whether intentionally following the regulation or just out of routine."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Slavic401k Announces New Partnership with TriSpan LLP to Bolster Growth and Innovation in Retirement Savings Services

Slavic 401k

Pontera and Stifel Partner to Help 401(k) Participants Pursue Their Retirement Goal


AllianceBernstein Expands Retirement Income Offerings with AB Secure Income Portfolio


Blue Ridge Associates Acquires TSC 401K, a Leading Provider of Administration Solutions for Qualified Retirement Plan Benefits

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Business Group on Health Podcast Wins Top Accolades

Business Group on Health

Institutional Retirement Income Council Appoints Kevin Crain as Executive Director

Institutional Retirement Income Council

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

HSA University

July 11, 2024 WEBINAR


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

New HIPAA Rule Will Require Updates to Policies and Notices


HHS Bolsters Non-Discrimination Protections for Recipients of Covered Health Care Services and Activities

Sheppard Mullin

HHS Issues New ACA Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Regs


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

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