October 6, 2020: BAN Legal Alert concerning IRS Extending 2020 ACA Reporting Deadline

Please find below a link to BAN’s Legal Alert on Notice 2020-76, which extends the deadline to provide 2020 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to employees from January 31, 2021 to March 2, 2021. The deadline for sending the forms to the IRS is March 1, 2021 (March 31, 2021 if filed electronically). As in past years, the IRS has also extended transition relief for errors made in good faith; however, 2020 will be the final year the IRS will provide good-faith transition relief. This alert is of interest to Applicable Large Employers (employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees) […]

September 16, 2020: BAN Legal Alert Department of Labor Issues Updated FFCRA Regulations In Light Of Recent Federal Court Decision

Please find below a link to our Legal Alert on the Department of Labor’s updates to regulations on the emergency paid sick leave and expanded FMLA provisions of the FFCRA. The new rule is scheduled to be published on September 16, 2020, and will be effective immediately through the expiration of the FFCRA’s paid leave provisions on December 31, 2020. The rule updates FFCRA regulations issued in April 2020 in response to a recent federal District Court decision which found four portions of the initial regulations invalid: provisions related to whether the FFCRA applies if employers do not have work […]

August 12, 2020: Talking to Your Child About Returning to School

With the start of the school year right around the corner, it is important to put measures into place to keep your child healthy, educated, and socialized – no matter what your plan moving into the school year may be. Although there are a number of unknowns and quickly changing regulations, having conversations with your child about COVID-19, school, and safety can help them feel empowered as they step into their new normal routine. Below are a few tips for talking to your child about the upcoming school year. TEACH & REINFORCE EVERYDAY PREVENTIVE ACTIONS Parents and caretakers play an […]

August 4, 2020: Legal Alert- President’s Executive Orders Intending to Lower Drug Costs

Please find below a link to a BAN Legal Alert on several recent Executive Orders issued by President Trump intending to lower the cost of prescription drugs by (1) modifying anti-kickback laws to lower drug prices, (2) reducing trade barriers to increase importation of drugs and lower prices, and (3) improving access to insulin and epinephrine for individuals with diabetes or severe allergies.This alert is of interest to all employers. Click Here to Read Legal Alert

July 29, 2020: BAN Legal Alert- IRS Issues Affordability Percentage Adjustment for 2021

Please find below a link to BAN’s Legal Alert on Rev. Proc. 2020-36, which contains the inflation adjusted amounts for 2021 used to determine whether employer-sponsored coverage is “affordable” for purposes of the ACA’s employer mandate and premium tax credit program. For plan years beginning in 2021, the affordability percentage for employer mandate purposes is indexed to 9.83%, a slight increase from 9.78% in 2020. This alert is of interest to all applicable large employers (ALEs) – generally, those with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees. To View Legal Alert: Click Here

July 8, 2020: 40% of Americans Obese and How You Can Break the Cycle

Americans are some of the fattest people in the world, not just stereotypically but statistically too. In fact, almost 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese. But such a finding should come as no surprise, considering the huge availability of fast-food and increasingly cheaper grocery items that have negatively altered our diets. Unfortunately, the extra pounds have inflated the costs of obesity-related medical treatment to approximately $190.2 billion a year and annual productivity losses due to work absenteeism to around $4.3 billion. But certain places are more responsible than others for tipping the scale in favor of bad health. To […]

BAN Legal Alert: Final S.1557 Rule and Supreme Court Title VII Decision

Please find below a link to a BAN Legal Alert on the U.S. Supreme Court decision finding that sexual orientation and gender identity is protected under Title VII, and the U.S. Health and Human Services regulations on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. This alert is of interest to all employers. Click Here to view Legal Alert

June 17, 2020: BAN Legal Alert – IRS Releases Second Quarter Form 720 for PCORI Fee Payments

Please find below a link to an update to our prior BAN Legal Alert, now that the IRS has released the second quarter Form 720 used for this year’s PCORI fee payment due July 31. This alert is of interest to all employers that sponsor self-insured group health plans, including Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). Note that the PCORI fee does not apply to most health FSAs. Click Here for Legal Alert

June 1, 2020: ADP Helps You Prepare for Hurricane Season

In times of crisis, preparation can bring a lot of comfort. That’s why ADP® Comprehensive Services wants to arm you with tools and information to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. ADP has created a Hurricane Readiness Guide to help you prepare for HR responsibilities that you may encounter should a hurricane strike, so you can focus on what’s most important: your team’s safety. Important note: If you believe your payroll input or delivery may be affected by the potential path of a hurricane, please consider processing your payroll early enough to allow for these processes to be completed prior to […]

June 1, 2020: Legal Alert: IRS Releases 2021 HSA Contribution Limits, HDHP Deductible, Out-of-Pocket Limits

Please find below a link to the BAN Legal Alert on Rev. Proc. 2020-32, which adjusts the HSA/HDHP limits for 2021. We’ve also included the ACA out-of-pocket limits for 2021 and a review of how the HSA rules work with the ACA’s embedded OOP rule. This alert is of interest to employers that sponsor HSA-qualified plans or plans subject to the ACA out-of-pocket limits.  Click Here to for Legal Alert

May 20, 2020: Guardian – Dental and Vision Premium Credits, Rate Guarantees and Benefit Enhancements

Financial support and benefit enhancements for dental and vision customers Guardian’s new Guardian Pandemic Support Program* can help you manage costs and provide employees with affordable, uninterrupted access to dental care as practices reopen for elective treatments. This new program includes: A choice of a one-month premium credit for new and in-force, fully-insured dental and vision plans or an extended rate guarantee. Commissions would be based on premiums received. Existing dental and vision customers may choose a two-year rate guarantee on both products. New customers may choose a two-year rate guarantee for dental and a two- or three-year rate guarantee […]

May 19, 2020: Principal Dental Premium Credit & Personal Protective Equipment Payment

COVID-19 is impacting everyone’s lives – including dentists and our dental members. Most dental offices are temporarily closed for non-emergency services. When they do open, expenses will likely increase for dentists and potentially our members due to the cost of increased infection control procedures, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). On top of the no change renewals offered through October 15, 2020, Principal is offering the following premium credit in an effort to relieve some of the financial burden our groups are enduring. Employers with fully insured dental insurance will receive a 10% premium credit on their June […]

May 18, 2020: The Latest COVID-19 News from Guardian

Please review the following new resources to help you manage your business. New updates on our response to COVID-19 Guardian’s online FAQ now includes details on how they are extending their temporary accommodations for furloughed and reduced hourly employees for new business and inforce customers, temporary changes they have made to their telemedicine claims practices, as well as the extension of benefit eligibility to employees. They also have more details on COVID-19 paid sick leave in New York state. Read FAQ   Small business support for their dental network providers Guardian’s WorkLifeMatters Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is now available to […]

May 18, 2020: Tips for Avoiding Cyber Risks During COVID-19

While health and safety are among the top priorities in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, people also need to be aware of heightened cyber risks during these times. Here are tips to recognize the signs of a cyber scam and how to protect yourself. PHISHING EMAIL SCAMS Cyber scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic by sending COVID-19 notifications pretending to be the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and other health and welfare organizations. These emails are attempting to mimic safety messages to trick individuals into clicking on links that result in infecting users with malware […]

May 18, 2020: BAN Employer Guide: COVID-19 Next Steps in Workforce Dynamics

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has interrupted business operations across the country. While it is unclear how long COVID-19 will continue to affect our organizations, employers are in various stages of workforce dynamics, from temporary shutdowns, to employees working at physical office sites or contemplating the return of remote employees to a physical office site, or remaining working remotely. It is because of this, Plan Analysts is sharing with you BAN’s Employer Resource Guide for COVID-19 and the next steps in workforce dynamics.   Click Here to view Employer Resource Guide   The resources included in this guide will evolve and […]

May 13, 2020: BAN Legal Alert: IRS Relaxes Election Change, Other Rules for Cafeteria Plans and FSAs

Please find below a link to the BAN Legal Alert on IRS Notices 2020-29 and 2020-33 which, among other things, allow employers to extend the claims period for health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs) and allow employees to make mid-year changes.  

May 11, 2020: Staying Well During COVID-19 and Returning to Work

Many employers across the country are in the process of reopening or having employees return to work. Many states are continuing to see a steady decline in the number of COVID-19 cases. However, it is important that the proper safety measures are put in place and followed by all employees to continue to stop the spread and prevent a second wave. Here are helpful tips and precautions you can take to protect yourself, co-workers and loved ones when returning to work. HOW TO HELP PROTECT YOURSELF Practice social distancing by maintaining approximately 6 feet from others at all times. Wear […]

May 6, 2020: Staying well during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Living Single

Being physically away from our friends and loved ones for an extended period of time is something most of us have never experienced before and can bring feelings of social isolation. Similarly, some of us may have loved ones who live alone, or are at high risk and not able to have visitors right now. Practicing social distancing may present barriers to meeting one’s daily physical and emotional needs. Here are tips on how to cope with living alone, and supporting loved ones living alone, during the COVID-19 pandemic. COPING STRATEGIES Stay connected with family and friends. Schedule regular video […]

May 5, 2020: EyeMed will hold rates (no increase) for current clients with less than 1,000 total members and renewal effective dates of August 1, 2020 through December 1, 2020

EyeMed is pleased to announce… Any EyeMed client with fewer than 1,000 total members AND with renewal effective dates of August 1st through December 1st will be renewed with no change to their current rate. This accommodation is designed to help their clients more effectively manage the financial and administrative burdens brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. Key details for your team to keep in mind include: EyeMed will hold rates (no increase) for current clients with less than 1,000 total members The rates will be guaranteed for four years, in coordination with the client agreeing to renew their vision […]

Mary 5, 2020: Staying Well Tips for Routine Medical Care during COVID-19

Staying Well During COVID-19: Routine Medical Care As communities across the country take steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 by social distancing, you might be facing new challenges or have questions about best practices for obtaining routine medical care and medications. Below are tips on how to meet your medical care and prescription needs in a safe and healthy manner. ROUTINE MEDICAL CARE Telemedicine visits with your doctor or other medical provider are the preferred method of contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reach out to your medical provider to determine if telemedicine options are available. If you need to […]

May 5, 2020: Express Scripts Parachute Rx Helping the Unemployed and Uninsured Pay for Prescriptions

During the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many maybe facing very difficult business decisions that could leave people in the workforce without health benefits. Express Scripts is responding with a new discount program to help impacted individuals who lose coverage afford their medications and maintain their health without insurance. Extra relief for Americans who are unemployed and uninsured due to COVID-19. Express Scripts is launching Express Scripts Parachute RxSM – a temporary program to help Americans who are unemployed and uninsured as a result of this pandemic obtain prescription drugs at deeply discounted prices so they can take them as prescribed and […]

May 5, 2020: BAN Legal Alert – Agencies Extend Deadline to Pay COBRA Premiums, Extend Certain Other ERISA and Internal Revenue Code Deadlines Due to COVID-19

Please find below a link to the BAN Legal Alert on guidance and relief from the DOL, IRS and HHS for employee benefit plans and participants due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Most notable is that the guidance requires employers to extend the deadline for qualified beneficiaries to elect COBRA or pay COBRA premiums.   

April 13, 2020: FBI Warns on Fraud Schemes due to COVID-19

Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits. The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following: Fake CDC Emails. Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations […]

April 13, 2020: NAHU COVID-19 Weekly Update

The National Association of Health Underwriters has been keeping informed about COVID-19 (coronavirus). Below are links to updates on legislation, regulation and guidance on both the federal and state levels in response to COVID-19. Please visit the coronavirus Information section of the NAHU website for more resources.   Correction: In Friday’s Washington Update it was stated that borrowers must choose between the EIDL and PPP loans. However, borrowers may apply for and receive both of these loans — you just cannot use the funds from each for the same purposes. Congress: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the formation of the […]

April 13, 2020: Aetna Special Enrollment

Aetna is providing an option for most of its insured commercial group insurance and Small Group Aetna Funding Advantage (AFA) customers to offer a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to their eligible populations. This new option would be at the election of the plan sponsor. It would apply to most of Aetna’s medical, pharmacy, dental, vision and voluntary products. Interested plan sponsors should contact their Account Manager to determine if this option is available to them. The SEP is limited to eligible employees and dependents who did not previously elect coverage with their Plan Sponsor. This enrollment opportunity will be offered […]

April 13, 2020: Sun Life COVID-19 Update

Sun Life is actively monitoring the changing situation related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and would like to share a few updates with you based on questions they have received about stop-loss coverage. Sun Life is here for you during this period of uncertainty. Their dedicated team of experts is committed to doing everything that they can to support you and you can count on them to continue to deliver excellent service and be a resource for information during this challenging time. Commonly asked questions: Will costs associated with testing and treatment for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) be covered under my Stop-Loss policy? How […]

Staying Well During COVID-19: Eating Well by GPA

To avoid the spread of Coronavirus, we are all doing our part to stay home. This means we are relying on our own culinary skills instead of going out to eat. Well here’s the good news you can still maintain a healthy, affordable and versatile diet all from the comfort of your own kitchen. By eating well and increasing your consumption of foods high in nutrients and antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, you can improve your immune system and ability to fight off sickness. See tips below to maintaining a healthy, yet affordable diet. Budget Friendly Tips for Eating […]

April 1, 2020: CVS Health announces cost-sharing and co-pay waivers for COVID-19-related treatment for Aetna members

CVS Health announced it is waiving cost-sharing and co-pays for inpatient hospital admissions related to COVID-19 for Aetna’s commercially insured members, part of several additional steps to help members access the care that they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement builds on previous efforts focused on eliminating out-of-pocket costs and cost-sharing for diagnostic testing and telemedicine visits and on expanding patient access to medications. Aetna, a CVS Health company, will waive member cost-sharing for inpatient admissions at all in-network facilities for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19. This policy applies to all Aetna-insured commercial plan sponsors and […]

March 31, 2020: Humana Waiving Member Cost Share for COVID-19 Treatment

Humana has made some recent announcements that will expand telehealth access to physicians for COVID-19 while waiving member cost shares for COVID-19 treatment.  The waiver applies to all medical costs related to the treatment of COVID-19 as well as FDA-approved medications or vaccines when they become available. There is no current end date. Humana will reassess as circumstances change. The company’s announcement is part of its overall efforts to accelerate and stabilize access to care for members affected by COVID-19. Humana is also: Lifting administrative requirements for members infected with coronavirus and for all patients in settings where capacity is […]

March 31, 2020: Ameritas Response to COVID-19

 Ameritas knows many people will be unable to make premium payments during this crisis because of reduced hours, layoffs and furloughs, or temporary closures. Therefore,  Ameritas is extending their premium grace period to 60 days while continuing coverage and claims payment. Ameritas will adhere to any state mandated premium grace periods as a temporary exception to our policy during this time and will work with customers on an individual basis to help meet your needs. Please read Ameritas’ FAQ by clicking here for details about coverage, claims, and much more. For updated news on Ameritas’ response to COVID-19, please click here. Disclaimer: Please note that these policies are subject to […]

March 31, 2020: Lincoln COVID-19 Guidance Portal

In order to assist customers with concerns surrounding COVID-19, Lincoln has created a COVID-19 Guidance Portal to share timely information on coverage updates. Please find the portal by clicking here. Lincoln has also created an update FAQ sheet to answer commonly asked questions by employers. Please view Lincoln’s FAQ sheet by clicking here. Disclaimer: Please note that these policies are subject to change due to carrier, local government, state government, or federal government regulation.

March 31, 2020: GPA Tips for Working from Home

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, more individuals are being asked to work from home. Whether you are a work from home professional or new as a homeworker, working outside of an office or experiencing a change to your normal routine can be challenging. See GPA’s tips below to effectively work from home. Create a Normal Morning Routine: Start your day as if you worked in an office. Get up early, have breakfast, get dressed and try to avoid online distractions while working. Determine the best rhythm for your day to ensure you are able to follow your company policy and […]

March 31, 2020: Principal Response to COVID-19

Concerned about premium payments for employer-provided insurance policies? Principal understands this might be a financially challenging time with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and are extending grace periods to 60 days for monthly bills through June 1, 2020. Principal is actively monitoring grace period changes at a state level and will implement those requirements that have a grace period longer than 60 days. Concerned about premium payments for individual insurance policies? In order to retain your coverage with Principal, you still need to pay all insurance premiums. However, during this health crisis, they will be as flexible as reasonably possible. Consider […]

March 31, 2020: CARES Act Resources by OneAmerica

In the wake of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic and related impacts on business operations, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law Friday, March 27th.     OneAmerica has put together materials to help summarize changes with respect to the Hardship, Loan, and Required Minimum Distribution changes that were passed with this legislation, as well as some other COVID-19 resources. Please see links to resources below: Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (Click Here to download)   Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawal Guidelines (Click Here to download) COVID-19 Resources (Click Here to view) For updated […]

March 30, 2020: Aetna AFA COVID-19 Response

Aetna is mindful of the many challenges small business customers and their employees are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many customers are experiencing slower sales, reductions in hours, layoffs and more. Aenta’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Sheet describes options for Aetna’s small group customers during this dynamic time. To view Aetna’s FAQ Sheet answering the questions below, click here. Our company is reducing hours and/or laying off staff due to the COVID-19 crisis. Are we able to keep our employees covered on our AFA plan? If I terminate an employee due to reduction in hours, can I […]

March 28, 2020: UHC COVID-19 Special Enrollment

To assist members in accessing care in light of COVID-19, UnitedHealthcare is providing its fully-insured small and larger employer customers with a special COVID-19 enrollment opportunity to enroll employees who previously did not elect to enroll in coverage for themselves, spouse, or children. To learn more on the UHC special enrollment, please click here. For updated news on UHC’s response to COVID-19, please click here. Disclaimer: Please note that these policies are subject to change due to carrier, local government, state government, or federal government regulation.

March 24, 2020: Humana Response to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, please click here to view Humana’s update on enrollment, eligibility, premium payments, and continuation for groups. Key Facts: Can coverage be continued if a partial number of employees are laid off? Yes, Humana is relaxing the requirement that employees need to be actively at work to be eligible for coverage. This is effective until May 1, 2020 as long as monthly premium is remitted and coverage is offered on a uniform basis. Does this same apply to small group level funded plans? Yes, providing premium is remitted and coverage is offered uniformly. Can Humana continue coverage […]

March 23, 2020: Guardian Response to COVID-19

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Guardian has released updates pertaining to eligibility, grace periods, claims, and more. To read more on this policy update, click here. Some Key Points: Guardian is extending the grace period for all of our groups by 30 days. So if a group has a 30 day grace period it will be extended to 60 days. Effective 3/1/2020, for all lines other than Disability, Guardian will continue to consider an employee who is currently enrolled to be eligible for benefits until 4/30/2020 if the full-time employee’s hours are reduced and fall below the minimum hourly work […]

March 23, 2020: Lincoln Financial Group Response to COVID-19

Lincoln Financial Group has updated their “Actively at Work/Continuation of Coverage” policy. If an employee is affected by the COVID-19 situation, such as being quarantined, having been temporarily laid off or furloughed, on leave to take care of children or having reduced hours below policy requirements (whether no longer being paid, receiving wages, or continuing to be paid), Lincoln will still consider this employee actively at work and therefore eligible for Lincoln Financial coverages. Lincoln Financial Group has also extended their “Premium Payment Grace Period” to 60 days. The details of this approach are current as of March 23, 2020 […]