Spencer Fane LLP Logo

CMS Vaccine Mandate Rule Blocked in 10 States (including Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) /

CMS Vaccine Mandate Rule Blocked in 10 States (including Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska)

A Missouri-based federal judge issued an order today partially blocking the Biden Administration from implementing the emergency regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on November 4, 2021, that mandated COVID-19 vaccination by January 4, 2022, for the employees and contractors of covered health care facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The order, known as a preliminary injunction, is temporary in nature, although it could eventually become permanent if the lawsuit is successful.

Now is the Time to Prepare for the No Surprises Act

The Federal No Surprises Act (“the Act”) will go into effect for healthcare providers and health plans beginning January 1, 2022.  With an eye toward protecting patients from unexpected out-of-network medical costs, this law will require payers and providers to interact and negotiate in new ways.  Health care providers and health care facilities should begin preparations now for implementing the requirements of the Act.

Reminder for Employers: Home COVID-19 Tests and FSAs, HSAs, and HRAs

Employers should work with their cafeteria plan or other third-party administrators to ensure that their health FSAs, HSAs, and/or HRAs permit employees to be reimbursed for the costs of home COVID-19 tests.

Enforcement of Investment Advice Exemption – On The Horizon

Investment consultants and other service providers who advise plan participants and fiduciaries about rollovers and investment choices received another reprieve from new rules governing that advice.  But the reprieve is only temporary; those consultants and advisors must be prepared to comply by February 1, 2022.

Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS)

EPA’s Proposed Rule – Back to the Pre-2015 Program

In June 2021, premised on the agencies’ determination that the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule (finalized April 21, 2020) significantly reduced clean water protections, the EPA and the Department of the Army announced their intent to revise the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS).

2022 Inflation Adjustments

Following announcements by both the IRS and the Social Security Administration, we now know most of the dollar amounts that employers will need in order to administer their benefit plans for 2022.  The key dollar amounts for retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”) are shown on the front side of our 2022 limits card.

The reverse side of the card shows a number of dollar amounts that employers will need to know in order to administer health flexible spending accounts (“FSAs”), health savings accounts (“HSAs”), and high-deductible health plans (“HDHPs”), as well as health plans that are not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act.

A laminated version of the 2022 limits card is available upon request.  To obtain one or more copies, please contact any member of our Employee Benefits Group.  You also can contact the Spencer Fane Marketing Department at 816-474-8100 or marketing@spencerfane.com.

Glasgow – A Climate Change Summit Success?

It All Depends on Translating Commitments Into Action

It ran a day longer than expected, and, no surprise, the results are mixed.  Indeed, the nearly 200 countries represented actually put off to next year the negotiation of enhanced emissions targets (COP27 is scheduled for November 8 – 20, 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt).

Summarizing is difficult; actually a bit painful in light of the many reports summarized in my earlier blog.  So, how to address it here?

OSHA Halts Implementation and Enforcement of ‘Large Employer’ COVID-19 ETS (At Least for Now)

On November 12, 2021, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in which it reaffirmed its prior temporary injunction against implementation or enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard (the “ETS”) mandating COVID-19 vaccination and testing. The November 12 decision reaffirmed a prior stay issued on November 6th and found that the ETS was both overbroad and under-inclusive. The court found the ETS overbroad because it failed to consider that COVID-19 is “more dangerous to some employees than to other employees.” BST Holdings, L.L.C. et al. v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, et al., No. 21-60845, slip. op at 13. The court found it underinclusive because even the most vulnerable workers would draw no protection from the ETS if the company employs 99 employees or fewer. Id. at 15. It further ordered the agency to “take no steps to implement or enforce” the ETS until further court order.

Top Tips for Handling Large Acquisition Projects

In connection with large public works projects, negotiating voluntary acquisitions with each landowner is generally the most efficient and preferable method to secure the property rights necessary to complete the project.  However, although most property interests are acquired voluntarily, initiating condemnation proceedings against select landowners is oftentimes necessary to ensure the timely completion of many public utility projects.  To that end, below are some top tips for handling large acquisition projects so as to minimize the need for condemnation:

Fifth Circuit Issues Temporary Stay on OSHA ETS – What Does It Really Mean?

On November 6, 2021, the Fifth Circuit issued a temporary injunction on OSHA’s ETS for employers with 100 or more employees. The Fifth Circuit’s Order is brief citing “grave statutory and constitutional issues” with the ETS. The Court ordered the government to respond to the motion for a permanent injunction by 5:00 p.m. today, November 8, 2021. The petitioners have until tomorrow, November 9, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. to provide a reply to the government’s response.

1 2 3 66 Showing 1-10 of 660 results View All