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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 5, 2024

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues FAQs on Educational Assistance Programs and Provides Sample Plan Document

"[E]mployers need not offer reimbursements for all expenses that can be reimbursed tax-free under the rules. An employer's program could limit the courses that are eligible ... or the expenses that can be reimbursed. Reimbursement could also be conditioned on attaining a specified minimum grade or remaining employed with an employer for a certain amount of time after completing the education. A program could also include per-employee or aggregate reimbursement limits (or both). Some, but not all, of these options are reflected in the IRS's sample plan."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Two Circuit Courts Extend Non-Discrimination Protections for Transgender Individuals

"The cases in the Eleventh and Fourth Circuits are some of the first cases addressing the interplay of federal non-discrimination rules and coverage of gender affirming care, with numerous cases pending in both district and appellate courts.... [T]hese cases represent an initial set of authority on the scope of federal nondiscrimination provisions that could impact the coverage of gender-affirming care for employers, the group health plans they sponsor, third-party administrators, and health insurance issuers." [Lange v. Houston County, Georgia., No. 22-13626 (11th Cir. May 13, 2024); Kadel v. Folwell, No. 22-1721 (4th Cir. Apr. 29, 2024)]  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Eleventh Circuit Hands Win to Reliance Standard in Dispute over Accidental Death Insurance Benefits Where Body Was Never Found

"[T]he Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court's decision ordering Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company to pay $500,000 in accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) benefits to an insured's beneficiaries, where the insured died while mountain climbing but his body was never recovered. The court found that Reliance Standard's decision to deny AD&D benefits was not arbitrary and capricious and directed the district court to enter judgment in Reliance's favor." [Goldfarb v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., No. 23-10309 (11th Cir. July 2, 2024)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

Don't Forget About ERISA in Your Health Plan's Cybersecurity Efforts

"If your company sponsors an ERISA-governed health plan, you should strongly consider adopting the DOL's Cybersecurity Program Best Practices to help mitigate cybersecurity risks and withstand any DOL scrutiny in the event of an attack. Since the DOL initially developed this guidance with retirement plans in mind, you may need to make adjustments to fit the specific needs of your health plan."  MORE >>

Fisher Phillips

Walmart’s MeMD Sale Is Another Retail Healthcare Failure

"The announcement continues a trend of disruptors backing out of the retail primary care space after unsuccessful attempts to make a profit. Walgreens, CVS Health, and Rite Aid have both curbed their healthcare plans amid business struggles and a selloff of pharmacies, while Amazon recently announced plans to consolidate its virtual care and primary care services on one platform."  MORE >>

HealthLeaders Media


New Anti-Obesity Medications Should Be Considered Preventive Health Care

"As new benefits are being discovered, and the value of known benefits still being determined, where GLP-1s fit within our health care paradigm, and which federal entity will oversee their access and cost issues, remain open questions. The US Preventive Services Task Force [USPSTF] is reportedly developing a draft research plan that will consider whether to grade anti-obesity medications as preventive medications for chronic weight management."  MORE >>

Health Affairs Forefront

Benefits in General

Supreme Court Opens Door to New Legal Challenges to Federal Regs, Both New and Old

"In the short term, this is likely to bring about some destabilizing changes in regulatory frameworks, as long-settled regulations are subjected to new and more searching judicial inquiry. Over the long term, however, Loper Bright may bring more stability to regulated industries.... [T]he impact of Corner Post turns largely on the ability for parties to ask for and receive universal vacatur of agency regulations -- as opposed to merely party-specific relief." [Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo, Sec. of Comm., No. 22-451 (S. Ct. Jun. 28, 2024); Corner Post v. Bd. of Gov. of the Federal Reserve System, No. 22-1008 (S. Ct. Jul. 1, 2024)]  MORE >>


FTC Noncompete Rule Enjoined – But No Nationwide Impact

"The FTC's Rule largely banning employment-based noncompetes has been blocked by a Texas District Court ...But the injunctive relief against enforcement only applies in that Texas case.... The District Court in Texas indicated that it will issue a further plenary decision on the merits by Aug. 30 ... All eyes now turn to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to see whether [that] court, ... where a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, will follow or contradict the Texas ruling." [Ryan LLC v. Federal Trade Commission (no. 24-0986 (N.D. Tex. Jul. 3, 2024)]  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Service Representative for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Retirement Plan Service Representative

DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Overland Park KS / MO

View job as Legal Counsel, ERISA Fiduciary Services for Guideline

Legal Counsel, ERISA Fiduciary Services


CA / Hybrid

View job as Legal Counsel, ERISA Fiduciary Services for Guideline

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Professional Benefit Services, Inc.

Retirement Plan Administrator

Professional Benefit Services, Inc.

Remote / Salem OR

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Professional Benefit Services, Inc.

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Open Season for Regulatory Challenges: Supreme Court Overturns Chevron Deference and Expands Opportunities to Attack Federal Rules

Groom Law Group

The End of Chevron Deference and Its Impact on Employee Benefits

Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.

Who Could Forget the ACA's Section 1557?

MZQ Consulting, LLC

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

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