Health & Welfare

IRS Sheds Some Clarity on COBRA Premium Assistance

By Dannae Delano, Barry Salkin and Roberta Watson

Court Reviews Requirements for Providing Adequate Notice of COBRA Rights

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, in Green vs. FCA US, LLC, has ruled that a terminated employee could proceed with his claim against his former employer based on its failure to provide adequate notice of his right to health care continuation coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (“COBRA”).  

IRS Finally Releases Guidance Implementing COBRA Subsidies but Leaves Important Questions Unanswered

By Dannae Delano, Barry Salkin and Roberta Casper Watson

OOP Limits and Marketplace Special Enrollment Period

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the inflation-adjusted maximum out-of-pocket (OOP) limits that will apply to non-grandfathered plans for plan years beginning in 2022.  The OOP limit includes the plan’s deductible and cost sharing for essential health benefits (EHBs) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). HHS has also clarified the duration of the special open ...

Important Benefit Plan Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

By Dannae Delano, Israel Goldowitz, Barry Salkin and Roberta Casper Watson

Court Says Welfare Plan Fiduciary Breached Duties by Misusing Participant Contributions

A federal district court in the Western District of Virginia has held, in Hammer v. Johnson Senior Ctr., that the fiduciary for a welfare plan violated its duties of loyalty, care and prudence by misusing a health plan participant’s premium payments to pay operating expenses of the employer. 

Surprise DOL Guidance on Conclusion of One-Year ERISA Compliance Relief Period

By Dannae Delano and Barry Salkin Even with widespread bipartisan support, it can be difficult to draft legislation to address all possible contingencies. In the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, Congress enacted ERISA §518 and Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) §7508A, which generally allow the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury to disregarded a period of time of less than one year in ...

IRS Guidance on Flexible Spending Account Relief Under CAA

The IRS has issued Notice 2021-15 (“Notice”) to provide clarification on the flexible spending account (“FSA”) relief contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”). The Notice also extends cafeteria plan election relief, and provides guidance on adopting plan amendments to implement these optional changes. 

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.

Federal Agencies Extend Deadlines for COBRA and Health Plan Claims, Appeals, and Special Enrollments

In coordination, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Internal Revenue Service (collectively, the “Agencies”) have extended deadlines for multiple events important to health plan administration that will apply to ERISA-governed plans and governmental plans.  Third-party administrators and COBRA administrators will need to program for these extensions, and ...