Expanding Health Plan Coverage for Employees During COVID-19

As an employer, you can afford better protection for your employees by making specific health plan changes, such as:

  • Offering a mid-year enrollment window to employees who had not opted for a cover in the previous window.
  • Foregoing certain eligibility requirements for employees that have been laid off, such as active service or minimum hours of work.
  • FSAs, HSAs and HRAs now allow for tax-free reimbursement of OTC drugs and menstrual hygiene products, as stated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
  • Reducing or eliminating cost-sharing for COVID- 19 testing and treatment and reimbursing costs for telehealth and other remote care services under High Deductible Health Plans.

How to Implement Health Plan Changes During COVID- 19

As an employer, if you plan to make any of these changes to your health plan during COVID- 19, make sure that you update your plan documents accordingly and communicate the changes to all the stakeholders, including your employees, through a summary of material modifications. It is also essential to check the applicable tax rules for premium payments in case you plan to change the enrollment window or requirements.

Also, if you are subject to the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate rules, remember that the same general rules for compliance continue to apply as no guidance has been issued about the ACA’s employer mandate rules concerning the COVID- 19 outbreak.

If you need advice or more information on employee benefits and health plan changes, contact the experts at CIA Insurance and Risk Management. We are happy to assist you with all your insurance needs.

Post written by Janelle Morck, Vice President | Employee Benefits Risk Management (ERM)

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