Health and Welfare Plans

In our January 2022 update, we discussed new federal requirements that group health plans should pay close attention to in 2022.  The sponsor of a self-funded plan will need to work closely with its legal counsel, benefits consultant, and administrative services only (ASO) provider or other third-party administrator (collectively, TPA) to modify its plan

On February 4, the tri-agencies (DOL, HHS and Treasury) issued new FAQs on the requirement for group health plans and issuers to cover over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests without cost-sharing, prior authorization, or other medical management requirements. We discussed the tri-agencies’ initial FAQs in our prior blog post.

The coverage requirement is still in place, but these new FAQs provide clarifications in response to the tri-agencies’ receipt of stakeholder questions—primarily about the “safe harbor” permitting the limit of reimbursements to $12 per test (or actual cost, if less) if the test is purchased outside a direct coverage program.
Continue Reading New FAQs Clarify Prior Agency Guidance on Requirement to Cover OTC COVID-19 Tests

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

New cybersecurity developments and observations, including those relating to U.S. Department of Labor review of cybersecurity issues, warrant prompt consideration by plan fiduciaries, including those plans covered by HIPAA.  The following update includes recommendations to help ERISA retirement and health and welfare plan sponsors and responsible fiduciaries protect benefit plans and participants against cybersecurity risks

There are many new and expanding legal requirements for group health plans and issuers of group health plan coverage to pay attention to this year. Many of these requirements were enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which passed in December 2020. This update describes the key legal requirements that we are

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 IRS has issued Notice 2021-61 and Revenue Procedure 2021-45 setting forth its annual employee benefit plan limitations for 2022. Key changes, placed in bold in the chart below, include the following:

  • Code Section 402(g) limitation on elective deferrals increased from $19,500 to $20,500.
  • Code Section 408(p) limitation on elective deferrals for SIMPLE retirement account plans increased from $13,500 to $14,000.
  • Code Section 415(c) maximum annual additions increased from $58,000 to $61,000.
  • Compensation limit under Code Section 401(a)(17) increased from $290,00 to $305,000.
  • HDHP Out of Pocket Maximum increased from $7,000 to $7,050 for self-only coverage and from $14,000 to $14,100 for family coverage.
  • HSA Maximum Contribution Limit increased from $6,000 to $3,650 for self-only coverage and from $7,200 to $7,300 for family coverage.
  • All adoption assistance limits and thresholds have increased.
  • All QSEHRA and Archer MSA limits increased.
  • Parking and transit fringe benefit contribution limits increased from $270 to $280 per month.


Continue Reading 2022 IRS Annual Employee Benefit Plan Limit Updates

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