Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 16, 2020

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'COVIDIA' - Benefits in the Time of COVID-19
December 8, 2020 WEBCAST
ISCEBS [International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists]

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[Guidance Overview]

Group Health Plan Coverage of COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines

"Since this is a mandate, stop-loss carriers should cover these claims, but employers will want to work with their stop-loss carrier to confirm. Individual claims for testing are unlikely to trigger an individual stop-loss deductible/attachment point, but a large volume of tests, combined with other claims, may exceed an aggregate deductible/attachment point." Icon to read more

HUB International

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconMaine’s Earned Paid Leave Begins Accruing January 1

"Final regulations and FAQs on Maine's earned paid leave (MEPL) law clarify key provisions on coverage, eligibility, accrual, notice, pay rates and interaction with existing leave plans. The law, enacted in 2019, allows Maine workers to accrue one hour of paid leave for every 40 worked, up to 40 total hours per year, to use for any reason after 120 days of employment. The measure applies starting Jan. 1, 2021, and preempts any similar local laws in the state." Icon to read more

Mercer

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconHSAs and Domestic Partners

"The employee will have the standard family HSA contribution limit, but the employee typically will not be able to take tax-free medical distributions from the HSA for the domestic partner's medical expenses." Icon to read more

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Steer Clear of Misconceptions About FFCRA Tax Credits

"The group aggregation rules for determining whether an employer is eligible for the paid-leave tax credits under the FFCRA are the same for determining employer eligibility for other COVID-19-related relief, such as the employee retention credit under the CARES Act.... Employers must choose between claiming tax credits for paid leave under the FFCRA or for wages paid to employees under the employee retention credit, but they may not claim both." Icon to read more

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

Employers Express Interest in Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements

"[O]ne in six employers (15%) is planning to offer or considering offering ICHRAs to at least some portion of its employees in 2022 or later. The survey results showed similar levels of interest regardless of employer size, with 20% of large employers planning to offer or considering offering ICHRAs to at least some portion of their active employees ... The survey found nearly one in three (29%) public sector and education employers and almost a quarter (22%) of wholesale and retail employers are planning to offer or considering offering ICHRAs in 2022 or later." Icon to read more

Willis Towers Watson

[Opinion]

What Happens When COBRA Deadlines Become Suggested Time Limits?

"From a public policy perspective, it is ... hard to see how open-ended COBRA notice, election, and premium payment periods are a good thing.... [A]nother way to balance the need for relief with the need for structure would have been to double all the applicable time periods. Perhaps the guidance could have also added another option for adversely affected qualified beneficiaries to request an additional 30 days on top of that if they request relief in a timely fashion." Icon to read more

Paul M. Hamburger of Proskauer Rose LLP, via HR Daily Advisor

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Employee Benefit Developments in 2020 (PDF)
Holland & Hart LLP, via Tax Executive

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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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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