Health & Welfare

Wagner Law Group

Ninth Circuit Rejects Request for Attorney’s Fees in ERISA Administrative Appeal

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held, in Castillo v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co.,  that ERISA does not authorize an award of attorney’s fees incurred during the administrative phase of the ERISA claims process. 

DOL Releases New FMLA Forms

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has released updated Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) forms. 

Federal District Court Invalidates Portions of the Final DOL Rules Implementing the Paid Leave Provisions of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

By Dannae Delano, Barry Salkin and Roberta Casper Watson

Employees May Choose Between Profit Sharing Plan and HRA Contributions

In Private Letter Ruling 202023001, the IRS has ruled that collectively bargained employees can allocate employer contributions between a profit sharing plan and a health reimbursement arrangement (“HRA”) without creating a 401(k) plan or violating the rules for HRAs.

IRS Releases ACA Affordability Rates for 2021

The Internal Revenue Service has issued Revenue Procedure 2020-36 to implement the 2021 index adjustments for certain Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) contribution percentages used to determine affordability under the employer shared responsibility mandate.

Additional COVID-19 FAQs from the DOL

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued additional Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) on the administration of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (“EPSL”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave (“EFMLA”) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).

Agencies To Provide More Flexibility for Grandfathered Group Health Plans

The Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), and the IRS (collectively, the “Agencies”) have issued proposed regulations that would provide greater flexibility for plan sponsors that wish to retain their group health plans’ “grandfathered” status under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

COVID-19 Leave and Summer Camp Closures

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-4 ("FAB 2020-4") to provide guidance on when an employee may take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to care for his or her child due to the closure of a summer camp, or other summer program for COVID-19 related reasons.

Agencies Issue Further Guidance on COVID-19

The Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, and the IRS (the “Agencies”) have issued Frequently Asked Questions #43 (“FAQs”) regarding implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), and other health coverage issues related to COVID-19.

Massachusetts Announces Individual Mandate Figures for 2021

Although the penalties under the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate were eliminated in 2017, Massachusetts has continued its own individual health insurance mandate as well as associated penalties for failure to comply.