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Action Item for Employers with HSA-Eligible Health Plans in Oklahoma

Beginning November 1, 2021, a new Oklahoma state insurance law requires health insurers providing pharmacy benefits and pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) to count any amount paid on behalf of a participant towards that participant’s out-of-pocket maximum, deductible, copayment, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing arrangement. The law appears to be intended to apply only to pharmacy benefits. Counting such third-party payments, such as a prescription drug manufacturer’s coupon, towards a participant’s deductible could cause the participant to be ineligible for a health savings account (“HSA”). The Oklahoma Insurance Department has stated it is seeking clarification from the Oklahoma legislature regarding the conflict between the state statute and the federal rules governing HSA eligibility. Employers may want to contact their health insurers and PBMs (i) to determine whether any third-party payments are being applied toward the deductible under an HSA-eligible health plan and (ii) to communicate any relevant information to participants who may be affected. This new law… Continue Reading

Severe Winter Storm Hardship Withdrawal Relief

The safe harbor rules for hardship withdrawals from a retirement plan permit such withdrawals for expenses and losses incurred by a participant due to a natural disaster declared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (?Ç£FEMA?Ç¥) under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, provided the participant?ÇÖs principal residence or principal place of employment at the time of the disaster was located in an area designated by FEMA for individual assistance related to that disaster. FEMA issued a series of disaster declarations as a result of the February 2021 winter storms that impacted portions of Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. A list of counties that have been designated by FEMA for individual assistance in those states can be found on FEMA?ÇÖs website here. Those disaster declarations mean that affected participants may be eligible for hardship distributions from their 401(k) plan accounts. Plan sponsors with participants who live or work… Continue Reading

November 2022