Podcast Episode 109: Biden’s Vaccine Mandates & Testing Alternatives
In this episode, Chase Cannon and Suzanne Spradley outline the Biden administration’s recently announced vaccine mandate and COVID-19 testing alternative for employers. Chase begins with an overview of the mandate, the testing alternative and which employers are impacted by the requirements. The two spend the rest of the podcast issue spotting for employers — discussing questions that will hopefully be answered in upcoming OSHA guidance. Suzanne and Chase close with a discussion of the vaccine mandate’s impact on benefits compliance, including vaccine surcharges and paid time off for vaccines and testing.
Every other week, NFP's legal experts make the subject of compliance personal for a wide audience. By breaking down the daunting details of emerging policies and bridging the gap between legislation and what it means for the listener, Chase Cannon and Suzanne Spradley make compliance issues relatable and relevant. Visit our Soundcloud page every two weeks for the most up-to-date episode.
September Get Wise Wednesdays – Register Now
With Medicare open enrollment around the corner, join us as we discuss Medicare and group health plan considerations. We will begin with a review of Medicare eligibility and Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) rules. We will continue the discussion with how Medicare rules interact with other benefit laws, such as health savings account (HSA) rules, Section 125 and COBRA. We will conclude with a summary of Medicare-related reporting and disclosure obligations. By the end of the presentation, participants should better understand Medicare rules and their impact on group health plan benefits administration.
Benefit Considerations: Medicare and Group Health Plans
September 15, 2021
2:00 to 3:00 p.m. CT (3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET)
A recording will be posted to the NFP Webinars Page within 48 hours of the live webinar. Those listening to a recorded webinar aren’t eligible for recertification credit.
All programs are pending approval for 1.0 (general) recertification credit hour toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, visit the HR Certification Institute website at hrci.org.
Reminder: It’s MLR Rebate Time Again!
The ACA requires insurers to submit an annual report to HHS accounting for plan costs. If the insurer does not meet the medical loss ratio standards, they must provide rebates to policyholders. Rebates must be distributed to employer plan sponsors between August 1, 2021, and September 30, 2021. Employers should keep in mind that if they receive a rebate, there are strict guidelines as to how the rebate may be used or distributed.
For more information, please contact your advisor for a copy of “Medical Loss Ratio Rebates: A Guide for Employers” or “Medical Loss Ratio: PPACA’s Rules on Rebates.”
Reminder: COBRA Subsidy Period Ends on September 30, 2021
The ARPA COBRA premium assistance period runs from April 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021. The statute requires that plans provide a notice of expiration of the ARPA premium assistance (and available coverage options at that point) to all individuals who are receiving premium assistance during this time. The notice states that plans and issuers are required to provide individuals with a notice of expiration of periods of premium assistance. It should explain that the premium assistance for the individual will expire soon with the date of the expiration, and state that the individual may be eligible for coverage without any premium assistance through COBRA continuation coverage or coverage under a group health plan. Coverage may also be available through Medicaid or the Health Insurance Marketplace.
This notice must be provided 15 – 45 days before the individual’s premium assistance expires, so employers should be mindful of this requirement.
Model Notice of Expiration of Premium Assistance »
Reminder: Calendar Year SAR Must Be Distributed by September 30, 2021
Plans that are subject to ERISA and Form 5500 filing must distribute the Summary Annual Report (SAR) to participants within nine months of the end of the plan year; thus, a calendar year plan is generally required to distribute the SAR for the 2020 plan year by September 30, 2021. If the plan applied for an extension to the Form 5500 filing, the SAR is then due within two months following that filing.
The SAR is a summary of the plan’s information reported on the Form 5500. If a plan is not subject to Form 5500 filing, then it is exempt from the SAR notice requirement — this would include church plans, governmental plans, and unfunded or insured plans with fewer than 100 participants. Also, large, unfunded self-insured plans are exempt from the SAR requirement even though they are subject to the Form 5500 filing requirement.
Model language is available for SAR preparation. Please ask your advisor for assistance.