The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), has modified the benefits landscape for employers with up to 500 employees. TASC provides some guidance below, however, as always, check with your legal counsel on items where you have questions.
Document Changes & Dissemination
Summary Plan Description (SPD)
Recent COVD-19 legislation has introduced benefit changes that will require changes to your FSA and/or HRA Summary Plan Description (SPD). Notification to participants of these changes generally require a Summary of Material Modification or an updated SPD.
Summary of Benefits & Coverage (SBC)
ERISA’s disclosure requirements were expanded under ACA to require that a four-page Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) be provided to health plan participants and beneficiaries before enrollment and at reenrollment. The SBC is meant to accurately describe the benefits and coverage under the applicable plan or coverage. If there are any change in benefits between the time the SBC is provided and the coverage becomes effective, an updated SBC must be provided.
Emergency FMLA Expansion Act (EFMLA)
The FFCRA requires that information regarding the EFMLEA in the form of an Employee Rights Poster (the Notice of FFCRA Requirements) be displayed in a conspicuous place on the employer’s premises. A link to this poster is available by clicking the Learn More button.
Emergency FMLA (EFMLEA) And Sick Leave Waivers For Employers Under 50
Both emergency acts allow for a waiver for private sector employers with less than 50 employees under certain conditions. Under EFMLEA the employer can waive in total the requirements for provision of this type paid leave. Under EPSLA however the employer can only waive out of the provision to provide leave in caring for children (under the age of 18) due to school or day care closures due to COVID-19.
Recent COVID-19 legislation has introduced benefit changes that will require changes to your ERISA Wrap Plan Document and Summary Plan Description (SPD). Participants are notified of these changes by providing a required a Plan Amendment/Summary of Material Modification or an updated wrap document.
Form 5500 filing for ERISA-covered retirement and welfare plans that had an initial filing deadline on or after April 1, 2020 but before July 15, 2020 have now been extended. Eligible plans now have until July 15th, 2020 to file their Form 5500. The deadline extension is automatic so plan sponsors do not need to call the IRS to file extensions.
Education & Resources
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was passed in response to the economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Summary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a set of questions and answers (Q&A) regarding Notice 2020-18 which provided relief to taxpayers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has provided Bulletins, Notifications of Enforcement Discretion, Guidance, and Resources that help explain how patient health information may be used and disclosed in response to the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.
The DOL has provided additional clarity on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), including how employers can inform employees of their emergency paid sick leave rights. If you would like to utilize the appropriate posters and get more information for your business, we have provided the information:
- Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf
- Federal Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Federal.pdf
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Employee Rights posters: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-poster-questions
EBSA Disaster Relief Notice
In light of the COVID-19 crisis and its effect on employee benefits, the Department of Labor and IRS have jointly issued a formal rule that extends certain deadlines for group health plans and other welfare benefits.