IRS Provides Further Guidance on COBRA Election and Payment Deadlines

In Notice 2021-58, the Internal Revenue Service clarified that the one-year tolling relief periods for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) elections and initial premium payments run concurrently, not consecutively. This means that a qualified beneficiary generally will have only one year of total disregarded time for the election and initial payment periods.

Read more here.




Corporate Governance and the Permanency of COVID-19

As COVID-19 becomes an endemic threat, corporate officers should accept the fact that the virus will be a permanent enterprise risk for the indefinite future.

In this FT Specialist article, McDermott Partner Michael Peregrine says corporate boards should place their focus on business and operational challenges that result from the pandemic. These include:

  • Enhanced workplace safety in response to delta’s extreme transmissibility;
  • An equitable, enforceable and sustainable approach to employees who do not get vaccinated;
  • The feasibility of current return-to-work plans;
  • Work-from-home arrangements as a more permanent employment model; and
  • The pandemic’s outsize impact on female employees.

Access the article.




Checklists for Your Board’s Executive Compensation Committee

What questions should a governing board’s executive compensation committee ask itself?

According to this August 2021 e-book edited by McDermott Partner Michael Peregrine, committee members should regularly ask themselves questions about executive benefit programs, executive compensation programs, performance priorities and leadership development programs.

Access the e-book (Page 10).




Employers on Hook for Mental Health Parity Despite New Target

The US Department of Labor (DOL) is casting a skeptical eye on health insurance companies’ inconsistent coverage of mental health and substance use disorder benefits. The DOL recently commenced litigation against an insurer to require mental health and substance use disorder coverage be on par with regular physical care.

In an article in Bloomberg Law, McDermott Partner Judith Wethall said employers are usually unaware about these violations. Self-funded employers typically simply accept whatever their third-party administrator (TPA) is offering.

“Sometimes a TPA does things behind the scenes that might violate mental health parity and an employer might not even know it,” Wethall said.

Access the article.




Supreme Court Agrees to Review Medicare Payment Cuts to 340B Drugs

The US Supreme Court announced in July that it will take up review of the decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholding Medicare’s 2018 payment cuts to 340B drugs. The case will be closely watched, given its potentially far-reaching impacts on reimbursements to most hospitals that participate in the Medicare program, not just those that participate in the 340B Program.

Read more here.




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