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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

July 8, 2024

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

If We Recently Distributed ERISA Welfare Plan SPDs to Participants, Must Another Copy Be Provided to a Participant Who Requests One? (PDF)

"The short answer is yes, you should provide the additional copy. Nothing in ERISA eliminates the obligation to provide a requested SPD just because it was previously provided in the normal course.... [T]he requirement to provide copies of plan documents upon request seems intended to protect participants who may have lost previously furnished materials. And failing to provide a copy exposes your company to substantial civil penalties."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

SCOTUS and Group Health Plans: Notable Decisions from the 2024 Term, and Upcoming Cases to Watch

"The Supreme Court overturned the doctrine of Chevron deference ... preserved access to the abortion drug mifepristone ... [and] reinstated the lower court ruling that temporarily allows hospitals in Idaho to perform emergency abortions to protect the life or health of the mother.... Cases to watch in the 2025 term: ... The Supreme Court will decide a circuit court split over whether former employees may sue their employers under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for discrimination in post-employment benefits.... [and] has agreed to hear a challenge to the Sixth Circuit decision upholding Tennessee's ban on gender-affirming care for minors."  MORE >>

Winston & Strawn LLP

Eleventh Circuit Finds Father's Absences Pre-Delivery of Child Not Covered by FMLA Leave

"The court explained that the FMLA and accompanying rules only provide parental leave for the birth of a child. They do not mention pre-birth absences. For married parents, the FMLA could require leave for the non-birthing parent if needed to provide companionship for medical needs leading up to the birth. However, these protections do not extend to non-married parents." [Tanner v. Stryker Corp. of Michigan, No. 22-14188 (11th Cir. Jun. 20, 2024)]  MORE >>

Parker Poe

Employer Considerations for Health Plan Coverage of GLP-1 Drugs

"[1] The GLP-1 drugs are highly effective and likely to be approved for new indications in addition to obesity and diabetes.... [2] Weight regain is common after discontinuation of GLP-1 drugs.... [3] More GLP-1 drugs are coming, some are more effective and convenient, which could bring more competition and potentially lower unit cost ... [4] Many vendors promise to manage utilization of GLP-1 medications, but most programs are too new to have proven outcomes.... [5] Benefit design and utilization management programs can lead to loss of rebates."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

Microsoft Settles California Probe Over Worker Leave for $14 Million

"Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), opens new tab has agreed to pay $14 million to settle a California agency's claims that it illegally penalized workers who took medical or family-care leave ... The California Civil Rights Department in filings in state court accused the tech giant of retaliating against its California-based employees who used parental, disability, pregnancy and family-care leave since 2017 by denying them raises, promotions and stock awards."  MORE >>

Reuters; free registration may be required

HHS Announces $950,000 Settlement for Potential HIPAA Security Rule Violations

"The settlement involved a ransomware attack at an integrated health provider network (and HIPAA covered entity) that delivers health care in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. The provider must pay $950,000 to HHS and comply with a three-year corrective action plan (CAP) that HHS will monitor."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Household Health Care Payments Under Rate Setting, Spending Growth Target, and Single-Payer Policies

"In this cross-sectional microsimulation analysis, single-payer health care financed by income and payroll taxes made mean payments more progressive, decreasing from 27% to 15% of compensation for the lowest-income households and increasing from 27% to 31% for the highest-income households. Modest rate setting benefitted lower-income households due to slightly improved access, while spending growth targets reduced payments slightly for all households."  MORE >>

JAMA Health Forum

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

DOL Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2024: Includes New Reg Project

Changes to benefits-related items from EBSA and from the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) from the Fall 2023 DOL Regulatory Agenda:

Added to Proposed Rule Stage: [1210-AC14] Requirements Related to Advanced Explanation of Benefits and Other Provisions Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Official Guidance]

IRS Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2024

Changes from the Fall 2023 IRS Regulatory Agenda:

Added to Prerule stage: [1545-BQ98] Request for Information: SECURE 2.0 Section 319 -- Effectiveness of Reporting and Disclosure Requirements

Added to Proposed Rule stage: [1545-BN47] Minimum Vesting Standards  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS], U.S. Department of the Treasury

Federal District Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against FTC Rule Banning Non-Competes

"Absent an interlocutory appeal or a substantial change in the court's reasoning, it appears the Ryan court is poised to strike down the rule prior to its scheduled effective date when it issues its ultimate decision on the merits in August. While the FTC rule is technically still alive as to parties other than the plaintiffs in Ryan, it is on life support at best, and employers should be able to take some comfort that the rule will not survive." [Ryan LLC v. Federal Trade Commission (no. 24-0986 (N.D. Tex. Jul. 3, 2024)]  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Supreme Court's Rejection of Chevron Deference Could Upend Employee Plan Compliance

"Plan sponsors who want to challenge regulations will have an easier job ... It will be easy to find new businesses to challenge even old regulations under the new limitations rule established in Corner Post. No regulation may be safe from challenge.... The practice of changing regulations as administrations change may be discouraged if there is no automatic deference." [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 >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

Supreme Court Decides That Parties May Facially Challenge Regs – No Matter How Old – Within Six Years of Injury

"By holding that accrual occurs when the party seeking to challenge final agency action is first injured by it, the Court has opened the courthouse doors to parties who have been newly injured by old regulations ... This means that regulations that are reviewable under the APA may always be subject to direct, facial challenge, so long as someone has newly experienced an injury from the regulation." [Corner Post v. Bd. of Gov. of the Federal Reserve System, No. 22-1008 (S. Ct. Jul. 1, 2024)]  MORE >>

Wiley Rein LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Pension Plan Administrator for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Pension Plan Administrator

DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Remote / Overland Park KS / Hybrid

View job as Pension Plan Administrator for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

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

Selected New Discussions

Welfare Plan: Single Vs Multiple Employer Plan

"Company buys another smaller company and keeps its operations separate with its own EIN. But all employees are in the owner company's medical and benefit plans. No specific joinder agreement was signed. Two options of how to treat:

  • Continue filing as Single ER
  • Make them sign a joinder agreement and identify as multiple ER plan, with the understanding that prior year is being signed as Multiple ER based on currently signed Joinder agreement"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

401GO Launches Mobile App to Enhance Retirement Planning Experience


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Two Circuit Courts Extend Non-Discrimination Protections for Transgender Individuals

Groom Law Group

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


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

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