COVID-19 Leave and Summer Camp Closures

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-4 (FAB) to provide guidance on when an employee may take paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) to care for his or her child due to the closure of a summer camp, or other summer program for COVID-19 related reasons. […]

Agencies Issue Further Guidance on COVID-19

The Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, and the IRS (the “Agencies”) have issued Frequently Asked Questions #43 (“FAQs”) regarding implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), and other health coverage issues related to COVID-19. Background.  The FFCRA […]

IRS Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Leave Donation Programs

The IRS has issued Notice 2020-46 to explain the tax consequences of employer-based COVID-19 leave donation programs. Background.  The IRS recognized that, in response to the need to provide relief to victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, leave-based donation programs.  Under leave-based donation programs, employees can […]

ACA Out-of-Pocket Limit and PCORI Fee Announced

HHS and IRS have announced inflation-adjusted out-of-pocket (“OOP”) limits that will apply to non-grandfathered health plans for plan years beginning in 2021, and the indexed PCORI fee.  The OOP limit includes the plan’s deductible and cost-sharing amounts for benefits that are considered essential health benefits (“EHBs”) under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).   OOP Limits:  […]

COVID-19 Update DOL and IRS Extend Certain Deadlines for Welfare Plans and Participants

The DOL and IRS have issued COVID-19 related guidance that temporarily extends certain deadlines applicable to welfare plans and their participants and beneficiaries. COVID-19 Related Guidance.  In April 2020, the DOL issued EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, and the DOL and IRS (collectively, the “Agencies”) jointly issued final regulations providing temporary extensions of certain deadlines […]

IRS Announces 2021 HSA Limits

The IRS has announced the 2021 calendar year dollar limits for health savings account (“HSA”) contributions, and the minimum deductible amounts and maximum out-of-pocket expenses for high deductible health plans (“HDHPs”).  By law, these limits are indexed annually to adjust for inflation. Background.  Under Internal Revenue Code Section 223, HSAs are tax-favored accounts that individuals […]

IRS Relaxes Rules for Cafeteria Plan Mid-Year Election Changes

The IRS, in Notice 2020-29, has relaxed the mid-year election change rules for cafeteria plans due to the nature of the public health emergency imposed by COVID-19, extended grace and carryover periods for certain plans and clarified the rules for HSA contributions. Election Changes:  For mid-year elections made during calendar year 2020, a cafeteria plan […]

DOL Issues Revised COBRA Notices

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued updated versions of its model general notice and model election notice to ensure that qualified beneficiaries better understand the interactions between Medicare and COBRA. Background.  Under COBRA, an individual who was covered by a group health plan on the day before the occurrence of a qualifying event (such […]

Federal Agencies Extend Deadlines for COBRA and Health Plan Claims, Appeals, and Special Enrollments

In coordination, the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Internal Revenue Service (collectively, the “Agencies”) have extended deadlines for multiple events important to health plan administration that will apply to ERISA-governed plans and governmental plans.  Third-party administrators and COBRA administrators will need to program for these extensions, and consider […]

IRS Extends Deadlines for Certain Filings and Actions for Employee Welfare Benefits Plan

The IRS has issued Notice 2020-23 to provide employers, employees and retirement plan service providers with relief from business disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Notice 2020-23 automatically extends, to July 15, 2020, certain deadlines for employee welfare benefit plan filings and other specified time-sensitive actions, that would otherwise require completion between April 1, 2020, and […]