The Department of Labor posted guidance and model notices to help employers comply with the federal COBRA premium subsidy put in place by the American Rescue Plan Act. Revised notices are due to assistance eligible individuals by May 31.
The pandemic-related extensions of certain benefit plan compliance and reporting deadlines are expiring. Given a lack of answers from regulators, plan administrators should decide whether to treat the extensions as ended.
Employer-sponsored health plans must document their compliance with the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires equal coverage limits for mental health and medical benefits, and be prepared to give regulators, on request, a copy of this analyses.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, includes provisions to increase transparency in employee health benefit plans regarding price and quality information, compensation to brokers and consultants, mental health parity and prescription drug costs.
Advance copies of Form 5500 information returns, used to report on plan year 2020 benefits, reflect an increase in maximum civil penalties, among other adjustments. It’s uncertain if the Biden administration will revive an Obama-era proposed overhaul to Form 5500 that could expand reporting requirements for future years.
In a final rule, federal agencies detail new requirements for employer-sponsored health plans to post estimates of enrollees’ out-of-pocket costs for services from different health care providers.