Here at Davenport Benefits, we want to make sure that our clients are informed with up-to-date information on COVID-19 in order to benefit the health and safety of our communities. Below, we have compiled verified news sources with current updates and announcements regarding the handling of the coronavirus in our region. Please continue to check back for the most recent information, and consider sharing with your friends and family on social media.

Resource Center

Resource center content categories include:

Compliance Resources: The impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented and brings with it a slew of uncharted compliance questions developed by team of experienced attorneys.

HR Resources: HR departments are being spread incredibly thin by the pandemic as they try to field employee questions and keep their workplaces safe. These HR resources can help employers mitigate disruptions and keep their business running as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Employee Resources: With the mass amount of information—and misinformation—available, employers are struggling to keep their employees informed and safe. Employers can distribute this employee-facing content to their workplace to help answer COVID-19 related questions.

CARES Act Information

Updated FAQs from the DOL: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

Effective Date for Employment Tax Credits Under the FFCRA: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-21.pdf

Summary of the CARES Act Employee Benefits Provisions (https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr748/BILLS-116hr748enr.pdf):

 

COVID-19 Diagnostic tests to be Covered With No Cost-Sharing:

Under the FFCRA, health plans must cover, with no cost-sharing, FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic tests. The CARES Act expands the types of tests that must be covered, with no cost sharing, to include tests with emergency-use authorization from the FDA; state-developed tests; and other tests approved by HHS.

How this impacts employers: Employers need to make sure their health plans provide COVID-19 testing with no cost-sharing and must communicate the change to employees

Expansion on COVID-19 Testing Costs to be Covered by Health Plan:

Although FFCRA requires health plans to cover COVID-19 testing without cost-sharing, it does not address the price of testing. The CARES Act clarifies the prices that a health plan must pay for COVID-19 testing. Where the health plan has negotiated a rate prior to the declaration of the public health emergency, that negotiated rate will apply for the duration of the emergency. But where no price has been negotiated in advance, the health plan must pay either the cash price published by the health care provider on its public internet website or some lesser rate negotiated between the health plan and the provider.

How this affects employers: Payment terms for COVID-19 testing will likely be processed by the carrier or TPA. But since normal plan limitations on payments (such as allowed amounts or usual and customary costs) won’t apply, employers may want to consider explaining this in their SMM describing the coverage for COVID-19 testing.

Rapid Coverage of COVID-19 Preventive Services and Vaccinations as Preventive Services:

The ACA requires that certain preventive care services be covered at 100%, but usually gives health plans at least a year after the recommendation to add the benefit to the plan. The CARES Act shortens this period for COVID-19 preventive services and vaccinations to 15 days from the date of the recommendation.

How this affects employers: Watch for announcements about COVID-19 preventive services and vaccinations. While carriers and TPAs will probably automatically add these benefits to health plans, employers will want to monitor to ensure it happens on a timely basis and must communicate the coverage to employees.

Telemedicine Services under HDHPs:

A high deductible health plan (HDHP) partnered with an HSA usually can’t cover the costs of treatment until the participant reaches the HDHP’s statutory minimum deductible (except for  preventive care). The CARES Act allows an HDHP during plan years that begin on or before December 31, 2021 to also cover telehealth services with no cost-sharing and not impact HSA eligibility.

Impact to employers: If an employer’s carrier or TPA implements telehealth with no cost-sharing, the employer should communicate the coverage to participants, and will also want to make sure this benefit ends for their HDHP/HSA option at the end of the 2021 plan year (unless Congress extends the exemption).

Tax-Free Coverage for OTC Drugs and Menstrual Products through HSAs and Health FSAs:

The CARES Act omits provisions that exclude the use of funds from HSAs and health care FSAs to purchase over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. This legislation also allows tax-free funds from these accounts to pay for menstrual products.

How it affects employers: For an employer’s health care FSA, this should be a popular change for employees who participate in that program. HSAs are individual bank accounts and not employer plans, but employers should review any communications and update them as needed.

Small Business Loans and Health Plan Premiums:

The CARES Act includes a small business loan program (with loan forgiveness for specific instances) which specifically allows employers to use loan amounts to pay payroll, which includes employees’ salaries (up to $100,000), paid sick or paid medical leave, insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and rent and utility payments. Employers will need to check with their CPA on qualifications for loan forgiveness, and other details of the loan program, but employers may be interested in better understanding the loan provisions since loans could be a source for health insurance-related premium payments during an employee furlough or unpaid leave of absence.

National Updates

This information is straight from the CDC if you want learn more click in the link below https://www.cdc.gov/

CDC Online Newsroom Welcome to the CDC Online Newsroom, a one-stop source for journalists seeking public health information. Global media and the general public can access current and archived press releases, media advis

Hidalgo County Updates

This information is straight from the Hidalgo County Twitter Account if you want learn more click in the link below
https://twitter.com/HidalgoCounty