Regulatory Roundup January 2022February 22, 2022
Read about the Supreme Court's decisions on vaccine mandates, Washington's updates to their CARES Program, and more in this month's roundup.
After an active December 2021, a small ripple of updates and legislation made its way through in January 2022. Read what you need to know this month in our Regulatory Roundup.
New PCORI Fee Announced by IRS
Early in the month, the IRS announced in IRS Notice 2022-04 its updated Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee. The fee for plan years ending on or after October 1, 2021, and before October 1, 2022, will be $2.79. Initially set to expire in 2019 but extended to 2029, the fee applies to issuers of certain health insurance policies and plan sponsors of self-insured health plans that fund PCORI. Any employer who sponsors self-insured plans will be responsible for completing Form 720 by July 31, 2022.
OSHA ETS Withdrawn by Agency
On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). On that same day, SCOTUS lifted the stay blocking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate, meaning the requirements under this mandate are now enforceable nationwide. Employers subject to the CMS mandate should begin taking steps to implement the rule’s requirements.
In response to the SCOTUS decision, OSHA officially withdrew the ETS, effective January 26, 2022. As a result, employers not covered by another federal, state, or local vaccination and/or testing mandate may choose to implement their own policies. Employers that choose to do so should work an expert to ensure all applicable laws are considered.
New Legislation Delays Washington’s CARES Program
At the end of January, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation that delays the implementation of the State’s Long Term Care program until July 1, 2023. Rates and benefits remain unchanged with a premium of 0.58% and a lifetime benefit of $36,500. However, the legislation changes who can opt out of the program. Workers living out of state and other classes of workers, such as disabled veterans, military spouses, and non-immigrant temporary workers, may now opt out of the program. Workers born before January 1, 1968, can also now claim a partial benefit that previously was unavailable to them. Finally, the updated legislation requires employers who collected employees' premiums to return those funds by April 30, 2022.
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