The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) that was passed on December 27, 2020 is known primarily for its third round of direct payment stimulus checks. However, there were additional health benefit related provisions including: (1) expanded relief for health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements; (2) new reporting requirements for commission and similar compensation; [...]
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The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has been made aware of postcards being sent to healthcare organizations informing the recipients that they are required to participate in a “Required Security Risk Assessment,” and they are being directed to send their risk assessment to the following URL below (DO NOT click on the link below or [...]
Early this month, the DOL issued the model notices to be used for the COBRA subsidy that is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In addition, the EBSA has issued FAQs that address some of the outstanding items surrounding the subsidy. This initial guidance does not include details on administering the employer tax credit [...]
Connecticut Democrats and Governor Ned Lamont have both put forth proposals that would levy an annual assessment on the state’s insurance carriers and self-funded plans. The Democratic plan includes a public insurance option for small employers (less than 50 employees) in the state and have recommended levying an assessment on the state’s insurance companies that [...]
Historically worker’s compensation does not cover community spread diseases (i.e., common cold/flu) because they generally cannot be tied back to a workplace. With the COVID-19 pandemic, some workers and workplaces have been deemed essential and present a unique problem when considering worker’s compensation coverage. As a result, some states recently have implemented amendments to their [...]
On March 30, 2021, the IRS, in its released Announcement 2021-7, notified taxpayers that personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased for the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 are now to be treated as a covered medical care amount under Section 213(d) of the IRS code. This includes masks, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and sanitizing wipes. [...]
On March 10th, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021(ARPA) was passed by both chambers of Congress and is expected to be signed by the President this week. The Act addresses several COVID relief provisions including another round of direct stimulus payments, unemployment compensation payments continuation, COVID-19 vaccine funds, and extension of the paycheck protection [...]
The Department of Labor (DOL) on February 26, 2021 issued the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 which provides guidance on the length of COVID-19 relief to be allowed under the Timeline Extension Rule. Background: On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency related to COVID-19 and established that the [...]
As a way to give small businesses the opportunity to offer their employees a workplace-based retirement savings option that is easy and inexpensive to maintain, the Department of Labor moved to establish rules for Pooled Employer Plans or PEP. According to the law, pooled plan providers will need to register with the Labor and Treasury [...]
With enrollment in Medicare Part D and specialty drug costs exploding, it’s no surprise that forecasts predict 7 percent annual growth for PBMs over the next several years. Two trends noted in the report were the continued acquisition or startup of PBMs by insurance carriers and the need for employers to better understand their options [...]