In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Departments of Health/Human Services, Labor and Treasury (DHS, DOL & DOT), along with the IRS have issued (April 29, 2019) guidance that extends many of the deadline dates associated with various employee benefits related time frames.
In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, Congress, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the IRS have made key changes affecting the use of tax-free funds that reside in tax preferred spending accounts:
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and changed the health insurance landscape for many people. Here’s a review of the various options available to people, depending on their specific situation and eligibility:
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) became law. The CARES Act amends certain provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). CARES also temporarily eliminates deductibles for certain services in HSA Qualified High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs), and temporarily expands the list of qualified expenses reimbursable through HSAs, HRAs, and FSAs.
On March 18, 2020 the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which takes effect April 2, 2020. The FFCRA includes several provisions that impact employers with less than 500 employees, with allowable exemptions for affected employers with fewer than 50 employees. This blog post addresses the three (3) main aspects of the FFCRA: 1. Mandated waiver of health insurance related cost sharing for COVID-19 testing; 2. New paid leave entitlements; and 3. Employer tax credits.
Leaders of the major health insurance companies in the U.S. agreed to expand insurance benefits related to Corornavirus/COVID-19, in a historical meeting held at the White House yesterday (March 10, 2020). Present at the meeting were executives from: Aetna
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association (representing the 36 BCBS plans throughout the nation, including Anthem)
UnitedHealth Group (aka United Healthcare)
On Jan. 15, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its 2020
inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalties that may be assessed on
employers for violations of a wide range of federal laws, including:
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA);
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA);
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); and
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).
There is never a dull moment in congress, particularly as it relates to healthcare reform! While we have been reading and hearing, for most of the year, about congressional efforts to eliminate so called “surprise medical bills”, and reduce escalating drug prices, what we ultimately got were ACA tax cuts. In total, $373 billion worth of ACA related tax cuts are coming as a result of the House and Senate passed spending/funding bill.