covid19 Tag

Know Your Benefits HeaderOn March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law.

In addition to providing direct financial assistance to Americans, the CARES Act repeals the Medicine Cabinet Tax provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), expanding the list of qualifying expenses that can be reimbursed with health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

CARES Act and Qualifying Medical Expenses

Know Your Benefits HeaderOn March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law.

In addition to providing direct financial assistance to Americans, the CARES Act repeals the Medicine Cabinet Tax provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), expanding the list of qualifying expenses that can be purchased with flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

CARES Act and Qualifying Medical Expenses

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (Departments) have provided answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding health coverage issues related to COVID-19, including implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

These new laws require health plans and issuers to cover certain items and services related to the diagnosis of COVID-19 without imposing any cost- sharing requirements (including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance) or prior authorization or other medical management requirements. According to the Departments’ FAQs, health plans and issuers must provide notice of the changes to plan participants as soon as reasonably practicable.

Legal Update HeaderOn April 9, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-23 to extend key tax deadlines for individuals and businesses in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This new tax relief is provided under Section 7508A of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), which gives the IRS authority to postpone deadlines for taxpayers affected by federally declared disasters.

Due to complaints related to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), insufficient training on appropriate standards and possible coronavirus illness (COVID-19) transmissions in the workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued temporary guidance for its area offices to use in their efforts to enforce the agency's workplace safety and health mandates. These mandates require employers to take prompt actions to mitigate hazards and protect employees during the COVID-19 pandemic

The new guidance, issued on April 13, 2020, directs OSHA compliance officers to process most complaints from non-healthcare and non-emergency response establishments as “non-formal” and to conduct investigations via phone or fax whenever possible. However, employers should know that after receiving a serious incident report, OSHA area directors will determine whether to conduct an inspection or a rapid response investigation (RRI). RRIs are intended to identify any hazards, provide abatement assistance and confirm abatement, and OSHA generally encourages area directors to recommend them. This Compliance Bulletin provides a summary of the enforcement guidance provisions that relate specifically to COVID-19 issues.