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March 2021 Compliance Recap

The employee benefits guidance issued in February 2021 was largely focused on providing relief to individuals and businesses impacted by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Significantly, on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the Act) was enacted into law which, in part, mandates that eligible individuals receive a six-month 100% COBRA subsidy. … Continued

Ask the Experts: Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Rebates | MI Benefit Advisors

Question: Our company received a rebate check from our health insurance carrier. As the employer, we pay the bulk of premiums, although employees who enroll for coverage do pay a portion of the cost. Are there restrictions on how we can use the rebate money? Answer: Yes, there are restrictions on using the rebate. The … Continued

The Rap on Wraps | Michigan Employee Benefit Advisors

There’s a good chance you use a wrap document to help satisfy your Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) summary plan description (SPD) obligations. Yet if you look for a definition of wrap document in ERISA statutes or regulations, you will not find one. The wrap is not a defined term or required document; it … Continued

Electronic Delivery of ERISA Notices | Michigan Benefit Consultants

Q. Can we provide summary plan descriptions (SPDs) electronically? A. Yes. However, just sending them is not enough to meet ERISA requirements; you must ensure the intended recipients are actually getting them. Specifically, ERISA requires SPDs to be furnished using “measures reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt of the material” via “methods likely to result … Continued

DOL Fiduciary Rule Overturned | MI Benefit Brokers

In its March 15, 2018, decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule that expanded the definition of an investment advice fiduciary under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Under the Fiduciary Rule, investment brokers were going to be required to put … Continued

DOL Delays New Rules for Disability Benefit Claims | MI Benefit Advisors

On November 29, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a Final Rule that delays implementation of new claim rules for disability benefits through April 1, 2018. This 90-day delay is intended to give the DOL, insurers, employers, and other interested parties additional time to review the new rules. The DOL is collecting public … Continued

President Directs Federal Agencies to Consider ACA Changes | MI Benefit Advisors

On October 12, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Treasury to develop new rules to allow some exemptions from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Order indicates the Administration’s priorities although it has no immediate effect since any rule changes must first … Continued

DOL Guidance for Benefit Plans Impacted by | MI Benefit Advisors

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued compliance guidance for benefit plans, employers and employees, and service providers who are impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The guidance generally provides relief from various ERISA requirements and time limits for entities in the disaster area. This follows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announcement extending certain filing dates, including … Continued

Best Practices for Initial COBRA Notices | MI Benefit Advisors

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) requires group health plans to provide notices to covered employees and their families explaining their COBRA rights when certain events occur. The initial notice, also referred to as the general notice, communicates general COBRA rights and obligations to each covered employee (and his or her spouse) … Continued