March 25, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Regulatory Resources for Employee Benefit Plans

The past week has brought an onslaught of changes for the world, including changes in U.S. federal legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

ComplianceDashboard has compiled a list of resources we feel may aid your everyday. The resources provide access to the following:

  • COVID-19 information for advisers and employers.
  • A summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
  • A list of state websites where businesses and individuals may access state-specific guidance regarding legislation and government actions.
  • Links to federal agency sites including CMS, DOL, and IRS.
  • A listing (by most recent date of release) of articles from reputable sources re: employer considerations for benefit plans.

Stay well and stay tuned to ComplianceDashboard for additional updates.

RESOURCE LIST:

COVID-19 Homepage: the U.S. government homepage for Coronavirus resources:

COVID-19 Resources by State: a complete list of pandemic resources by entity, including federal, state, and international websites.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): ComplianceDashboard’s blog summarizing key benefit plan considerations from the FFCRA:

FFCRA full-text links:

Resources for Businesses & Employers re: COVID-19: managed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this page provides information for businesses and employers as well as cleaning and disinfection recommendations. 

Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (OSHA Document; 35 pages): this document from the Department of Labor and Health & Human Services provides detailed guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19.

U.S. Small Business Administration Loan Application: to determine if your small business qualifies for a disaster loan & to apply, click below.

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) & Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

  • The DOL has temporarily moved to telephone and website-only contact. However, the employee benefit services department is fully functional via phone and web:
  • Toll-Free Helpline:  1-866-444-3272
  • Contact the DOL via Web

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Bulletin: this document provides a summary of how HIPAA applies to covered entities, including guidelines for sharing & safeguarding patient information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 25, 2020

March 20, 2020

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Release on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): a news release from the IRS summarizing key takeaways from the FFCRA, including payroll tax credits for small & midsize employers.
  • IRS Release: FFCRA Takeaways (PDF)

March 19, 2020

  • FFCRA: What Employers Need to Know: this article from law firm Vorys summarizes aspects of the FFCRA for most employers, including the Act’s effects on FMLA, paid sick leave, testing related to COVID-19, and tax credits.
  • What Employers Need to Know

March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020

  • DOL’s Dislocated Worker’s Grant Information: a news release from the DOL re: the availability of up to $100 million in grant monies to address workforce-related impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Entities eligible to apply include states, outlying areas, and Indian Tribal Governments.
  • Dislocated Worker’s Grant Information

March 18, 2020

March 17, 2020

  • Top Compliance Issues for Benefits Plans: this article from the law firm Frost, Brown, Todd highlights employee benefit concerns regarding HIPAA, GINA, HDHPs, and Essential Health Benefits.
  • Top Compliance Issues for Benefits Plans

March 13, 2020

  • Telework Policy Considerations: this article from Law 360 suggests actions for employers regarding work-from-home policies, including tracking of hours, expenses, and disability considerations.
  • Telework Policy Considerations

March 12, 2020

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Bulletin on Essential Health Benefits (EHB) Coverage: this Fact Sheet from CMS provides guidance on commonly asked questions re: EHB and COVID-19, addressing EHB’s coverage for testing & treatment.
  • CMS Bulletin on Essential Health Benefits and COVID-19 (PDF)

March 12, 2020

March 11, 2020

  • Benefit Plan Considerations: this article from law practice Eversheds-Sutherland summarizes employer benefit plan considerations including: HIPAA, COVID-19 testing coverage, Health Savings Accounts paired with High Deductible Health Plans, access to benefit plan documents (Summary Plan Descriptions and Summary of Benefits and Coverage), health FSA approved purchases, 401(k) plan hardship withdrawal considerations, and Short Term Disability coverage for quarantined employees.
  • Benefit Plan Considerations
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