CARES Act Includes Employee Benefits Related Provisions, Additional FFCRA Guidance Issued

There’s some new updates surrounding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued further guidance regarding the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

This set of FAQs addressed pressing questions related to the effective date and required documentation of such leaves. This link provides those answers and more.

There is also a model notice requirement under these provisions of FFCRA which can be accessed here.

You may have questions regarding the distribution of the notice, and the DOL released FAQs specific to that here.

Which employers must comply with FFCRA and the notice requirement? 

Private employers between 1 to 499 employers and certain public employers of any size (DOL issued counting methods separately which can be reviewed here).

Do nonprofit employers between 1-499 employees need to comply?


Do employers with 500+ employees need to comply? 

No, except for certain public employers.

For some answers regarding employers claiming the tax credit, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidance here.

If you have additional questions, ThinkHR has created a site open to all which is normally reserved for paying customers. You can find sample policies and more here.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

Phase III of the stimulus package was officially signed into Law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) has one major provision that affects all health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and applicable Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA).

OTC and menstrual products are now eligible expenses without the need of a prescription. This change is retroactive to expenses incurred from Jan. 1, 2020

It will take retailers time to re-code these items as reimbursable which means these items may show up as a transaction denial at the cash register for the first few days. In the interim, if an individual pays out of pocket, they can simply file for a reimbursement from their administrator.

Effective immediately, high deductible health plans (HDHPs) can cover telemedicine before participants have met the applicable deductible, without jeopardizing the employee’s eligibility to make HSA contributions.  The HSA safe harbor expires for plan years beginning Jan. 1, 2022, unless it is extended by future legislation.

Further, regarding HSAs, the IRS has extended the deadline to make 2019 contributions to coincide with the new tax filing deadline of July 15, 2020.




About Michelle Cammayo

Michelle Cammayo has more than 13 years of Employee Benefits experience specializing in all lines of health and welfare benefits. Today, Michelle works closely with clients and partners to provide guidance in areas of the law including ERISA, HIPAA, COBRA, FMLA and PPACA. She also oversees the Compliance Department at Bolton & Company to ensure we are helping our clients manage and eliminate risk with regards to employee benefit compliance.

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