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<< Older News  |  April 12, 2021

News

All News > Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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DOL Issues Guidance on the American Rescue Plan Act COBRA Subsidy
Littler Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 12, 2021

"The newly released FAQs ... do not address whether the ARPA subsidy will cover medical, dental and vision coverage or just medical coverage. They also do not clarify when a particular termination of employment should be considered voluntary[.]"

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COBRA Subsidies Are Revived, But Include Unanswered Questions
Nelson Mullins Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 12, 2021

"Do assistance eligible individuals include individuals with 29-month or 36-month COBRA triggers? ... Who has the obligation if there was a purchase or sale of a business? ... What if the employer is no longer subject to COBRA? ... Is ARPA subsidized COBRA limited to medical only?"

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COBRA Subsidy Effects on Severance Programs and Employee Separations
Frost Brown Todd LLC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 9, 2021

"Employers that pay for a terminated employee's COBRA premiums as part of a severance program should understand that in most cases, during the next six months, this will no longer be a benefit which can serve as adequate consideration for a release of claims.... Employers should review recent and current severance and separation issues and implement [certain] changes."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Text of EBSA Notice of the Availability of the Model Health Care Continuation Coverage Notices Required by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Apr. 9, 2021

"These model documents include an ARP General Notice, a Notice in Connection with Extended Election Periods, an Alternative Notice, and a Notice of Expiration of Period of Premium Assistance.... [T]he Department also developed a Summary of ARP requirements to include the following supplemental disclosures, which should be included with the ARP General Notice, the Alternative Notice, and the Notice in Connection with Extended Election Periods: [1] A summary of the ARP's premium assistance provisions. [2] A form to request the premium assistance under the ARP. [3] A form for an individual to use to satisfy the ARP's requirement to notify the plan (or issuer) that the individual is eligible for other group health plan coverage (other than coverage consisting of only excepted benefits, coverage under a health FSA, or coverage under a QSEHRA) or that the individual is eligible for Medicare.

'Each model notice is designed for a particular group of qualified beneficiaries. When provided in combination with these supplemental disclosures, these model documents contain all of the information needed to satisfy the content requirements for the ARP's notice provisions."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

DOL Issues Guidance on COBRA Subsidy
Graydon Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 8, 2021

"One of the most important questions answered by the new FAQs helped address how the subsidy interacts with the previous guidance providing extensions to elect COBRA or pay for COBRA coverage.... The FAQs further clarified that the subsidy election period does not cut off an individual's pre-existing right to elect COBRA continuation coverage, including under the extended time frames provided under the Joint Notice and [EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01]."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Model ARPA COBRA Notices Have Arrived!
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 8, 2021

"While this guidance answers important questions on the administration of the subsidies, it does not ... cover important nuances such as what is an 'involuntary termination' in order to qualify for subsidized coverage, how existing separation agreement commitments to subsidize COBRA should be viewed, or details on how the corresponding payroll tax credit will work."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COBRA Subsidy Forms and Guidance Issued
Jackson Walker Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 8, 2021

"While the Model Notices are available, they are not mandated and can be modified. There may be good reasons for an employer to consider modifying the notices. If an employer chooses to draft their own forms or modify the model forms, the FAQs specify what information must be included in the notices."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

DOL Issues COBRA Subsidy Model Notices
Graydon Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 8, 2021

"[T]he DOL clarified that the COVID relief on timing of providing notices under EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 does not apply to the notice and election periods related to the COBRA subsidy of ARPA.... [U]ltimately the penalties for non-compliance are on you as the plan sponsor even if you are using a third-party COBRA administrator."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Philadelphia Extends Paid COVID-19 Leave for Workers
Morgan Lewis Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 8, 2021

"Under the new ordinance, which will remain in effect for the duration of the pandemic, covered employers must immediately provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to qualifying employees for certain COVID-19-related reasons."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Text of DOL Model Notices for COBRA Premium Subsidy
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Apr. 7, 2021
  • Model General Notice and COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice: MS Word and PDF
  • Model Notice in Connection with Extended Election Period: MS Word and PDF
  • Model Alternative Notice: MS Word and PDF
  • Model Notice of Expiration of Premium Assistance: MS Word and PDF
  • Summary of COBRA Premium Assistance Provisions under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: MS Word and PDF

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Outbreak Period Tolling: Clarification and Considerations
OneDigital Health and Benefits Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 7, 2021

"The DOL stressed the reasonable administration of plans given the ongoing difficulties individuals continue to face during the pandemic and their reliance on access to medical care. In light of this, employers should ... exercise vigilance by notifying individuals before they are denied a benefit."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration

Reboot, Rewire, or Retire: The Future of Phased Retirement
Pension Research Council, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania Link to more items from this source
Apr. 7, 2021

"The pandemic cut off many activities and options during the last year, and also pushed us into learning to do more remotely and into working with different technologies.... A big question is whether this will enable phased retirees to create more opportunities for themselves."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Retirement Plan Design

COVID-19 PPE Qualifies as Medical Expense
OneDigital Health and Benefits Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2021

"If the group health plan allows full scope reimbursement of Section 213(d) medical expenses, a plan amendment may not be needed."

Tags: Cafeteria Plans  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  HRAs  •  HSAs  •  Health Plan Design

Happy National Employee Benefits Day, April 6, 2021!
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2021

"If there was ever a year to celebrate National Employee Benefits Day, this is the year. The last year needs no introduction, but it is worthwhile to take just a moment to acknowledge the role employee benefits and all the tireless employee benefit professionals have played in getting us through."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Administration

An Updated Look at 401(k) Participant Behaviors During the COVID-19 Crisis
Morningstar Link to more items from this source
Apr. 5, 2021

"[A]pproximately 3.0% of participants using retirement managed accounts stopped using their respective investment strategies during 2020 (that is, they began self-directing).... Among self-directors, ... roughly 13% changed equity allocations by more than 5% ... Participants self-directing their accounts who made allocation changes tended to move to more-conservative portfolios, especially during the first quarter of 2020[.]"

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Returns to Philadelphia
Ogletree Deakins Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 5, 2021

"Unlike the prior iteration of the law that sunset on December 31, 2020, this law will stay in effect 'for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.' ... The law applies to both union and nonunion private-sector employees of employers with 50 or more employees."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

ARPA COBRA Subsidy: Two Bites at the Apple, and Some Additional Food for Thought
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 5, 2021

"[I]ndividuals making an election will have an opportunity to elect COBRA coverage on a retroactive basis (back to their loss of coverage) or on a prospective basis (starting April 1, 2021) ... While the COBRA subsidy is available for state law continuation coverage ... the special second election period ... may be limited to periods of continuation coverage provided under federal COBRA."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COBRA Subsidies Under the American Rescue Plan Act
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 5, 2021

"AEIs who elect COBRA during this special election period will begin COBRA coverage on April 1, 2021, but if the COBRA event occurred before this date, the coverage will still end 18 months from the date they originally became eligible for COBRA.... [To] take advantage of the subsidy, they must make their COBRA elections within the special election period."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-Related Changes to Paid Sick Leave
Jackson Walker Link to more items from this source
Apr. 5, 2021

Podcast with transcript. "[E]mployers need to make sure they're not giving this FFCRA paid sick leave to employees based on the fact that they are highly compensated, or that they're full time, or based on seniority.... [T]hey're not going to qualify for those tax credits ... [and] will have to cover the costs themselves if they choose to do this."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Payroll Tax Credit for COVID-19 Sick and Family Leave
Congressional Research Service [CRS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 2, 2021

"This [report] provides an overview of the tax credits for paid leave initially provided in the [FFCRA] and later extended in the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted as Division N, Title II, Subtitle B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L. 116-260) and the American Rescue Plan Act[.]" [IF11739, Apr. 1, 2021]

Tags: ARPA  •  Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

How Work-from-Anywhere Complicates Employee Benefits
BenefitsPro; free registration required Link to more items from this source
Apr. 2, 2021

"Benefits are sometimes limited or even very restricted by geography.... Keep presentations and video training shorter in duration ... [T]here are a lot of differences between states in not just taxes, but also required benefits.... [A] company's benefits administration system needs to be clear and easy for employees to understand and use."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Administration

ARPA Extends Tax Credits for Providing COVID-19 Leave
Bradley Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 2, 2021

"The ARPA [1] increases the qualifying reasons for EPSL to nine ... [2] resets an employee's available EPSL days as of April 1, 2021.... [3] extends the EFMLA qualifying reasons to all nine of the EPSL reasons[.]"

Tags: ARPA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

Philadelphia Implements COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Mandate
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 2, 2021

"The amended [Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL)] ordinance ... expands existing paid sick leave requirements by mandating Philadelphia businesses with at least 50 employees provide additional paid time off to employees who have worked for the business at least 90 days."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Revised Pubic Health Emergency Leave Law Goes Into Effect in Philadelphia
Ballard Spahr Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 2, 2021

"[T]he City of Philadelphia adopted a new version of Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL), mandating up to 80 hours of paid leave benefits in 2021 for employers with 50 or more employees. The law went into effect on ... March 29, 2021."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

The American Rescue Plan Keeps the FFCRA Voluntary But Expands Paid Leave
Epstein Becker Green Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 2, 2021

"Employers covered by relevant federal, state, and/or local leave laws, including any recently enacted emergency leave laws, should evaluate how, if at all, those laws interact with paid leave benefits provided under the Act."

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave


<< Older News  |  April 12, 2021

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