CDH and COBRA Regulatory Outlook: Turning 2023-24 Outlook into Commercial Value

If you joined us last week for our webinar, CDH and COBRA Regulatory Outlook: Friend or Foe? you are already up to speed on changes that are anticipated for CDH and COBRA for 2023 and 2024. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, here’s a link to the recording.

Regulatory Outlook Cover Image

We heard from the following experts 

Brian Johnston

Brian Johnston is a principal in the Overland Park, Kansas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has more than 26 years of dedicated employee benefits experience representing public and private businesses, government entities, third party administrators, and other insurance and retirement service providers on a variety of employee benefit matters. Brian advises employers and plan sponsors in the implementation and administration of health and welfare plans, including self-funded health benefit plans and other defined contribution alternatives, cafeteria plans, and other medical reimbursement programs.

Bill Sweetnam

Bill Sweetnam is the Legislative and Technical Director at the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation where he provides members updates on all legislative and regulatory issues regarding tax-advantaged benefit programs, such as flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, and health reimbursement arrangements. Bill has had a distinguished career as a tax attorney as a Principal in the Groom Law Group, after serving as the Benefits Tax Counsel at the U.S. Treasury Department. He also served on the tax staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.

Itamar Romanini

Itamar Romanini is a Principal at HSA Consulting Services and also oversees the eCommerce business line at Health-E Commerce. Itamar has over 20 years of industry experience, starting with HSA Bank where he held the positions of Chief Technology Officer, Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing, Sales and Business Development, and Chief Strategy and Growth Officer before joining HSA startup, Bend Financial.

Roy Ramthun

Roy Ramthun is the Founder and President of HSA Consulting Services. Also known as “Mr. HSA,” Roy is a nationally-recognized expert on Health Savings Accounts and consumer-directed health care issues. Roy has over thirty years of health care and public policy experience, both in government and in the private sector, including leading the U.S. Treasury Department’s implementation of HSAs. He has also served as health care policy advisor to President George W. Bush and at the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.

Jacob Sheridan 

The panel was moderated by Jacob Sheridan, co-founder and CEO of TPA Stream.

Regulatory Outlook Speakers

Our expert panel covered the following topics

  1. End of COVID Emergencies
  2. Braidwood v. Becerra case regarding coverage of preventive care services
  3. Recent IRS guidance
    1. 2022 tax filing deadlines extended in 9 states due to disaster declarations
    2. FAQs on qualified medical expenses
    3. Cafeteria plan substantiation rules
    4. Certain wellness plans subject to employment taxes
    5. HDHP Relief for COVID-19 Services and Preventive Care
  4. FSAs, HRAs, HSAs: Upcoming Changes
  5. FSAs, HRAs, HSAs: Possible Changes

Again, here’s a link to the recording.

How to leverage these changes into commercial value

When we were putting together the materials for this webinar, we heard from our clients and trusted partners how important it was to have actionable, commercial takeaways in addition to valuable regulatory updates. In the following blog post, we’ll discuss how you can position yourself as a knowledgeable, strategic partner and how to maximize profits with operational improvements that support your growth. 

Become knowledgeable on regulatory matters

To establish themselves as experts in the field, TPAs must proactively seek knowledge about upcoming regulatory changes. This can be accomplished through various means, such as:

Continuing Education

TPAs should invest in ongoing training programs to stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and compliance requirements. Industry conferences, webinars, and professional certifications can enhance their understanding and demonstrate their commitment to staying current. For example, at benefit administration conferences, there is often an industry/regulation session. TPAs should use these opportunities to stay up to date. While the benefit administration platforms often alert their clients of regulatory changes, proactive TPAs can use these learning opportunities to build out added services, train their staff, and capture findings to share with their clients.

Engaging Industry Experts

Collaborating with legal advisors or consultants who specialize in benefits administration can provide TPAs with valuable insights into regulatory changes. Leveraging their expertise enables TPAs to gain in-depth knowledge while ensuring they remain compliant. Industry experts like those on our recent webinar with HSA Consulting Services often publish news/information about the changing regulatory outlook through newsletters or LinkedIn.

Active Participation in Professional Networks

Joining industry associations and participating in relevant forums or discussion groups allows TPAs to exchange information with peers, discuss regulatory challenges, and collectively navigate through complex changes.

Expanding services to support regulatory changes

TPAs can offer additional services or notifications to support these upcoming regulatory changes.

Additional Services

Upcoming regulations provide an opportunity to add additional administration services or administration fees. For example, if H.R. 2959 / S. 1158 (allow unspent funds from employees’ FSAs or HRAs to be rolled over to an HSA) passes, this requires additional administration. TPAs that offer multiple plan types will have an advantage in capturing this revenue.


In cases where participant notification is required, TPAs can choose to charge for the administration of the notification, particularly if mailed. In cases where participant notification is not required by law, TPAs may still suggest notifying the employee population. An example is the end of the COVID National Emergency. The FAQs strongly suggest notifying participants. If sponsors would like mailed notifications, this is a simple one-time fee and revenue opportunity. If TPAs are using emailed notifications, this could be something to highlight to your employers as a valuable service.

Employee Education and Communication

TPAs can create educational resources, such as webinars or FAQs, to help employers communicate changes to their employees effectively. By offering guidance and educational materials, TPAs demonstrate their commitment to supporting employers’ compliance efforts, and some employers may find additional value in these services, either at the time of contract as an add-on service or a distinctive, included service.

Service Recommendations

As plans change, TPAs should offer insight to their employers as to how plans are administered. and potential opportunities. TPAs have a unique insight into a variety of plans across employer groups that may be valuable to provide enhanced recommendations.

Collaborative partnerships with industry experts

To further position themselves as knowledgeable about regulatory matters, TPAs can establish collaborative partnerships with industry experts. These partnerships provide valuable insights, enhance credibility, and offer additional resources to navigate regulatory changes effectively. Here are some ways TPAs can leverage collaborative partnerships

Legal Advisory Partnerships

Forge relationships with reputable law firms or legal consultants specializing in employee benefits and compliance. These partnerships enable TPAs to seek expert advice on complex legal matters, ensuring accurate interpretation and implementation of regulatory changes.

Industry Associations and Networks

Joining industry associations and networks not only provides TPAs with access to the latest industry trends but also facilitates networking with fellow professionals and subject matter experts. Collaborating with these entities allows TPAs to stay informed about regulatory updates and exchange best practices.

Technology Partnerships

Partnering with technology providers that specialize in benefits administration can enhance TPAs’ capabilities in adapting to regulatory changes. By leveraging innovative tools and systems, TPAs can efficiently implement compliance measures, streamline processes, and ensure data security.

Leveraging communication channels

Effectively communicating regulatory changes is essential for TPAs to position themselves as knowledgeable and trusted partners. Employers appreciate proactive communication, and TPAs can leverage various channels to achieve this:

Email Updates

Regularly sending email updates to clients, highlighting key regulatory changes and their impact on benefit plans, demonstrates TPAs’ commitment to keeping employers informed. These updates can also include links to additional resources and offer opportunities for employers to seek clarifications. Again, no one is expecting legal advice! But its a chance to share with your employers that you have it handled.

Social Media Presence

Maintaining an active presence on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, allows TPAs to share industry insights, updates, and articles related to regulatory changes. By engaging with employers through social media, TPAs can showcase their expertise and foster trust.

Thought Leadership Content

Publishing whitepapers, blog posts, or industry-specific articles can establish TPAs as thought leaders in the benefits administration space. By offering in-depth analysis and actionable guidance on regulatory changes, TPAs can position themselves as trusted advisors.

Monthly Newsletters

Develop monthly newsletters that summarize key regulatory changes, including insights on their implications and recommended actions. TPAs can customize the newsletters for different client segments, addressing specific industry concerns or plan types.


In an era of evolving regulations, benefits TPAs can differentiate themselves by positioning as knowledgeable and responsive partners. By investing in continuous education, expanding service offerings, and leveraging their communication channels, TPAs can gain new business and strengthen their reputation. TPAs must seize the opportunity to support employers through regulatory changes, ensuring compliance and delivering value-added services that contribute to their clients’ success.

These strategies demonstrate a proactive approach to staying informed, engaging with the industry, and delivering value-added services to clients. TPAs that prioritize collaboration, continuous education, and effective communication channels will not only attract new business but also build long-lasting relationships based on trust, expertise, and compliance excellence.

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