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Student Loans and the CARES Act
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
May 21, 2020 WEBCAST
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View Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Employer Health Plans Must Meet New COVID-19 Coverage Mandate

"Employers sponsoring health plans must implement these coverage changes, while making other difficult decisions due to the pandemic ... The FFRCA does not include any notice requirements specific to the COVID-19 coverage mandate, but ERISA health plans must comply with existing disclosure rules, including the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC), summary of material modifications (SMM), and summary plan description (SPD)."


[Guidance Overview]

Comparison of Leave Programs Under FFCRA (PDF)

"[This] chart compares the benefits received by utilizing the Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) and/or the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)."

Cowden Associates, Inc.

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Update to FFCRA Q&A Raises Questions About Substitution of Paid Leave

"The DOL now clarifies that while an employee is receiving 2/3 pay under the expanded FMLA provisions, an employer may require an employee to use employer-provided paid leave concurrently with the employee's expanded FMLA leave if the employer-provided leave is typically available to the employee for use when his or her child(ren)'s school or place of care is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable.... Notwithstanding the DOL's guidance on this issue, [the authors] offer a couple of words of caution."

Franczek P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Updated FAQs Clarify FFCRA Paid Leave Issues, Including Concurrent Use of Leave

"Q/A-86 clarifies an uncertainty left unresolved by the DOL's earlier FAQs, in part because of the contradictory provisions in the initial temporary regulations, but also because of the earlier FAQs' terminology. Stating that an employee's existing paid leave entitlements will be paid 'concurrently' with other leave does not unambiguously indicate whether leave relating to the same day is a supplement or substitute. Q/A-86 provides a better understanding of when an employer can require the use of existing leave to entirely replace FFCRA leave, and when existing leave can only be used as a supplement."

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

San Jose Issues Guidance and Opinion Letter Regarding Supplemental COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

"The opinion letter addresses the question of whether an employer that already provides the amount of sick leave hours required by the ordinance, must also provide additional leave for an employee who has exhausted some or all of that leave on the ordinance effective date.... Essentially, the employer must provide the amount of sick leave hours needed to bring the employee up to the total hours required by Section 9 of the ordinance (80 hours for full-time employees) by April 7, 2020."

Jackson Lewis


2020 Onsite Employee Health Clinics Forum (June 25 - 26, 2020; Chicago, IL)

Sponsored by World Conference Forum

The Largest Attended Event on Onsite Employee Health & Wellness Clinics! Building & expanding onsite health & wellness clinics that incorporate strategies to reduce costs, ensure employee satisfaction and positively impact patient behavior. Learn more

[Guidance Overview]

How California's Expansion of Paid Sick Leave Impacts Food Sector Employers

"[California Executive Order (EO) N-51-20] imposes new obligations on employers to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave to certain food sector workers. [This] overview provides answers to common questions, including: [1] which food service workers are covered by EO N-51-20; [2] what an employer's obligations are to those covered workers; and [3] how EO N-51-20 interacts with other laws."

Ogletree Deakins

Airline Accused of Firing Executive Over Coronavirus Family Leave

"A lawsuit filed April 16, 2020 ... may be the first suit filed over the new federal law created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.... [A] single mother of a school-aged son claims her employer fired her for trying to take time off under the [FFCRA].... On March 24, 2020, [the employee] formally requested leave under the new law. On March 27, 2020, her employment was terminated via a phone call. The executives who delivered the termination message cited 'conflict' with others as the reason for the termination." [Jones v. Eastern Airlines Inc., No. 20-1927 (E.D. Pa. complaint filed Apr. 16, 2020)]

McAfee & Taft

Editor's Pick Valuing Health Plan Costs for Payroll Tax Credits

"The first step is to determine which health plan expenses are eligible for a payroll tax credit. The second step is to allocate these expenses to the appropriate employees."

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

COVID-19: Life and Disability Insurance Coverage

"Neither federal law in effect prior to the CARES Act nor the recently enacted CARES Act require employers to continue life and disability insurance benefits when employees cease to be eligible for coverage.... [In] response to COVID-19, many (if not all) of the major carriers have agreed to allow coverage to continue for employees impacted by the crisis.... This alert outlines the questions employers should ask their group insurance carriers and brokers as well as the steps they should take with respect to these benefits when they furlough or layoff employees or take other employment actions that may impact employee benefits."

Barclay Damon LLP

2020 Medical Loss Ratio Rebates

"Using preliminary data reported by insurers to state regulators ... [the authors] estimate insurers will be issuing a total of about $2.7 billion across all markets -- nearly doubling the previous record high of $1.4 billion last year. The amount varies by market, with insurers reporting about $2 billion in the individual market, $348 million in the small group market, and $341 million in the large group market."

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

How the Small Business Health Insurance Market Is Faring

"Enrollment has diminished steadily, but not precipitously, in the ACA-regulated small-group market. This decline continues the trend that preceded the ACA, in part because of employers choosing to self-insure ... [P]remiums ... have increased, on average, at a rate of 5 percent a year, similar to the 4.5 percent average increase in the large-group market. This 5 percent annual increase is much lower than the double-digit annual increases that were common for small businesses in the decade prior to reform."

The Commonwealth Fund

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Extends Filing Deadlines for Employee Benefit Plans

"Form 5500 filings for plan years that ended in September, October or November 2019, as well as Form 5500 deadlines falling between April 1 and July 15, 2020, as a result of a previously filed extension request are now due July 15, 2020."

Faegre Drinker

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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When Can Health Plans End Their Coverage of COVID-19 Testing?

"The FAQs issued on April 11 by the DOL state that health plans will be required to cover COVID-19 testing with no cost-sharing, etc. during the current declared public health emergency relating to COVID-19. A footnote states that this declared public health emergency is scheduled to end on April 25, 2020 unless extended. I have been unable to locate any information about an extension. Am I correct that, absent an extension, health plans may stop covering COVID-19 testing with no cost-sharing on April 26?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Extension for 5498-SA Reporting?

"Has anyone heard that 5498-SA filing deadline has been pushed to August 31? The only thing I know if that Notice 2020-23 extending the filing and contribution date to July 15. We have an HSA sponsoring saying their filing deadline was extended to August 31."

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of CMS FAQs on Issuer Flexibilities for Utilization Management and Prior Authorization (PDF)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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