resources

Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 | Part 2: Broker and Consultant Compensation Transparency, Prohibition on Gag Clauses

Broker and Consultant Compensation ERISA imposes penalties on prohibited transactions between covered benefit plans and individuals who have a relationship with the plan to ensure that these “parties in interest” do not use their influence with the plan for their own benefit or in a manner that ...

Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 | Part 1: Congress Passes the No Surprises Act

The U.S. Congress has passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Appropriations Act), which includes the No Surprises Act (Act), after contentious negotiation. As of the publication of this Advisor, President Trump has signaled that he will not sign the Appropriations Act into law until ...

Mandatory Coverage of COVID-19 Vaccines under Group Health Plans

Update: ACIP recommended the Moderna vaccine and revised the vaccine distribution phases On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer vaccine). The following day, December 12, 2020, the ...

SMART Goal Revamp

January brings chilly winds from the north and often marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for many in corporate America. Some use this month to prepare annual employee goals. The business climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced many companies to decide overnight how to ...

At the Corner of Diversity and Talent

When thinking of increasing diversity at work, recruiters may target applicants from a specific group or “candidate pool.” For example, a financial services firm may create a “Women in Finance” program for high school students to attract female candidates to their private wealth practice. This ...

Employee Assistance Program Myths Debunked

Does this sound familiar? You receive an email from your HR department reminding you of access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and without thinking twice, you hit delete. It sounds confusing, and heck, you have medical benefits so why bother? While Employee Assistance Programs have ...

More than Reasonably Priced Furniture: The Ikea Effect

You may shudder recalling the last time you ordered something online, and it arrived in individual boxes with a lengthy set of instructions and an Allen wrench. Believe it or not, a team of Harvard researchers conducted a study on products that involve a do-it-yourself component. You may wonder ...

Final Rules on Grandfathered Group Health Plan Coverage

In response the President’s Executive Order 13765 “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal” issued on January 20, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of the Treasury ...

Compliance Recap | November 2020

November was a relatively busy month in the employee benefits world. The U.S. Supreme Court (Supreme Court) heard oral arguments in the case of California v. Texas, which is the case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the updated ...

Blue Cross Blue Shield Tentative $2.67 Billion Antitrust Settlement

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has recently reached a tentative $2.67 billion settlement arising out of a class action lawsuit filed more than eight years ago by subscribers seeking injunctive and compensatory relief arising out of BCBSA’s alleged violation of federal antitrust ...