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Thursday, April 15, 2021
In IRS Announcement 2021-07, the IRS clarified that amounts paid for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes may be treated as qualifying medical expenses and thereby qualify for tax-favored reimbursement if it is purchased for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released model notices and a COBRA subsidy information website related to the COBRA subsidy that was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act or 2021 (ARPA). The website will be the central location that the DOL uses to inform individuals of their potential right to take advantage of the subsidy, and to assist employers with fulfilling their compliance obligations.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
With an increase in the vacancy rate of commercial properties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, owners are at greater risk of suffering uninsured losses.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
In Alaska, there are new group association plan options that can benefit small businesses. Association health plans can help lower healthcare costs for smaller companies by providing access to savings associated with large group medical coverage.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
2020 was quite a year. The pandemic bared down on healthcare organizations, and many are still squarely in the midst of it.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Congress passed the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The bill includes significant employee benefits related provisions including a federal subsidy that will cover 100% of the cost of COBRA continuation coverage for up to 6 months for individuals who have had an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours. The bill also includes an increase in the amount an employee can elect to contribute tax-free to a §129 Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP).
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Studies show that inspired and engaged employees are 55% more productive, which can mean a great deal to a company struggling during the pandemic.
Monday, March 1, 2021
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued new guidance regarding notice and disclosure timeframe relief for employee benefit plans and plan participants due to COVID-19. EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 (The Joint Notice) clarifies that the deadline for extended timeframes, such as a COBRA election, are based on each participant’s individual circumstances, rather than on a fixed period applicable to all notices and disclosures. This interpretation will create significant administrative challenges for plan sponsors and administrators.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Walking through the streets of downtown San Francisco recently, it was sad to see a hotel boarded up with an announcement that they would be closed until further notice.
Monday, February 22, 2021
This week, the IRS released guidance further clarifying items in the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) permitting flexibility for health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), dependent care account plans (DCAPs) and cafeteria plan election change rules.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule), covered entities (payers, insurers, hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers) must act on an individual’s request for access to their health records within 30 days.
Monday, February 15, 2021
In a slow news cycle, the new long-term care (LTC) law in Washington state would have received a little more coverage in 2020. With the world on its ear though, if you missed the news, you’re not alone.