No More COBRA Subsidy
The President recently signed into law legislation that will extend jobless benefits to Americans who are out of work (H.R. 4213).
While the legislation extends certain unemployment benefits, it does not provide an additional extension of the COBRA subsidy. Thus, the COBRA subsidy is no longer available to individuals who experience an involuntary termination of employment after May 31, 2010. Individuals who were involuntarily terminated on or before May 31, 2010 may continue to pay a reduced COBRA premium for up to 15 months, assuming they remain eligible for the subsidy (i.e. they are not eligible for other group health plan coverage or Medicare). Full Article
Final Interim Regulations Released on Preventive Care
As reported earlier, effective for the first plan year that begins on or after September 23, 2010, a group health plan and a health insurance carrier must (at a minimum) provide coverage for and must not impose any cost sharing requirements on preventive items and services. This requirement does not apply to grandfathered coverage. Full Article
Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: New FAQ Creates a Safe Harbor for Benefits Provided on an Outpatient Basis
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) is effective for plan years beginning after October 3, 2009. Among other things, MHPAEA requires that the financial requirements (e.g., deductibles, copays) and treatment limitations (e.g., office visit limits) imposed on mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations that apply to substantially all medical/surgical benefits. Full Article
DOL Clarifies FMLA Definition of a "Son or Daughter"
The DOL issued an Interpretation on June 22, 2010, indicating that either day-to-day care or financial support (not both) may establish an in loco parentis relationship where the employee intends to assume the responsibilities of a parent with regard to a child. Full Article
The Departments Issue Further Guidance on Health Care Reform
The Depts. of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services issued final interim regulations addressing many of the new consumer protections contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), including the restrictions on lifetime and annual limits on "essential benefits."
The regulations are effective August 27, 2010 and generally apply to plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010 (unless otherwise noted in this summary). Full Article