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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 28, 2024

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

HHS Final Rule Amends HIPAA Privacy Rules Post-Dobbs

"HHS has created a new definition of 'reproductive health care' to help regulated entities determine whether a request for the use or disclosure of PHI includes the types of PHI implicated by the Final Rule."  MORE >>

Trucker Huss

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Presentation: The Family and Medical Leave Act (PDF)

64 presentation slides. Topics: [1] Introduction to the FMLA; [2] Family relationships under the FMLA; [3] FMLA-protected leave reasons; [4] Taking FMLA leave; [5] Administering FMLA leave; [6] Employee rights; and [7] Helpful resources.  MORE >>

Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Fifth Circuit Reverses Nationwide Injunction on ACA Preventive Services Mandate

"On appeal, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's holding that the PSTF members were not properly appointed but reversed the district court's vacatur and nationwide injunction, and thereby limited relief to only the plaintiffs who filed the case." [Braidwood Mgmt, Inc. v. Becerra, No. 23-10326 (5th Cir. Jun. 21, 2024)]  MORE >>

Miller & Chevalier

DOL Settlements Remind Employers to Avoid Collecting Premiums Until Evidence of Insurability Is Approved

"To avoid potentially having to pay a life insurance claim out of its own pocket, the employer should have a process in place to ensure that it does not collect premiums from employees until coverage has been approved by the insurer, including approval of any EOI. Consistent with what is suggested in the terms of the settlement agreements, a number of courts have held that an employer breaches its fiduciary duty under ERISA if it collects premiums for life insurance coverage that is not in effect."  MORE >>


Court Allows Class Action Challenging Wellness Program Incentives to Continue (PDF)

"The employees argued that the increased premium was a significant penalty that coerced employees into participating in the screening, rendering the program involuntary. The employer argued that the increase represented the original costs of the premium and that employees choosing to undergo the screening merely received a discount. The court explained that the ADA does not include a definition of the term 'voluntary' and that whether a program is voluntary is a question of fact." [Diment v. Quad/Graphics, Inc., No. 23-1173 (N.D. Ill. Jun. 11, 2024)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Prescription Drugs and Access to Care

"The highest spending occurs with meds that treat diabetes, cancer, autoimmune conditions, and respiratory diseases. Brand-name drugs make up 80 percent of the money spent on medicine in the U.S. Humira, a biologic that treats inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and Crohn's Disease, generated $14.4 billion in just 2023 alone."  MORE >>

The Baldwin Group

The Impact of Expanding Pre-Deductible Coverage in HSA-Eligible Health Plans on Medication Adherence

"[The authors] used claims data to quantify the effect of expanding pre-deductible coverage on medication adherence among enrollees with certain chronic conditions. [They] found some evidence that expanding pre-deductible coverage in HSA-eligible health plans increased medication adherence in 2022, but not earlier."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

When Are Employer-Provided Cell Phones a Taxable Fringe Benefit? (PDF)

"Business use of an employer-provided cell phone may be treated as a nontaxable working condition fringe benefit without substantiation, so long as the phone is provided 'primarily for noncompensatory business purposes.' ... The IRS has indicated that a similar analysis applies to employer-provided reimbursement of employees' personal cell phone expenses. "  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

2024 Global Benefits Financing Matrix and Poolable Coverages

"Multinational companies are increasingly looking at their global employee benefit programs around the world to see how they can bring more value to employees support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and other global initiatives; and save costs around the world. Multinational pooling, captive financing and other cross-border approaches can all support these goals."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

Readout of White House Meeting with State Paid Leave Administrators

"Participating administrators represented Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington state, and Washington, D.C. ... Representatives from the Department of Treasury announced that the agency is working on guidance on the tax treatment of state paid family and medical leave programs that would provide greater clarity to existing and future programs."  MORE >>

Executive Office of the President


Braidwood v. Becerra: The Threat to Preventive Services Just Got Worse

"[W]hile the Fifth Circuit did not decide the fate of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) or the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) -- the bodies that recommend vaccines, contraceptives and other preventive services -- it provided new legal ammunition to undermine them." [Braidwood Mgmt, Inc. v. Becerra, No. 23-10326 (5th Cir. Jun. 21, 2024)]   MORE >>

Health Affairs Forefront

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Disaster Relief Notice MS-2024-11, for Taxpayers in Mississippi

"[I]ndividuals and businesses in Mississippi that were affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and flooding that began on April 8, 2024 ... now have until Nov. 1, 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 Hancock, Hinds, Humphreys, Madison, Neshoba, and Scott counties qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

IRS Disaster Relief Notice IA-2024-08, for Taxpayers in Iowa

"[I]ndividuals and businesses in Iowa that were affected by severe storms, flooding, straight-line winds, and tornadoes that began on June 16, 2024 ... now have until Nov.1, 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 Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, and Sioux counties qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Supreme Court Ends Judicial Deference to Federal Agency Expertise

"Chief Justice John Roberts said the 1946 Administrative Procedures Act dictates that the judiciary, not federal agencies, resolve questions of law according to their own judgment. He said courts can still consider agency interpretations, particularly if Congress specifically writes into statute that an agency must determine how to define particular terms, but judges are not required to defer to them. 'Perhaps most fundamentally, Chevron's presumption is misguided because agencies have no special competence in resolving statutory ambiguities,' Roberts wrote. 'Courts do.' " [Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo, Sec. of Comm., No. 22-451 (S. Ct. Jun. 28, 2024)[  MORE >>

Government Executive

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant - 401(k) and/or DB for Compensation Planning Inc.

Retirement Plan Consultant - 401(k) and/or DB

Compensation Planning Inc.

Remote / Warwick RI

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant - 401(k) and/or DB for Compensation Planning Inc.

View job as Defined Contribution Compliance Consultant for Loren D. Stark Company

Defined Contribution Compliance Consultant

Loren D. Stark Company


View job as Defined Contribution Compliance Consultant for Loren D. Stark Company

View job as Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst

FuturePlan, by Ascensus


View job as Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

View job as Regional Sales Director for Definiti

Regional Sales Director



View job as Regional Sales Director for Definiti

Selected New Discussions

Insured Welfare Plan Sponsor Change in Ownership Mid-5500 Plan Year

"Company was purchased by another in October. Calendar year plan year for welfare benefit plans. It was a quick sale apparently with no contractual guidance on sponsorship of the benefits, but they continued through the end of the year (& actually still continue). They are planning to have the 5500 filed under the name of the original owner who contracted the insurance carriers file for the full plan year. Ever seen where they file a short plan year and close out the plan, and the new owner would take over the 5500 filing for the last few months for another short plan year? Or very simply show the new owner as the plan sponsor as of a 12/31 snapshot of the plan?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

EPIC Announces Key Leadership Appointments


OneAmerica Financialâ„  Now Offering Non-Qualified Compensation Plans


IRI Announces Changes to Executive Committee, Board of Directors

Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Health & Welfare Plans)

ERISA Fiduciary Risk and Best Practices: What Benefits Professionals Need to Know

July 11, 2024 WEBINAR

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP [SGR]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Why Group Medical Stop-Loss Captives and Level-Funded Plans Don’t Mix

McDermott Will & Emery

ACA Employer Mandate and Reporting FAQs


Employer Health and Benefit Strategies for 2025


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

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