Latest Industry News
We keep you up-to-date with the latest ERISA news articles related to welfare, benefits and health. Our news section offers extensive industry-related news with great in-depth analysis.
Get Ready – New COBRA Subsidies Coming April 1!
Much has been written about the stimulus checks and vaccine aid that are major elements of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which was enacted last week, but the Act also includes a number of other lesser-known elements designed to provide relief to struggling Americans, and employers need [...]
New Disclosure Requirements Included in Stimulus Bill
While the most widely discussed elements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) relate to monetary relief for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the act also includes new disclosure requirements for brokers and consultants providing services to ERISA health plans. Additionally, it effectively lays responsibility for policing compliance [...]
Are Your EAP and Wellness Program Subject to ERISA and COBRA?
Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), employee welfare benefit plans are subject to certain fiduciary rules, claims procedures and plan document requirements (including providing participants with a Summary Plan Description (SPD) and possibly also filing a Form 5500 annual return). The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act [...]
COVID-19 Relief May Require Prompt Employer Action
Over the past several months, there has been a spate of federal legislation and corresponding guidance related to COVID-19 that requires group health plan changes and allows voluntary changes aimed at removing barriers to care and minimizing the impact of the pandemic on employees’ pocketbooks. Mandatory changes include first-dollar coverage [...]
HHS Issues Report to Address Surprise Medical Billing
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the HHS Secretary’s Report on Addressing Surprise Billing which was required under President Trump’s Executive Order 13877. The Report calls for steps, including Congressional action, to combat surprise billing and promote pricing transparency, with the following principles in mind: [...]
New COBRA Compliance Developments May Require Employer Action
A constellation of recent developments related to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) should prompt employers to take action to ensure there are no errors or omissions in their communications and procedures that could invite legal or regulatory penalties. COBRA is the government mandate that allows employees [...]
Departments Issue Additional Guidance Related to COVID-19 Legislation
coronavirus The Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury (the Departments) have jointly issued a new set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ #43) to provide additional guidance regarding the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the FFCRA), [...]
Trump Administration Announces New Drug Importation Rules to Reduce Costs
Earlier this week, the Trump Administration issued a 172-page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that, if finalized, would allow for the importation of certain prescription drugs and biologic products from Canada. The Administration also announced the availability of draft guidance on how manufacturers can import certain FDA-approved products that were [...]
WILL YOU BE AFFECTED BY NEW LABOR SECRETARY SCALIA?
The U.S. Senate voted last week to approve President Trump’s nomination of Eugene Scalia to the role of Secretary of Labor. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Eugene Scalia is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was also Department of Labor (DOL) Solicitor General [...]
A TALE OF TWO FIDUCIARIES
Eric and Denise Kinsinger sued Eric’s employer, SmartCore, LLC, because its health plan failed to cover Denise’s hysterectomy despite preauthorization from the plan’s TPA. In addition to suing the corporation, the Kinsingers named plan administrators Steven Matthew Good and William H. Winn, Jr., personally as defendants for their roles as [...]