Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – May 8, 2020

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: COVID-19 laws enacted to provide relief, 4/20 (327.-7)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Challenging an ADEA waiver, 4/20 (401.5.-11)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Supreme Court’s ruling on ACA subsidies, 4/20 (540.-13)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: PBGC must be notified of reportable events, 4/20 (617.1.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Employee allegedly fired for COVID-19 self-isolation raises FFCRA estoppel, FMLA claims

    A wrongful termination lawsuit filed in federal court in Indiana makes an interesting argument that The Kroger Company, even though it’s not a covered employer under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), was nonetheless estopped from denying an employee 14 days of paid leave covering COVID-19-related self-isolation and symptoms under the company’s own policy, which was represented as aligned with the FFCRA. The complaint also alleges that the terminated employee, who worked at a distribution center, was entitled to FMLA protections.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    CMS issues retiree drug subsidy amounts and Medicare Part D benefit parameters for 2021

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the cost threshold and cost limit amounts that apply to plan sponsors participating in CMS’ Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Program, with qualified prescription drug plans that end in 2021, as well as the parameters for Medicare Part D plans in 2021.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    DOL provides ERISA compliance guidance for plans adversely affected by COVID-19

    In EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance for parties connected to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that have been adversely affected by the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak. On March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak (COVID-19 National Emergency). The DOL recognizes that the COVID-19 outbreak may temporarily impede efforts to comply with various requirements and deadlines under ERISA. This DOL guidance generally applies to employee benefit plans, employers, labor organizations, and other plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, participants and beneficiaries, and service providers subject to ERISA from March 1, 2020, the beginning of the national emergency declared by the President, until 60 days after the announcement of the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency or other date announced by the Department in a future notice.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    DOL issues new COBRA notices to assist Medicare-eligible individuals with health care coverage decisions

    The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and revised COBRA model notices to address issues related to the interactions between Medicare and COBRA.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    DOL extends HIPAA, COBRA, other timeframes applicable to group health plans

    The Department of Labor and the IRS have issued a final rule that extends certain time frames affecting participants’ rights to health care coverage, portability, and continuation of group health plan coverage under COBRA, and extends the time for plan participants to file or perfect benefit claims or appeals of denied claims. The agencies have issued the notice and a set of frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) to help employee benefit plans, plan participants and beneficiaries, employers and other plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, and other service providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Plain language of ACA requires Congress to make full risk corridor payments

    Congress must make the payments it promised to insurers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk corridor program, the Supreme Court held. In an 8-1 decision, the court found that the risk corridors statute created a government obligation to pay insurers the full amount regardless of whether Congress expressly provided budget authority before appropriating funds.

            (Read Cheetah) »