Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 24, 2020

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CARES Act Legislative Update for Retirement Plans and Health & Welfare Plans
May 14, 2020 WEBCAST
TRI-AD

Emerging Cybersecurity Risks as a Result of COVID-19
May 21, 2020 WEBCAST
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

Employee Benefit Plans of Tax-Exempt and Governmental Employers 2020
October 29, 2020 in DC
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

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View Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Corrects Temporary Regs and Provides Additional Q&A on FFCRA

"Stay-at-home orders vs. quarantine or isolation orders ... Taking FFCRA leave concurrently with employer-provided leave ... Computing EPSL and EFML entitlement for employees with irregular hours ... Computing the average regular rate for the FFCRA."

Foley & Lardner LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Large Employers Still Face FMLA Obligations Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

"Private employers with 500 or more employees who fall outside the ambit of the recently mandated paid leave provisions of the [FFCRA] may still have leave obligations related to COVID-19 under the [FMLA] and its state law equivalents.... This alert discusses in what situations the FMLA may or may not apply to COVID-19 cases."

Nixon Peabody LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Statutory and Regulatory Requirements in Connection with the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act: Application to Federal Employees (PDF)

12 pages. "The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA, division E of the FFCRA) provides employees with up to 2 weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave in specified circumstances related to COVID-19 -- unless they are in an exempted category ... EPSLA applies to all Federal civil service employees in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the U.S. Government unless they are exempted as allowed under the law."

U.S. Office of Personnel Management [OPM]

[Guidance Overview]

California Imposes New Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Certain Food Industry Workers

"The Order applies to all private entities employing food sector workers with 500 or more employees in the United States.... The Order applies to all food sector workers who perform work for or through the company, regardless of whether they are deemed employees of the company. Both full and part-time workers are covered under the Order."

Foley & Lardner LLP

Emergency Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA) Sample Forms

"[These] sample draft forms will assist employers to help their employees who need to request emergency leave under the new coronavirus leave laws. [1] Designation Notice; [2] Request Form; [3] Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities; [4] Emergency Paid Sick Leave Request Form."

Cowden Associates, Inc.

Estimating the Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Costs in 2020

13 pages. "If COVID-19 results in deferred care through the end of June, the net reduction of 2020 healthcare costs through June will be between $140 billion and $375 billion nationally.... If COVID-19 results in deferred care through the end of the year, either because of a 'second wave' or an elongated first wave of infections, the net reduction in 2020 healthcare costs will be between $75 billion and $575 billion nationally.... [The authors] expect an increase in costs after the pandemic due to deferred care and pent-up demand, which is included in [the] estimate of the impact to 2020 medical costs."

Milliman

U.S. Health Care Costs of COVID-19 Could Range from $163.4 Billion to $654.0 Billion

"The authors estimate that a single symptomatic COVID-19 infection would cost a median of $3,045 in direct medical costs. If 80 percent of the US population got infected, there would be a median of 44.6 million hospitalizations, 10.7 million intensive care unit admissions, 6.5 million ventilators used, and 249.5 million hospital bed days, costing $654.0 billion in direct costs during the pandemic. On the other hand, if 20 percent got infected, there would be a median of 11.2 million hospitalizations, 62.3 million hospital bed days, and 1.6 million ventilators used, costing $163.4 billion."

Health Affairs

2020 Medicare Trustees Report (PDF)

255 pages. "Medicare's costs under current law rise steadily from their current level of 3.7 percent of GDP in 2019 to 6.0 percent in 2044. Costs then continue to grow, but at a slower rate, until reaching 6.5 percent in 2094. Under the illustrative alternative, projected costs would continue rising steadily throughout the projection period, reaching 6.3 percent of GDP in 2044 and 8.5 percent in 2094."

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Medicare Finances: Findings of the 2020 Trustees Report (PDF)

10 pages. "According to the 2020 Medicare Trustees Report, expenditures from Medicare's HI Trust Fund exceeded revenues by $5.8 billion in 2019. Without a policy change aimed at increasing revenues or reducing expenditures, the surplus that has accumulated in the HI Trust Fund over the years will be depleted by 2026. The HI Trust Fund will have to rely on the annual revenue from Medicare payroll taxes and to a lesser extent its other sources of income, which together are projected to cover 90 percent of annual expenditures in 2026."

National Academy of Social Insurance [NASI]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Description of the Tax Provisions of the CARES Act

112 pages. "For each provision, this document includes a description of present law, a description of the provision, and the effective date. Unless otherwise noted, the description of present law with respect to each provision describes the law in effect immediately before enactment of the provision and does not reflect changes to the law made by the enacting legislation or by subsequent legislation." [JCX-12R-20, Apr. 23, 2020]

Joint Committee on Taxation [JCT], U.S. Congress

Preston Rutledge to Step Down as EBSA Head

"Preston Rutledge is stepping down next month from his post as assistant Secretary of Labor for [EBSA]. An official [DOL] announcement has not yet been made and the reason for his departure or his next move could not immediately be learned."

Pensions & Investments

Benefits Considerations When Mass Hiring During COVID-19 Crisis

"There are industries experiencing massive hiring, with that comes careful considerations for onboarding employees. They need to be onboarded quickly and efficiently, and you need to ensure your benefits offering doesn’t get lost in the shuffle."

Tango Health

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020 BenefitsLink.com, 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 BenefitsLink.com, 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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