Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – June 26, 2020

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: COBRA notices, 6/20 (329.3.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Health plan funding alternatives, 6/20 (331.1.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: General rules for Sec. 125, 6/20 (351.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: HIPAA eligibility, 6/20 (501.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Experts answer questions on extended COBRA deadlines, telehealth amid pandemic

    During the recent webinar, Addressing COVID-19 Health Benefit Compliance Issues, Kathryn Bakich, senior vice president at Segal and national director of health care compliance, and Joanne Hustead, senior vice president at Segal and deputy director of health care compliance, examined health plan compliance issues due to new COVID-19-related laws and regulations. They discussed employer questions about the extended COBRA deadlines and allowable HIPAA exemptions for telehealth throughout the national emergency.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    FAQS provide additional guidance on group health plan coverage of COVID-19 testing, telehealth, wellness and more under FFCRA and CARES Act

    The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (Departments) have issued additional frequently asked questions (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.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS issues coronavirus-related plan distribution and loan guidance

    The IRS has issued guidance on coronavirus-related distributions and plan loans, applying Act Sec. 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136). The guidance adds three new categories to the list of individuals who qualify due to adverse financial consequences and supplies information on how plans may report coronavirus-related distributions and how individuals may report these distributions on their individual federal income tax returns. The IRS provides examples concerning the reporting of distributions and repayments. The guidance includes safe harbors for employee certification and the plan loan payment suspension period.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Proposed regulations address eliminated deduction for qualified transportation fringe expenses

    Proposed regulations provide guidance regarding the elimination of the deduction for expenses related to qualified transportation fringe benefits (QTFs) provided to an employee. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97) eliminated the deduction, effective for amounts paid or incurred after December 31, 2017.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    ACA non-discrimination rule revisions finalized

    CMS has finalized a number of revisions that update the current regulations on non-discrimination under Sec. 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In an advance release of a final rule scheduled to publish in the Federal Register on June 19, 2020, CMS removed provisions issued under Sec. 1557 of the ACA that it states are inconsistent or redundant with pre-existing civil rights statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability. Language redundancies are also eliminated, as well as burdensome and costly paperwork requirements, according to CMS.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS rules encourage leave-based donation programs for victims of COVID-19

    The IRS has provided relief to support employer leave-based donation programs to aid victims of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Under these programs, employees may forgo vacation, sick or personal leave in exchange for cash payments the employer makes to charitable organizations providing relief for the victims of the pandemic.

            (Read Cheetah) »