Health Coverage Provisions Included in the COVID-19 Stimulus Law

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” into law. The latest COVID-19 relief law will provide direct assistance to many Americans, namely through $1400 in income tax rebates for eligible individuals and an increased child tax credit. The legislation also contains many provisions related to health insurance coverage… Read More


Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Settlement Update

The Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance group has been involved in a class-action lawsuit regarding its anticompetitive policies since 2012. Brought by a class of over 1M plaintiffs, the suit claims the company violated antitrust laws and benefitted by dividing insurance markets to avoid competition among its member companies, and thus boosting prices. A settlement… Read More


Changes to Employer Reporting Requirements Due March 2nd and 31st

New Jersey regulators recently announced a change to their employer reporting policies that will affect businesses in all states and of any size that offer coverage to NJ residents. This policy stems back to 2018 when the state enacted an individual mandate requiring NJ residents to maintain health insurance coverage. This year, to help enforce the mandate,… Read More


Key Takeaways of the new Stimulus Bill

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020” (CAA) into law. Over the next few weeks, we will share more information about the 5,593-page law, but until then, here are some key takeaways: FSA Relief: Employers can allow employees to carry over unused funds or extend their spending grace period… Read More


Can Employers Make COVID-19 Vaccines a Requirement for their Workforce?

Pfizer and Moderna recently announced that their experimental coronavirus vaccines appear to be 95% effective, prompting employers to consider if they can require employees to vaccinate once doses are accessible to the general public. The short answer is yes, companies probably will be able to ask their workforce to vaccinate as a condition of employment,… Read More


CMS Announces the 2021 Medicare Part B Standard Premium, Deductible, and IRMAAs for Parts B and D

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have announced the Medicare Part B standard premium, Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAAs) for Parts B and D of Medicare, and the Part B deductible for 2021: The standard Part B Premium is increasing by $3.90/month to $148.50 in 2021 (up from $144.60 in 2020) The IRMAAs for Parts… Read More


NJ Executive Order Mandates Workplace COVID-19 Screenings

On 10/28/2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 192, which requires NJ employers to conduct COVID-19 symptom screenings at the worksite. The measure also implements other worksite safety precautions related to the coronavirus pandemic. The new requirements are the first state action of this kind nationwide. As of 6:00 am on November 5, 2020, every… Read More


Creditable Coverage Disclosure Requirements for Employers with Medicare-Eligible Enrollees

Employer groups that offer prescription drug coverage to Medicare eligible employees, dependents and/or retirees, need to provide annual creditable disclosures to both their eligible plan participants and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). “Creditable” plans mean that the coverage provided is as good as, if not better than, the standard Medicare Part D… Read More


NY Court Strikes Down Portions of the FFCRA

On August 3, 2020, the Federal court for the Southern District of New York struck down four segments of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) interim final rules on paid leave. The court ruled that with regard to the below, the US  Department of Labor (USDOL) exceeded the bounds of its authority: The Work… Read More

Hartford’s Future of Benefits Study provides insights into how COVID-19 has shifted perceptions on the benefits employers offer. A great read for employers looking to stay competitive and design their programs to meet the evolving needs of the workforce:

Unemployment insurance (UI) fraud during the pandemic has escalated, resulting in a costly number of false reports being filed. See here and the US DOL's site for important resources and how to report fraudulent claims:

The US DOL has released additional guidance regarding the 100% COBRA premium subsidies being provided under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Indy Health Ins Co, a stand-alone Part D plan in PA, has been terminated; impacted members are temporarily enrolled with LI-NET Humana and a Special Election Period is valid now-7/31/21 for members to elect a new PDP:

The enrollment period to sign up for health insurance in NJ through the state’s health insurance marketplace, has been extended until the end of the year, so more residents can take advantage of new financial help available under the ARPA: