The ClearPath Advisor – May 2020
what you need to know
April was a busy month in the employee benefits world.
The President signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPHCEA). The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released a final rule extending certain timeframes under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for group health plans, disability, and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 national emergency. In addition, the DOL issued a disaster relief notice that extends deadlines for furnishing other required notices or disclosures to plan participants, beneficiaries, and other persons so that plan fiduciaries and plan sponsors have additional time to meet their obligations under Title I of ERISA during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Updated Department of Labor Model COBRA Notices. The Department of Labor (DOL) released updated Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) model notices and frequently asked questions (FAQs) providing general information on the updated model notices. The FAQs note that the DOL provides a model general COBRA notice and model COBRA election notice that plans may use to satisfy the requirements to timely provide both of these notices to qualified beneficiaries. The DOL has updated these model notices to ensure that qualified beneficiaries have a better understanding of the interactions between Medicare and COBRA.
Final Rule on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee
Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Due to COVID-19. On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued the Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID- 19) Outbreak and by separate letter made a determination, under Section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, that a national emergency exists nationwide beginning March 1, 2020, as the result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Virus impact may extend to 57 million U.S. jobs. The coronavirus pandemic will hurt 57 million U.S. workers, more than double the number of jobless claims so far, once furloughs and reduced hours and pay are included, according to McKinsey.
Employee Benefits Security Administration Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01. On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued the Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak and by a separate writing made a determination, under Section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, that a national emergency exists nationwide beginning March 1, 2020, as the result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Featuring Bill Shimp, Partner at ClearPath Benefits Advisors
Healthcare costs in the United States continue to rise, which has placed a large responsibility on employers to try and stem those costs for their employees. The rate of healthcare services is increasing while the cost of receiving those services is also increasing. This has created the perfect storm, explained Bill Shimp, a Consultant at ClearPath Benefits Advisors.
“The provider networks, after undergoing significant consolidation, are now able to negotiate higher than normal increases in their reimbursement rate from the insurance company,” Bill said. “So the cost of those services are going up due to the reimbursement rate increases that they’re getting from the insurance companies after they’ve consolidated.” – Bill Shimp
Dish Featuring Joshua Byrd
Looking for a new recipe to try this month?
In Josh’s spare time, Joshua volunteers coaching football in the fall for Olentangy Youth Athletic Association. You can often find him and his wife traveling from one field or gym to another to watch their three children playing various sports.
Prior to joining ClearPath, Joshua served as Individual Sales Director of Ohio for eight years at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. At ClearPath, he provides a detailed individual cost analysis for each individual to place them in the plan that best fits their needs and their budget.
““This dish is always a favorite when we bring it to a party!“”