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As we approach cold and flu season, the nation and the economy are still combating the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As with any public health issue, the insurance carriers work with and follow the guidance and protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as state and local public health departments in supporting the needs of members.   What to do if you have symptoms? The CDC and health care providers ask th... Read more
The IRS released two notices (2020-29 & 2020-33) providing relief on cafeteria plan election rules and increasing the allowed health FSA carryover. These notices are not an employer requirement, rather options to consider.  Keep in mind that if you want to adopt any of the following, your plan documents must be updated and communicated to employees by issuing a Summary of Material Modifications: - Allow coverage for eligible over-the-counter (OTC) items witho... Read more
The Affordable Care Act established the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to explore the effectiveness, risks and benefits of medical treatments. The fees were originally scheduled to be collected for plan years and policy years that end after September 30, 2012 and before October 1, 2019.  In a bill recently signed by the President, the PCORI  fee has been extended through fiscal year 2029.  All non-excepted employer sponsored health pl... Read more
On May 4, 2020, the IRS and DOL issued a joint Notice extending various timelines that apply to COBRA elections and premium payments. The extensions are retroactive back to March 1, 2020. The extensions will be effective throughout the National Emergency and will end 60 days after the announced end of COVID-19 Outbreak Period and apply to the following areas:       COBRA Elections- COBRA continuation coverage must generally be elected by a qualified benef... Read more
Included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020 is the restored ability to use HSAs, FSAs and some HRAs to purchase certain over- the- counter drugs and medications, like aspirin and other pain medications, allergy medication, etc., without a doctor’s prescription. For the first time, menstrual care products are also considered qualified medical expenses for payment or reimbursement with an HSA... Read more
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