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The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides for a 100% COBRA premium subsidy for up to six months, from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, for Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) as defined under the guidance. Our prior blog posts, DOL Issues ARPA COBRA Subsidy Model Notices and FAQs and IRS Provides Second Round of FAQs on COBRA Subsidies, provide more information about the ARPA COBRA subsidy and the associated notice requirements.

For sponsors of individually designed qualified retirement plans, now is a good time to begin thinking about year-end requirements and preparing for changes in the new year. Read our recent LawFlash to learn more about items for consideration as plan sponsors head toward the end of 2021 and the start of 2022.

As we get closer to the September 30 expiration date of the COBRA premium subsidy provided under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the IRS has issued a second set of FAQs in Notice 2021-46 (Notice) to supplement its prior guidance and provide some specific answers to questions that remained unanswered. The first set of IRS FAQs were provided under Notice 2021-31, which we summarized in our previous LawFlash.

As we described in our August 31, 2020 LawFlash, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued an Interim Final Rule (Rule) on August 18, 2020 outlining the requirement of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) for employers to provide “lifetime income illustrations” to defined contribution plan (e.g. 401(k), 403(b), etc.) participants. The purpose of the Rule is to provide participants with disclosures that will help them understand how their defined contribution plan accounts may translate into an income stream in retirement.

On July 19, the US Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury (the Departments) issued Part 47 of their frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation. There are three new FAQs, all of which pertain to coverage of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) under Section 2713 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). PrEP is an antiretroviral medication for individuals at high risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued Information Letter 06-14-2021 last month to the attorney of a plan participant who requested a copy of an audio recording and transcript of a phone conversation he or she had with the plan’s insurer. The participant was requesting this information in relation to the participant’s denied claim under the plan.
Addressing what they call the four major “crises” facing the nation—COVID-19, the economy, climate, and inequity—US President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have consistently framed many of their most important executive actions and policy proposals as attempts to prioritize one or more of these four policy concerns. Read our LawFlash for a recap of some of the more wide-reaching and impactful (or in some cases, potentially impactful) executive orders, legislative actions, policy proposals, and other developments during the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration.
The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued three long-awaited pieces of subregulatory guidance on April 14, addressing the cybersecurity practices of retirement plan sponsors, service providers, and plan participants, respectively. The guidance provides an important window into the DOL’s expectations of what ERISA’s prudence standards require with respect to cybersecurity matters.