On January 27, 2002, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bills 1732 and 1733 into law, officially delaying the assessment of WA Cares Fund premiums until July 1, 2023.  As a result, WA Cares Fund benefits will not be available until July 1, 2026.  These delays give state lawmakers additional time to resolve key issues

Today, Washington Governor Jay Inslee released a statement clarifying his earlier statement about delaying the assessment of WA Cares Fund premiums.  (Our earlier blog entry is here.)  In today’s clarification, the Governor appears to be saying that employers still have a choice to make about whether to collect and remit WA Cares Fund premiums,

See our December 23, 2021 update to this alert here: Washington Governor Attempts to Clarify WA Cares Fund Premium Collection | Employee Benefits (perkinscoiebenefitsblog.com)

On December 17, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, and House Speaker Laurie Jinkins issued a joint statement that included the Governor’s intention to direct the State’s Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposed regulation on October 14, 2021, that would clarify how fiduciaries of private sector employee benefit plans should apply ERISA’s fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty when making investment decisions and exercising shareholder rights. In part, the DOL’s changes to its “Investment Duties” regulation (29 C.F.R. § 

On June 17, 2021, the Supreme Court rejected another attempt to dismantle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) in its highly-anticipated decision in Texas v. California.  However, instead of ruling on the central issue in the case—whether the ACA was rendered unconstitutional when Congress eliminated the individual tax penalty for failing to

On June 14, 2021, the Department Labor (“DOL”) issued Information Letter 06-14-2021 to address whether ERISA requires plan fiduciaries to produce audio recordings and transcripts of telephone conversations between plan insurers and claimants.

The issue arose from a plan insurer’s denial of a claimant’s request for an audio recording.  When it denied the request, the

On July 1, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and Office of Personnel Management issued their first installment of interim final surprise billing regulations.  As explained in a prior post, the regulations implement new requirements for group health plans, health insurance issuers, and healthcare providers and facilities that were imposed by the bipartisan No Surprises Act, which was enacted as part of a 2020 appropriations act.  The rules, “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part I,” prohibit surprise or balance billing for certain healthcare services.

One important aspect of the new surprise billing regulations for sponsors of group health plans and health insurance companies is its effect on billing for emergency services, out-of-network air ambulance services, and certain out-of-network services provided at an in-network facility.  If a plan or policy provides or covers any emergency services, they must
Continue Reading Federal Agencies Release Interim Final Surprise Billing Regulations

The Internal Revenue Service released updates to its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”) in Revenue Procedure 2021-30.  Key changes to the EPCRS include:

  • Extending the self-correction period for significant operational failures from two to three years, effective July 16, 2021;
  • Eliminating the requirement that retroactive plan amendments for self correction benefit all plan

On June 8, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent proposed regulations limiting surprise billing to the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”).  The proposed regulations would implement the bipartisan No Surprises Act, which was enacted as part of a 2020 appropriations act.  OMB must review the proposed regulations before

The Department of Health and Human Services has stated that it will restore transgender and LGBTQ+ health care protections. Under the Trump Administration, HHS had defined the term “sex” narrowly to mean gender assigned at birth. This had the consequence of excluding transgender and other LGBTQ+ individuals from protection against discrimination in health care. The