DOL Tag

Legal Update HeaderThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) about federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations. The RFI, released July 16, 2020, invites interested parties who have knowledge of or experience with the FMLA to submit comments, information, and data on the effectiveness of the regulations in meeting the objectives of the statute.

Legal Update HeaderThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking information from the public about the effectiveness of paid employee family and medical leave.

In a Request for Information (RFI) issued July 15, 2020, the DOL said it intends to gather information about the effectiveness of current state-and employer-provided paid leave programs, and how access or lack of access to these programs impacts workers and their families. The RFI explains that “paid leave programs” for its purposes refers to paid family and medical leave to care for a family member’s, or for one’s own, health.

Legal Update HeaderThe Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed updates to a self-compliance tool to help improve compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). The MHPAEA requires parity between a group health plan’s mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits and medical and surgical benefits.

Proposed Changes

Federal law directs the DOL to make a document publicly available to improve compliance with MHPAEA, and to update this document every two years. The DOL last updated the MHPAEA self-compliance tool in April 2018. The proposed updates to the self-compliance tool include:

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (Departments) have provided answers to a second set of frequently asked questions (FAQs Part 43) about health coverage issues related to COVID- 19, including implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The FAQs provide guidance on a variety of topics related to health plan coverage. For example, the FAQs:
  • Provide that COVID-19 testing for surveillance or employment purposes is not subject to the coverage mandate under the FFCRA and CARES Act;
  • Confirm that the FFCRA and the CARES Act generally prohibit balance billing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing;
  • Allow health plans to revoke the temporary COVID-19-related coverage changes without satisfying certain notice deadlines, provided participants are notified within a reasonable time frame in advance of the reversal of the changes; and
  • Allow large employers to offer coverage for telehealth and other remote care servicesto employees who are not eligible for any other group health plan offered by the employer during the public health emergency.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly decreased health care utilization, as health care providers and patients have canceled appointments and postponed elective procedures. Because employees are not using their insurance benefits, some group medical, dental and vision carriers are providing employers with a credit against future premiums owed under their insurance contracts.

Employers receiving these premium credits should consider their fiduciary obligations under ERISA when determining how to apply the credits. Any credit amount that qualifies as a plan asset under ERISA must be used for the exclusive benefit of the plan’s participants.

On April 28, 2020, the Departments of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury (Departments) issued deadline relief to help employee benefit plans, plan participants and plan service providers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

This Compliance Overview summarizes the participant deadline extensions affecting COBRA continuation coverage, special enrollment periods, claims for benefits, appeals of denied claims and external review of certain claims. It also includes the deadline extension pursuant to the DOL’s Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, for notices and disclosures required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Legal Update HeaderOn April 28, 2020, the Departments of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury (Departments) issued  deadline relief to help employee benefit plans, plan participants and plan service providers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Extension of Participant Timeframes

The Departments issued a final rule to provide plan participants with additional time to comply with certain deadlines affecting COBRA continuation coverage, special enrollment periods, claims for benefits, appeals of denied claims and external review of certain claims. With regard to disability, retirement and other plans, the final rule provides additional time for participants and beneficiaries to make claims for benefits and appeal denied claims.