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Friday, 20 March 2020 07:21

The Best Resources on COVID-19

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There is no doubt that navigating business and everyday life during this unprecedented time is challenging. Here at Fall River, we have been proactively gathering the most useful resources to help us make the best internal decisions and to share with our clients. We have also been conversing with the carriers to find out how they are handling the benefits situations that have arisen from the pandemic.

Fall River Working Remote

Our most important asset at Fall River is our people; to keep us safe we have implemented a work from home policy. We were already well-prepared for this situation, as we’ve had this capability for years. Rest assured that our regular extensions/direct lines are currently forwarded to our home offices, so there’s no change in how to reach us. In this time of social distancing we will also be conducting client and employee meetings via webinars and phone calls.

Paid Sick Leave Mandate

Information regarding the Colorado mandate for employers in certain industries to provide sick leave for certain employees can be found here.

COVID-19 Testing

Information regarding the declaration of COVID-19 testing as an Essential Health Benefit and what that means for members can be found using the links below:

·         DOI Directs Insurers on COIVD-19 Coverage

·         Coronavirus and HSA Eligibility

·         IRS Notice on HDHPs and COVID-19

·         How To Get a COVID -19 Test

Specific information from the major medical carriers:

·         Anthem: Educational Flyer and FAQ

·         Cigna

·         Humana

·         United Healthcare

·         Kaiser

Information regarding preparedness plans and compliance:

·         COVID-19 Compliance Whitepaper

·         COVID-19 Update: Employee Terminations, Furloughs, and Layoffs: COBRA, Reinstatement, and Closed Businesses

·         Employee Reference Guide: Infections and Communicable Disease Preparedness

Special Enrollment Period for Uninsured

The Colorado Division of Insurance and Connect for Health Colorado has also established a special open enrollment period for the uninsured to purchase individual plans for an effective date of April 1. Read more about Emergency Regulation 20-E-02. Also, note that two carriers so far have announced that this open enrollment period can also be used by group plans for their uninsured employees if desired; contact your client manager for details on this.

HSA Contribution Deadline Extended

The IRS has announced that, along with the extension of federal income tax filing from April 15 to July 15, 2020, contributions to 2019 HSAs also are extended to July 15th, 2020.Contributions may be made to your HSA or Archer MSA, for a particular year, at any time during the year or by the due date for filing your return for that year. Because the due date for filing Federal income tax returns is now July 15, 2020, under this relief, you may make contributions to your HSA or Archer MSA for 2019 at any time up to July 15, 2020.

This is a great opportunity for those who did not maximize their HSA contributions for 2019 to save themselves money on taxes while also saving for future medical expenses.

Alera’s Free Public Coronavirus Resource Center

Please also take advantage of the fantastic public resource page of our new partner where you can find information on a range of topics relating to COVID-19 in one convenient place. There you will find a wealth of information, including this article on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) passed by Congress March 18th . Additionally, you can listen to our attorneys’ latest presentation on compliance and all things related to COVID-19: slides and webinar.

SHRM Dashboard

For those of you who are SHRM members, you can also access their Coronavirus resources here.

CARES Act Stimulus Bill passes the Senate

Finally, the Senate passed the CARES Act by a vote of 96-0 late Wednesday night. This $2 Trillion stimulus package supports taxpayers, major industries impacted, the unemployed, and small businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. A vote in the House is expected Friday.

If you are looking for information on a topic that we have not mentioned here, please contact your Client Manager today. We probably have a resource for it!

Read 1243 times Last modified on Friday, 11 September 2020 13:32
Amy De Lorenzo

Amy Johnston is an Account Manager with extensive experience working with both large and small employers as a broker.  In addition to five years of broker experience prior to joining Fall River, she also brings eight years of insurance carrier expertise.  Amy is an expert on ERISA, the Affordable Care Act, and other compliance issues.

Ms. Johnston received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Colorado State University. She is a Colorado native from Steamboat Springs, and loves spending time in the mountains with her husband, two children, and Tucker the cocker spaniel. She enjoys snowshoeing, hiking, and philanthropy work to promote education.