Health & Welfare

IRS Finally Releases Guidance Implementing COBRA Subsidies but Leaves Important Questions Unanswered

By Dannae Delano, Barry Salkin and Roberta Casper Watson

IRS Says Personal Protective Equipment Expenses are Qualified Medical Expenses

The IRS has issued Announcement 2021-7, which confirms that personal protective equipment (“PPE”) such as masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes purchased “for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19” are qualified medical expenses under Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) Section 213(d). 

American Rescue Plan Act Extends Tax Credits for COVID-19 Leave

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”). Among other provisions aimed at economic recovery, ARPA extends employer tax credit opportunities for certain forms of paid leave related to COVID-19. 

Surprise DOL Guidance on Conclusion of One-Year ERISA Compliance Relief Period

By Dannae Delano and Barry Salkin Even with widespread bipartisan support, it can be difficult to draft legislation to address all possible contingencies. In the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, Congress enacted ERISA §518 and Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) §7508A, which generally allow the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury to disregarded a period of time of less than one year in ...

CMS Creates Additional Marketplace Special Enrollment Period

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has determined that the COVID-19 emergency presents exceptional circumstances for consumers in accessing health insurance, and will be providing a new Special Enrollment Period (“SEP”) allowing individuals and families to enroll in individual coverage through the ACA Marketplace.

FAQs Discuss Expiration of Paid Sick and Family Leave Requirements

The Department of Labor has issued additional FAQs regarding the expiration of the requirement that employers provide paid sick and family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).

Stimulus Package Makes Major Changes with Respect to Employer Sponsored Benefit Plans

By Dannae Delano, Barry Salkin and Roberta Casper Watson

IRS Explains “Qualified Health Plan Expenses” for Purposes of FFCRA Tax Credit

The IRS has issued FAQs to help employers determine the amount of “qualified health plan expenses” for purposes of determining their tax credit under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).

IRS Confirms Options for Unused Qualified Transportation Benefits Due to COVID-19

Facts. The IRS released Information Letter 2020-0024 in response to an inquiry it received from a qualified transportation plan participant with unused transit benefits due to COIVD-19. In particular, the participant explained that due to the COVID-19 pandemic he was now driving to work rather than taking public transportation, and he asked whether his unused benefits could be rolled over to ...

Agencies Issue Guidance on Coronavirus Diagnostic Testing and Immunizations

Section 6001 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) required group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide coverage for certain items and services including in vitro diagnostic testing products for the detection of the virus that causes COVID-19, or for the diagnosis of COVID-19 when those items or services are offered on or after March 18, 2020, and during the public ...