COVID-19 Updates

Qualifying Medical Expenses Include COVID-Related PPE

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.

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Medical Professional Insurance Faces Challenges in 2021

2020 was quite a year. The pandemic bared down on healthcare organizations, and many are still squarely in the midst of it.

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Significant Employee Benefit Changes Contained in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

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).

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COVID-19 Workforce Vaccination: Part 2

In part two of our series, our panel, including scientist Dr. April Randhawa from Fred Hutch, attorney Kathy Feldman from Karr Tuttle and benefits compliance expert, Bob Radecki shed light on the following questions: Where are we in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations? What do we need to know about the mutant variation strains of […]

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IRS Guidance on COVID-Related Cafeteria Plan Flexibility

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.

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Employer Readiness – COVID-19 Vaccine

As the Centers for Disease Control continues to roll out the new COVID-19 vaccines, there are several issues employers should be thinking about as they determine what steps, if any, they intend to take to provide or require vaccination of their employees.

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Bringing Some Certainty to Uncertain PPP Loans

The pandemic has upended so many aspects of our lives this year, leaving many with uncertainty and worry. Congress extended a lifeline by passing the CARES Act to support…

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Can Employers Require COVID-19 Vaccinations?

As COVID-19 vaccines become available, many employers will have a strong case for requiring employee vaccinations, so long as their vaccination policies have certain exceptions, are job-related, and are consistent with business necessity, legal experts say.

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Additional Sections 125 and 129 Flexibility Included in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

In the recently passed COVID-19 relief legislation, Congress included several temporary changes to Section 125 and 129 rules that provide additional reimbursement and election change flexibility for plan participants.

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Significant Benefits Issues in New COVID-19 Relief Legislation

The COVID-19 relief bill recently passed by Congress contains several important employee benefit-related provisions, including restrictions on “surprise medical bills,” new plan and health cost reporting rules, and additional flexibility for participants of health flexible spending accounts (HFSAs) and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs).

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Group Health Plan Coverage of COVID-19 Immunizations

As official approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is likely to be announced any day now for one or more vaccines, non-grandfathered group health plans must prepare to provide coverage for COVID-19 immunizations with no cost-sharing.

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Why You Should Be Evaluating Your Company’s Disability Insurance Offering in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the reality of COVID-19 set in, many Americans were questioning how they would cope without paid sick leave if they got ill.

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