Topic: Health and Welfare Plans

New ERISA Case Results in Another Assignment for Today – Ensure your Group Health Plan’s Claims Administrator is Raising Anti-Assignment during the Claims and Appeals Process!

Anti-assignment clauses in ERISA health plans are useful to plan sponsors in fending off lawsuits by out-of-network providers. Federal courts have consistently upheld anti-assignment provisions contained in the plan document and/or the summary plan description (SPD); however, a recent ERISA case serves as a warning about the unintentional waiver of anti-assignment provisions.

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IRS Announces 2021 Retirement Plan Limits – Most Limits Remain Unchanged

The Internal Revenue Service announced the 2021 cost-of-living adjustments to the dollar ‎limitations for qualified retirement plans and other benefits, and the Social Security ‎Administration announced its own cost-of-living adjustments for 2021. Most of the dollar limits, ‎including the elective deferral contribution limit for 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans and the ‎dollar limit for catch-up contributions (if age 50 or older), will remain unchanged from 2020 ‎limits.‎

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Helpful FAQ Guidance Issued to Assist Group Health Plans With Implementing COVID-19 Coverage Requirements of the FFCRA and CARES Act

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury jointly ‎released additional frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) regarding implementation of ‎the health coverage provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ‎‎(“FFCRA”); the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), and ‎other health coverage issues related to COVID-19.‎

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FAQs Provide Guidance on COVID-19 Testing and Diagnosis Requirements Affecting Employer Health Plans

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (collectively, the ‎‎“Departments”) jointly issued FAQ guidance regarding implementation of the health coverage ‎provisions under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and the Coronavirus ‎Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”).‎

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Best Practices for Handling and Avoiding Employee Benefit Plan Investigations

The prospect of a U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) investigation or Internal Revenue Service ‎‎(“IRS”) examination of an employee benefit plan can be daunting for any plan sponsor. ‎Understanding the process and adopting best practices, however, can make the experience less ‎intimidating and improve the results for all parties.‎

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HIPAA Penalties Have Been Inflation-adjusted!

Effective January 17, 2020, civil money penalties for certain violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) have been adjusted for inflation by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act). 

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