IRS Guidance on COBRA Premium Assistance — What We Know Now

SARAH KANTER, July, 2021  After the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) and release of DOL model notices and FAQs on April 7, 2021, employers and other plan sponsors were still left with many open questions regarding the implementation of COBRA premium assistance. The IRS provided clarity to many of these […]

New FAQs Clarify Coverage Requirements for COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines

MARY E. POWELL and SARAH KANTER, March 1, 2021   On February 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (collectively the “Departments”) released FAQs About Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) Implementation Part 44 (the “FAQs”).1 These FAQs […]

Outbreak Extension Period — When Does It End?

MARY E. POWELL and SARAH KANTER, March 1, 2021   On February 26, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 (“2021 Relief Notice”)1, which explains how employee benefit plans must administer the end date of the tolling period for certain plan deadlines due to the COVID-19 national […]

An Overview of the Group Health Plan Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Final Transparency in Coverage Regulations

MARY E. POWELL and SARAH KANTER, January 29, 2021   The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the CAA) contains numerous provisions that impact group health plans. At a high level, these CAA provisions can be broken into three main categories: (1) reducing Out-of-Network (OON) costs for enrollees, (2) providing transparency regarding costs, and (3) permissive changes that […]

New Proposed Rule Regarding Grandfathered Plans

SARAH KANTER, October 8, 2020  A new proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”), released by the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) (the “Departments”) on July 10, 2020, would permit grandfathered group health plans and grandfathered group health insurance coverage (“grandfathered plans”) to make greater increases to certain types of cost-sharing requirements […]

Individual Coverage HRAs: Practicalities and Potential Pitfalls for Employers (Part One)

SARAH KANTER, September, 2019 This article is part one of a two-part article examining many of the issues that employers and other plan sponsors may want to consider when deciding whether to offer employees an Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA), which was created by final regulations (the “final regulations”) released on June 13, 2019 […]

Department of Labor Releases Final Association Health Plan Rule

SARAH KANTER, August, 2018   On June 21, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its highly anticipated and controversial final rule (the “final rule”) regarding Association Health Plans (AHPs). The final rule significantly expands the kinds of employer groups and associations that are permitted to establish an “employee welfare benefit plan” under the Employee Retirement […]