May 24, 2022

The Benefits Compliance team provides several resources that are available for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Information presented through our resources is subject to change pending additional guidance from the DOL, IRS, or other state or federal regulatory agencies.

Benefits Compliance COVID-19 State Quick Reference Chart
Compliance Considerations on Insurance Carrier Refunds in the COVID-19 Environment
DOL Issues Clarification on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefits Plans
IRS Clarifies Extension of Certain COBRA Election and Premium Payments Deadlines
Federal Government Extends COVID-19 National Emergency
Telehealth Relief Extended

To listen to recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Podcasts, please visit NFP’s Insights from the Experts podcast page or by clicking here.

To view recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Webinars, please visit the NFP.com/Insights/Webinars page or by clicking here.

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May 10, 2022

The Benefits Compliance team provides several resources that are available for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Information presented through our resources is subject to change pending additional guidance from the DOL, IRS, or other state or federal regulatory agencies.

Benefits Compliance COVID-19 State Quick Reference Chart
Compliance Considerations on Insurance Carrier Refunds in the COVID-19 Environment
DOL Issues Clarification on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefits Plans
IRS Clarifies Extension of Certain COBRA Election and Premium Payments Deadlines
Federal Government Extends COVID-19 National Emergency
Telehealth Relief Extended

To listen to recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Podcasts, please visit NFP’s Insights from the Experts podcast page or by clicking here.

To view recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Webinars, please visit the NFP.com/Insights/Webinars page or by clicking here.

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April 26, 2022

The Benefits Compliance team provides several resources that are available for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Information presented through our resources is subject to change pending additional guidance from the DOL, IRS, or other state or federal regulatory agencies.

Benefits Compliance COVID-19 State Quick Reference Chart
Compliance Considerations on Insurance Carrier Refunds in the COVID-19 Environment
DOL Issues Clarification on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefits Plans
Federal Government Extends COVID-19 National Emergency
IRS Clarifies Extension of Certain COBRA Election and Premium Payments Deadlines
Telehealth Relief Extended

To listen to recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Podcasts, please visit NFP’s Insights from the Experts podcast page or by clicking here.

To view recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Webinars, please visit the NFP.com/Insights/Webinars page or by clicking here.

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April 12, 2022

The Benefits Compliance team provides several resources that are available for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Information presented through our resources is subject to change pending additional guidance from the DOL, IRS, or other state or federal regulatory agencies.

Benefits Compliance COVID-19 State Quick Reference Chart
Compliance Considerations on Insurance Carrier Refunds in the COVID-19 Environment
DOL Issues Clarification on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefits Plans
IRS Clarifies Extension of Certain COBRA Election and Premium Payments Deadlines

To listen to recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Podcasts, please visit NFP’s Insights from the Experts podcast page or by clicking here.

To view recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Webinars, please visit the NFP.com/Insights/Webinars page or by clicking here.

Webinar Archive: We’re Still in the Outbreak Period: End-of-Year COVID-19 Benefits Compliance Considerations

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March 29, 2022

The Benefits Compliance team provides several resources that are available for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Information presented through our resources is subject to change pending additional guidance from the DOL, IRS, or other state or federal regulatory agencies.

Benefits Compliance COVID-19 State Quick Reference Chart
Compliance Considerations on Insurance Carrier Refunds in the COVID-19 Environment
DOL Issues Clarification on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefits Plans
IRS Clarifies Extension of Certain COBRA Election and Premium Payments Deadlines

To listen to recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Podcasts, please visit NFP’s Insights from the Experts podcast page or by clicking here.

To view recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Webinars, please visit the NFP.com/Insights/Webinars page or by clicking here.

Webinar Archive: We’re Still in the Outbreak Period: End-of-Year COVID-19 Benefits Compliance Considerations

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March 15, 2022

The Benefits Compliance team provides several resources that are available for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Information presented through our resources is subject to change pending additional guidance from the DOL, IRS, or other state or federal regulatory agencies.

Benefits Compliance COVID-19 State Quick Reference Chart

Compliance Considerations on Insurance Carrier Refunds in the COVID-19 Environment

DOL Issues Clarification on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefits Plans

Federal Government Extends COVID-19 National Emergency

IRS Clarifies Extension of Certain COBRA Election and Premium Payments Deadlines

To listen to recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Podcasts, please visit NFP’s Insights from the Experts podcast page or by clicking here.

To view recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Webinars, please visit the NFP.com/Insights/Webinars page or by clicking here.

Webinar Archive: We’re Still in the Outbreak Period: End-of-Year COVID-19 Benefits Compliance Considerations

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Telehealth Relief Extended

March 15, 2022

On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 (CAA 2022) into law. The law extends relief that allowed individuals to access and use telehealth services without losing their eligibility for HSAs. The CARES Act first provided this relief. Before the CARES Act, most services (such as telehealth services) that provided significant medical care before the HDHP statutory minimum deductible was met could render individuals ineligible for HSAs. The CARES Act created an exception for telehealth services, but applied it to telehealth services performed after January 1, 2020, with respect to plans years that began on or before December 31, 2021. The CAA 2022 re-established this relief for services provided after March 31, 2022 and before January 1, 2023.

For a calendar year HDHP, this extension leaves a gap in the first three months of 2022. Individuals who have access to telehealth services during that time will not be eligible to contribute to their HSAs (although they are potentially eligible for the other nine months of the year).

Employers should be aware of this extension. Plans that choose to adopt the relief should be revised to reflect these changes, and the changes should be communicated to employees through an SMM.

Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 »

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IRS Issues Updated FFCRA Tax Credit FAQs for COVID-19 Paid Leave

March 15, 2022

On March 4, 2022, the IRS released two fact sheets (FS) that updated two sets of FAQs on the FFCRA Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“Expanded FMLA”). One set of the FAQs focuses on the tax credits that are applied to leaves taken prior to April 1, 2021 (FS-2022-16), and the other describes the tax credit applied to leaves taken between April 1, 2021, to September 31, 2021 (FS 2022-15). The IRS also added four new FAQs to address when an employer claims the tax credits for qualified leave wages paid after December 31, 2021, for leave taken by an employee in 2020 and 2021 and whether the employer is required to furnish a Form W-2c (Corrected Wage and Tax Statement) correcting the amount of sick leave and family leave wages reported in Box 14 of the employee’s 2020 and/or 2021 Form W-2 to the employee.

The FFCRA included provisions mandating employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid leave to employees who are unable to work or telework due to certain COVID-19-related reasons. To offset the financial burden to covered employers, the FFCRA provides for federal tax credits to fund the leave payments. Originally, the FFCRA required covered employers to provide paid leave under the EPSLA and the Expanded FMLA with respect to leave taken by eligible employees from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Subsequently, the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 extended the tax credit under the FFCRA through March 31, 2021, and then the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) further extended the tax credit availability through September 31, 2021, for employers who chose to continue to provide FFCRA leaves on a voluntary basis.

Specifically, the new addition, Question 98a in FS-2022-15, explains that an employer that claims the tax credits for qualified leave wages paid after December 31, 2021, for leave taken by an employee from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021, must furnish the employee a Form W-2c to correct the amount of sick leave and family leave wages reported in Box 14 of the employee’s 2021 Form W-2. Similarly, Question 54g in FS-2022-16 clarifies that an employer that claims the tax credits for qualified leave wages paid after December 31, 2021, for leave taken from April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, must either furnish the employee a Form W-2c or provide a corrected statement to correct the prior reporting.

For self-employed individuals who claimed the self-employed equivalent leave credit, Q65c (FS-2022-16) and Q116a (FS-2022-15) address whether they need to file an amended individual tax return if they receive a Form W-2c regarding corrected qualified leave wages from their employers.

Employers should be aware of these new clarifications and review the updated FAQs to determine if they need to issue a W-2c or corrected statement to the employee for the payment made after December 31, 2021.

IRS Fact Sheet. Tax Credits for Paid Leave under the ARPA 2021 for Leave After March 31, 2021 »
IRS Fact Sheet. Tax Credits for Paid Leave under the ARPA 2021 for Leave Prior to April 1, 2021 »

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March 01, 2022

The Benefits Compliance team provides several resources that are available for assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. Information presented through our resources is subject to change pending additional guidance from the DOL, IRS or other state or federal regulatory agencies.

Benefits Compliance COVID-19 State Quick Reference Chart

Compliance Considerations on Insurance Carrier Refunds in the COVID-19 Environment

DOL Issues Clarification on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefits Plans

IRS Clarifies Extension of Certain COBRA Election and Premium Payments Deadlines

To listen to recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Podcasts, please visit NFP’s Insights from the Experts podcast page or by clicking here.

To view recent and prior Benefits Compliance COVID-19-Related Webinars, please visit the NFP.com/Insights/Webinars page or by clicking here.

Webinar Archive: We’re Still in the Outbreak Period: End-of-Year COVID-19 Benefits Compliance Considerations

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Federal Government Extends COVID-19 National Emergency

March 01, 2022

On February 18, 2022, President Biden announced that the National Emergency Declaration that began on March 1, 2020 is extended to March 1, 2023. A National Emergency Declaration lasts for one year, unless extended. If the President had not extended the national emergency, then it would have expired on March 1, 2022.

This extension impacts COVID-19 extension relief for certain COBRA and HIPAA deadlines. The Departments of Labor and the Treasury extended certain timeframes for group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, and pension plans in May of 2020.

This relief requires all group health plans, disability and other employee welfare benefit plans, and employee pension plans subject to ERISA or the Code to disregard an “outbreak period” when calculating certain deadlines. The outbreak period began on March 1, 2020, and ends on the first anniversary of the date that relief is sought or 60 days after the end of the national emergency, whichever is earlier. The deadlines affected by this relief include:

  • The 30-day (or 60-day, if applicable) deadline to request a special enrollment under HIPAA.
  • The 60-day COBRA election period.
  • The 30-day (or 60-day, if applicable) deadline to notify the plan of a COBRA qualifying event (and the 60-day deadline for individuals to notify the plan of a determination of a disability).
  • The 14-day deadline for plan administrators to furnish COBRA election notices.
  • The 45-day deadline for participants to make a first COBRA premium payment and 30-day deadline for subsequent COBRA premium payments.
  • Deadlines for individuals to file claims for benefits, for initial disposition of claims, and for providing claimants a reasonable opportunity to appeal adverse benefit determinations under ERISA plans and non-grandfathered group health plans.
  • Deadlines for providing a state or federal external review process following exhaustion of the plan’s internal appeals procedures for non-grandfathered group health plans.

This relief was covered in the March 2, 2021, edition of Compliance Corner.

Although it is possible that the President will end the national emergency early, for now, the outbreak period will likely last until the first anniversary of the date relief was first sought or March 1, 2023, whichever is earlier.

Plan administrators should be aware of this extension.

Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency Concerning the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-⁠19) Pandemic »

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