Health & Welfare

Wagner Law Group

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. 

1557 Rule Changes and Bostock

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced on June 12, 2020, as part of a new final regulation (the “Final Rule”), that it had eliminated Obama-era nondiscrimination rules under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) that defined the term “on the basis of sex” to include gender identity, sex stereotyping, and pregnancy, reasoning that this interpretation was an ...

IRS Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Leave Donation Programs

The IRS has issued Notice 2020-46 to explain the tax consequences of employer-based COVID-19 leave donation programs.

ACA Out-of-Pocket Limit and PCORI Fee Announced

HHS and IRS have announced inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket (“OOP”) limits that will apply to non-grandfathered health plans for plan years beginning in 2021, and the indexed PCORI fee. The OOP limit includes the plan’s deductible and cost-sharing amounts for benefits that are considered essential health benefits (“EHBs”) under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). 

DOL and IRS Extend Certain Deadlines for Welfare Plans and Participants

The DOL and IRS have issued COVID-19 related guidance that temporarily extends certain deadlines applicable to welfare plans and their participants and beneficiaries.    

IRS Announces 2021 HSA Limits

The IRS has announced the 2021 calendar year dollar limits for health savings account (“HSA”) contributions, and the minimum deductible amounts and maximum out-of-pocket expenses for high deductible health plans (“HDHPs”). By law, these limits are indexed annually to adjust for inflation. 

IRS Relaxes Rules for Cafeteria Plan Mid-Year Election Changes

The IRS, in Notice 2020-29, has relaxed the mid-year election change rules for cafeteria plans due to the nature of the public health emergency imposed by COVID-19, extended grace and carryover periods for certain plans, and clarified the rules for HSA contributions.

DOL Issues Revised COBRA Notices

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued updated versions of its model general notice and model election notice to ensure that qualified beneficiaries better understand the interactions between Medicare and COBRA.