Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 29, 2020

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View COVID-19 News and Resources

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Provides Guidance on Employee Leave Rights When Summer Camps and Programs Close Due to COVID-19

"[FAB 2020-4] provides a parent's mere interest in a camp is not enough; it must be 'more likely than not' the child would have participated in the underlying program. Evidence of planned participation cited in the guidance includes eligibility for participation, submissions of applications or payments of deposits toward such programs; however, the guidance makes clear there is no 'one-size-fits-all' rule.... [T]he guidance clarifies the type of information parents must provide employers to support such leave requests[.]"

Wilson Elser

[Guidance Overview]

Health Insurance Continuation Coverage Under COBRA (PDF)

15 pages. "This report provides a simplified explanation of who qualifies for COBRA continuation coverage, the nature of COBRA continuation coverage, and corresponding employer and employee responsibilities. It also incorporates descriptions of the temporary relief that was provided on May 4, 2020, by [EBSA and the IRS]  ... [which] extends various COBRA time frames and was intended to help minimize the possibility that individuals would lose health insurance because they failed to comply with certain COBRA time frames during the COVID-19 pandemic." [R40142; updated Jun. 26, 2020]

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Guidance Overview]

ACA's Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Regs Become Final

"The 2020 Final Rule is effective August 18, 2020. Employers offering employee benefit plans that were subject to the 2016 Rule should review any notice obligations they had in consideration of the 2020 final rule. Communications may be revised to remove the nondiscrimination statement and required taglines."

OneDigital Health and Benefits

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Provides Guidance on FFCRA Leave Relating to Summer Camp and Program Closures

"[I]nvestigators are instructed to determine whether there is evidence of a plan for the child to have attended the camp or program, such as enrollment prior to cancellation, or an application submitted, or a deposit paid. At a minimum, they must determine whether it was more likely than not that the child would have attended had the facility not been closed due to COVID. A parent's 'mere interest' in a program generally will not be sufficient to show the child would have been in summer care and entitle the employee to FFCRA leave -- but it is not necessary to prove conclusively that the child absolutely would have been enrolled prior to closure."

Littler

[Guidance Overview]

New York Employers Must Offer Paid Sick Leave by January 2021

"Starting January 1, 2021, nearly all employers in New York must offer paid sick leave to their employees.... Even the smallest employers must offer at least unpaid leave. Sick leave under the law is job-protected and begins to accrue on September 30, 2020, three months before it can be used."

Nixon Peabody LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's Pick Colorado Passes Law Requiring Employers to Provide Three Types of Paid Sick Leave

"[T]he Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) [will] require all Colorado employers to provide three types of paid sick leave: [1] COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave (CO-EPSL); [2] Paid sick and safe time (PSST); and [3] Public health emergency paid sick leave (PHEL).... [C]ertain provisions will not take effect until 2021 or 2022, depending on how many employees an employer has.... [T]his built-in tripartite law would be the first of its kind."

Littler

Editor's Pick Federal Judge Upholds HHS' Hospital Transparency Rule as U.S. Healthcare Moves One Step Closer to Real Price Disclosure

"Does anyone else find it peculiar that it is not too burdensome to negotiate thousands of different reimbursements from tens of different carriers every couple of years and memorialize those understandings in hundreds of pages of contracts -- but it is too burdensome to publish those prices to the public? The Court ruled that it was within [HHS'] scope to require the disclosure of these negotiated rates.... [The author fully expects] the ultimate implementation of this rule to supercharge the use of Referenced Based Pricing, Health Savings Accounts and Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Accounts[.]" [American Hospital Ass'n v. Azar, No. 19-3619 (D.D.C. Jun. 23, 2020)]

Benefit Revolution

Employer Student Loan Tax Benefit in the CARES Act

"Employees with student loans have been able to claim a deduction for interest paid up to $2,500. The CARES Act prevents employees from claiming this deduction and the $5,250 exclusion from their gross income. In a sense, they cannot 'double dip'."

Findley

[Opinion]

DOJ, Republican State Attorneys General Ask Supreme Court to Strike Down ACA

"The Trump administration continues to take a confusing position on standing and remedy but, in any event, argues that the entire ACA should be declared invalid. This post briefly summarizes the history of the lawsuit; the opening briefs from the respondents; and what comes next." [California v. Texas, No. 19-840; Texas v. California, No. 19-1019 (cert. pet. granted Mar. 2, 2020)]

Katie Keith, in Health Affairs

Press Releases

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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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