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Brian M. JohnstonBlog Posts

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COVID-19 Deadline Extensions—No More Time Outs but No Single Deadline Either!!

We recently provided an update on the looming end date for COBRA and other deadline extensions and the uncertainty that continues to add to the administrative burdens without more clarity from the DOL and IRS.  Message received, apparently. On behalf of the IRS, the DOL has now released Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 that attempts to...… Continue Reading
February 26, 2021

COVID-19 Deadline Extensions—No More Time Outs but No Single Deadline Either!!

We recently provided an update on the looming end date for COBRA and other deadline extensions and the uncertainty that continues to add to the administrative burdens without more clarity from the DOL and IRS.  Message received, apparently. On behalf of the IRS, the DOL has now released Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 that attempts to... Continue Reading…
February 26, 2021

COVID-19 Deadline Extensions—Still Relevant to Plan Sponsors?

In May of 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released joint-agency guidance that extended several important deadlines for employees, including COBRA election and payment deadlines, HIPAA Special Enrollment deadlines, and claims submission and appeal deadlines.  Under the guidance, plan administrators were required to extend the deadlines that would otherwise apply... Continue Reading…
February 25, 2021

COVID-19 Deadline Extensions—Still Relevant to Plan Sponsors?

In May of 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released joint-agency guidance that extended several important deadlines for employees, including COBRA election and payment deadlines, HIPAA Special Enrollment deadlines, and claims submission and appeal deadlines.  Under the guidance, plan administrators were required to extend the deadlines that would otherwise apply...… Continue Reading
February 25, 2021

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Top Practical Considerations on FSA, Election Change Relief

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Act) provides certain COVID-19-related relief, including temporary additional flexibility regarding flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Employers have several practical considerations when deciding whether to adopt one or more of the changes in their plans. Under the FSA changes, employees need not lose the benefit of the dollars they set aside from their... Continue Reading…
January 11, 2021

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Top Practical Considerations on FSA, Election Change Relief

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Act) provides certain COVID-19-related relief, including temporary additional flexibility regarding flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Employers have several practical considerations when deciding whether to adopt one or more of the changes in their plans. Under the FSA changes, employees need not lose the benefit of the dollars they set aside from their...… Continue Reading
January 11, 2021

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Employer-Sponsored Health and Welfare Plan Components

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, generally provides the annual funding for the federal government and, in almost 5,600 pages, contains several important rules giving further COVID-19 relief, including the expansion of eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Employee Retention Tax Credit. The Act also relaxes several health, welfare, and retirement plan rules... Continue Reading…
December 29, 2020

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Employer-Sponsored Health and Welfare Plan Components

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, generally provides the annual funding for the federal government and, in almost 5,600 pages, contains several important rules giving further COVID-19 relief, including the expansion of eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Employee Retention Tax Credit. The Act also relaxes several health, welfare, and retirement plan rules...… Continue Reading
December 29, 2020

PCORI Fee Reminders and Clarifications

IRS Notice 2020-44 was issued this week as a reminder that Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees were extended under the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 and are now not scheduled to expire until plan years ending after September 30, 2029.  Annual PCORI fees will still need to be paid by insurers for employers...… Continue Reading
June 11, 2020

New Model COBRA Notices and Emergency Extensions to COBRA Deadlines Require Employers to Take Action

The Department of Labor (DOL) and other federal regulators released updates and clarifications related to employee benefits, including updates to model COBRA notices and an extension of certain statutory deadlines intended to minimize the possibility of participants and beneficiaries losing benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article highlights the DOL’s recent changes and updates relating...… Continue Reading
May 4, 2020

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