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Entries for 2020

Insurers Give Premium Credits Due to COVID-19 – Can Employers Keep It?

 June 2 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Insurers are beginning to announce premium credits due to reduced claims expenses in the wake of stay at home orders due to COVID-19, but the major question this generates is, “Can an employer reap the benefits of the credit or is the employer required to share it with employees?”  Certain insurers are telling employers that they can keep the funds and others are saying that emplo...

More Flexibility for Employers Offering Section 125 Plans

 May 13 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
There is a saying about change by William Arthur Ward that I once read, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”   If there is one thing that we can count on from a regulatory perspective, it is that we need to learn to adjust the sails and do so quickly.  We have received numerous questions from clients ...

Section 139 Disaster Relief Payments

 May 6 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code allows employers to make and employees to receive tax-exempt payments in times of national emergency for “qualified disaster relief.”  The President declaring a state of national emergency on March 13th resulted in the coronavirus pandemic being a federally declared disaster, which paved the way for organizations to provide relief to indivi...

DOL and IRS Give the Gift of Time

 May 1 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Whether you are an employer plan sponsor or a plan participant, you can breathe a little easier knowing that DOL and the IRS has given you the gift of time.  The final rule issued this week extends certain notification deadlines for plans covered under ERISA or the Internal Revenue Code during the period of national emergency due to COVID-19.  The rule provides that the period from March...

Employer Provided Student Loan Repayment Gaining Traction?

 April 27 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Over the past several years, we have seen more and more employers wishing to provide a student loan benefit to their employees as an employee attraction and retention tool.  These programs take many forms and student loan repayment vendors can ease the process for employees (and employers making contributions on their behalf), by facilitating the payroll deduction process and making those pay...

Collecting Premium Payments from Employees Who are Furloughed or on Leave of Absence

 April 19 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
One of the questions we are often asked by employers is how to collect premium payments from employees who may not receive a paycheck or who have a reduced paycheck because they are not actively at work.  These questions arise when employees are on an approved leave of absence or, as is common in the era of COVID-19, when employers place employees on furlough.  Employers often look to th...

Health Plan Continuation for Those Taking EPSLA or EFMLEA Protected Leave

 April 2 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Originally authored by Lyndsey Barnett at Graydon Law and posted here. Under the FMLA, an employer is required to continue an employee’s group health plan coverage at active employee rates during the length of the FMLA leave.  Therefore, it came as no surprise that the DOL temporary regulations that were released yesterday on the Emergency Paid  Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”...

The CARES Act Provides Clarity for Health Benefits Plans Amongst Relief for Individuals and Businesses

 March 30 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed by the President on Friday afternoon, March 27th, 2020.  The new legislation brings welcome clarity to several unanswered questions left looming under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) signed earlier this month.  In addition to answering questions related to telehealth and COVID-19 testing, the new ...

What Makes a Carrier Offered Enrollment Special?

 March 27 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Many health insurance carriers are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering employees who chose to waive their employer health insurance coverage an opportunity to enroll now.  But, what makes this event “special”? Well, a pandemic makes this a special event because this is not a Special Enrollment in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (...

Ohio Order to Give Employers Premium Flexibility During State of Emergency

 March 22 2020     Shelly Hodges-Konys
On Friday, March 20, 2020, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted on behalf of the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODOI) announced a requirement for insurers in the state to provide flexibility for employers and employees as they navigate the challenges presented by the current state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  These regulations are temporary and intended to take effect immediately and ...
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