Mask Requirement for Employees Working Indoors
January 04, 2022
On December 16, 2021, Gov. McKee signed Executive Order 21-116. Under the order, all office-based businesses plus other private and public employers with indoor operations must require masking of any person on-site, including employees. An exception may be made for any person who provides proof of vaccination. There are additional exceptions for those: under age two, whose health would be damaged by the wearing of a mask, and who are developmentally unable to comply. There are also exceptions for those who are working alone in an office or at a work site or while consuming drink or food.
The requirement became effective immediately upon signing and will expire on January 18, 2022, unless extended by a subsequent order. Employers should be aware of this order.
Executive Order 21-116 »
Vaccine Requirement for Healthcare Workers Extended
January 04, 2022
As previously reported, state regulations required healthcare workers and providers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1, 2021, unless a medical exemption applies. The regulation was set to expire December 14, 2021 but has now been extended through February 12, 2022. Healthcare workers with a medical exemption must wear a mask indoors and undergo testing twice weekly. Healthcare providers with a medical exemption must wear a mask when indoors.
Employers in the healthcare industry should be aware of this extension.
Regulation 216-RICR-20-15-8 »
Healthcare Workers and Providers Required to Obtain COVID-19 Vaccine
September 14, 2021
Effective August 17, 2021, a new regulation requires all healthcare workers and healthcare providers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1, 2021, in order to protect vulnerable populations.
The regulation provides that the only exemption from this requirement is a medical exemption evaluated by a licensed physician, physician assistant or advance practice registered nurse. Until October 1, 2021, all healthcare workers and providers who are not vaccinated are required to be tested at least twice per week via any COVID19 test authorized by the FDA.
The Department of Health also issued an FAQ providing clarifying guidance on this requirement. The regulation is effective through December 14, 2021.
Vaccination Requirement FAQ »
Deadlines Extended for Individual Mandate Reporting
February 02, 2021
As part of Rhode Island’s individual mandate, employers providing minimum essential coverage to Rhode Island residents must file a return with the Division of Taxation and a return to each individual.
Generally, reporting to Rhode Island residents and the division is due by January 31. For tax year 2020 only, the deadline has been extended to March 2, 2021 (to distribute returns to employees) and to March 31, 2021 (to file with the division).
As background, as of January 1, 2020, Rhode Island residents are required to have qualifying healthcare coverage, or pay a penalty (a “shared responsibility payment”), unless a hardship, religious, or other exemption applies. As part of this requirement, certain employers have reporting obligations to the division and to individuals. The law provides that Forms 1095-B and 1095-C issued by the employer for federal reporting purposes is sufficient to meet the Rhode Island reporting requirement but also provides an option to report via a flat file containing the same information.
Generally, employers will need to distribute Form 1095-C to employees and the IRS – which are current requirements under the ACA’s employer mandate – and then to the division by January 31 of the year following the calendar year for which the return was required to be made. However, the deadline to distribute Form 1095-C to employees has been extended to March 2, 2021, and the deadline to file with the division to March 31, 2021. These extensions only apply to tax year 2020 reporting. Plan sponsors of fully insured plans should note that if the insurer completes the reporting requirements described above, then no further reporting is required.
Employers with employees located in Rhode Island should be aware of these developments.
Department of Revenue Health Insurance Mandate Reporting Requirements FAQ »
Coverage for Mastectomies Is Revised
July 24, 2018
On July 2, 2018, Gov. Raimondo signed HB 7002, which modified the coverage requirements for mastectomies. Plans that provide medical and surgical benefits with respect to mastectomies are permitted to apply annual deductibles and coinsurance provisions to coverage for mastectomies consistent with other benefits covered under the plan only until Jan. 1, 2019.
This bill contains no new employer obligations, but employers with fully insured plans in Rhode Island should review the new laws to better understand the required changes.
HB 7002 »