IRS Issues Guidance on the DCAP and Health FSA Relief Provided Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act

Last week the IRS issued Notice 2021-15 (the Notice) (available here), providing guidance regarding the relief contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) for dependent care assistance plans (DCAPs) and health flexible spending accounts (Health FSAs). The Notice contains important clarifications regarding both CAA provisions.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement Update: Official Website Now Active

The official administrator of the Blue Cross Blue Shield class-action settlement, JND Legal, has now activated the official settlement website, which can be accessed at bcbssettlement.com. The website will allow all eligible class members to file a claim online to ensure they recover payment from the settlement. However, the website’s claim filing portal will activate only once the notification process has begun. The process is currently scheduled to commence in Spring 2021. As stipulated in the settlement, notice will be sent through mail or email to eligible class members.

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Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Self-insured medical plans are subject to a new requirement under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) that requires the plan to conduct comparative analyses on the plan’s non-quantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs). With the compliance date in early February, sponsors of self-insured medical plans need to address this issue now. Unfortunately, compliance with the new requirement is quite cumbersome and, to a large extent, is dependent on the third-party administrator’s (TPA’s) willingness to provide assistance.

Regulatory Freeze

Following President Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, the administration announced a wide range of executive actions to establish new regulatory processes and revoke prior executive orders issued under the Trump administration.

DCAP and FSA Relief Checklist

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the ConsolidatedAppropriations Act, 2021 which includes important changes to the rules governing DCAP and health FSA accounts, with changes affecting plan years 2020, 2021, and 2022. Below is a summary of these important changes which will provide significant relief for DCAP and health FSA participants. The relief provisions are optional and employers/plan sponsors can choose which to adopt, if any. There are several factors that should be considered.