That’s why we put together this blog covering everything HR and benefits teams should be paying attention to as we close in on the halfway point of 2023.
The End of the National Emergency and Public Health Emergency is near
Remember that May 11, 2023, is scheduled to be the official end of the National State of Emergency and the public health emergency initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers should be aware of several considerations relating to COBRA notifications and elections and run-out periods for FSAs and HRAs.
Through informal guidance, the Department of Labor has indicated that the relief applicable to group health plans (related to COBRA, special enrollment periods, claims submissions and appeals) will be extended to July 10. This is the originally communicated end date, rather than ending on an earlier date. Initially, the Biden Administration had announced that the National Emergency would end May 11, 2023, and the COVID relief applicable to these plans would end 60 days later. Compliance expert Ben Conley from Seyfarth Shaw LLP and myself dive into all the details in What to Know Now That the National State of Emergency is Officially Over.
In April, the Washington State House approved the My Health My Data Act, increasing consumer protections regarding the collection, sharing, and sale of consumer health data. While this Act includes an exemption for employment-related data, employers should review requirements to determine potential impacts.
The IRS announced the applicable dollar amount used to calculate the PCORI fee. For policy and plan years that end on or after Oct. 1, 2022, and before Oct.1, 2023, the fee is $3.00 per person covered by the plan. This is a $0.21 increase from the prior year’s rate of $2.79. PCORI fees are due by July 31, 2023.
Due to the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, telehealth HIPAA enforcement discretion will expire May 11, 2023. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is providing a 90-calendar day transition period for covered healthcare providers to comply with the HIPAA Rules concerning their provision of telehealth.
Section 204 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) requires insurance carriers and self-insured health plans to submit information to CMS about spending on medical treatment, including spending on prescription drugs. 2022 RxDC reporting is due June 1, 2023.
With various plan changes, COVID relief expirations, and other compliance items potentially impacting group health plans, employers are encouraged to review their plan documents to ensure any required updates are made. Avoid the frenzy of Annual Enrollment season and review your plan documents now.
Non-discrimination testing ensures that an organization’s health plan doesn’t discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees regarding plan eligibility, pre-tax contributions, or benefits.
Benefits teams should ensure their consumer spending accounts, including dependent care FSA, pass non-discrimination testing requirements to stay in compliance with the IRS and avoid costly penalties and mandatory plan adjustments. By performing your dependent care FSA non-discrimination testing in Q2, you can allow time for any adjustments to ensure your plan passes.
This ruling removed preventive care coverage requirements for medications with an “A” or “B” rating recommendation by the USPSTF on or after March 23, 2010. This ruling did not impact requirements for those medications receiving the A or B ratings prior to March 23, 2010. Additional guidance is expected, but employers are encouraged to review this ruling to determine its impact and if their plan documents will need to be updated. Plan sponsors should review and ensure they are aligned on their approach and have taken any appropriate steps, like updating plan documents.
For a broader list of things to consider, check out our Total Risk Management Checklist for HR.