As we close in on the halfway point of 2021, it goes without saying that a lot has happened in a short amount of time. This is especially true when it comes to health and welfare compliance concerns for 2021. From the new administration to continued guidance and adjustments being made in response to the coronavirus and the vaccine, there’s a lot to keep up with. We’re summarizing the highlights!
Workplace COVID-19 Requirements and the EEOC
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance earlier this year on employer provided COVID-19 vaccination programs. The Commission broke down how a COVID-19 vaccination interacts with federal requirements and how employers can avoid conflicts with the American Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and more.
Read more about these guidelines and requirements their impact. Click here.
Health Coverage for COVID-19 Tests and Vaccines
The Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services have issued guidance to clarify health coverage requirements related to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Under this guidance, plans and issuers may not use medical screening and limiting criteria to deny or impose cost sharing on a claim for a COVID-19 diagnostic test for an asymptomatic person. Furthermore, the guidance states that plans and issuers must assume that a COVID-19 test is for individual clinical assessment if it is provided by a licensed or authorized provider – such as through a drive-through testing site or a walk-up testing site.
Click here to learn more about the guidance issued on health coverage and the COVID-19 vaccine.
DOL Adjusts Penalty Amounts for 2021
The Department of Labor recently announced the 2021 annual adjustments to the civil monetary penalties for an array of benefit-related violations. The DOL is required to adjust these penalties for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. Notable increases for 2021 include the failure to file Form 5500 (increasing from $2233 per day to $2259 per day), failure to provide a summary of benefits and coverage (up to $1190 per day from $1176), and the failure to provide plan related information requested by the Department of Labor (up to $161 per day and not to exceed $1613, as of 2021).
The Impact of COBRA Subsidies
Earlier this year, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Among the provisions within ARPA, the Act includes a 100% COBRA subsidy for up to six months for individuals who lost their health coverage due to an involuntary termination of employment or a reduction in hours. The COBRA subsidies are part of ARPA’s large relief package to provide support for individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Click here to read more about COBRA subsidies under ARPA and how to prepare for them.
Maintaining Health and Welfare Compliance
Companies turn to us when they need an adaptable solution that delivers on ease, affordability, and compliance. For over 35 years, Boon has been addressing contractor compliance concerns and finding benefit solutions that actually address the most pressing problems that our clients are facing. The past several months have demonstrated the importance of employee health, as well as the necessity to be able to adapt to shifting circumstances. Lean on us, we’ve got your back.
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