The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (whose jurisdiction includes Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi) vacated the entire final Fiduciary Rule that was issued by the DOL in April 2016. The Fifth Circuit held that the definition of ?Ç£fiduciary?Ç¥ in the final Fiduciary Rule conflicts with the plain text of ERISA and the common law definition of fiduciary. The Fifth Circuit further held that the DOL overstepped its authority in applying ERISA?ÇÖs fiduciary standards to individual retirement accounts and that the DOL?ÇÖs interpretations fail the reasonableness test under the standard set out in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. NRDC, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984). In response to the Fifth Circuit?ÇÖs decision, the DOL announced that it will not be enforcing the rule at this time. Chamber of Commerce of the USA v. U.S. Dep?ÇÖt of Labor, No. 17-10238 (5th Cir. Mar. 15, 2018).
Recently, several states expanded their contraceptive coverage mandates under the applicable state?ÇÖs insurance laws to require medical insurance policies to cover certain male contraceptive services (e.g., vasectomies) on a first dollar basis before an insured has met the policy?ÇÖs annual deductible. This is problematic for an insured medical plan that is intended to qualify as a high deductible health plan (?Ç£HDHP?Ç¥). An HDHP enables participants to make or receive contributions to a health savings account (?Ç£HSA?Ç¥). Unless an exception applies (such as coverage for preventive services, disease management, or wellness services), a medical plan that provides benefits before an individual has met the annual deductible cannot qualify as an HDHP. The IRS recently released Notice 2018-12, which provides that male contraceptive coverage will not qualify for an exception from this rule as a preventive service or under another exception. The IRS has granted temporary transition relief for the HSA eligibility… Continue Reading