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Updated Guidance: COBRA, HIPAA and Claims Timeframes

Last April’s EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 provided extensions for certain deadlines for COBRA, HIPAA, and claims filing timeframes, effective March 1, 2020. Under the extension, the affected timelines were “paused” until the earlier of the end of the “Outbreak Period” (60 days after the COVID-19 national emergency was declared over) or one year (February 28, 2021).

IRS Issues Guidance on the DCAP and Health FSA Relief Provided Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act

Last week the IRS issued Notice 2021-15 (the Notice) (available here), providing guidance regarding the relief contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) for dependent care assistance plans (DCAPs) and health flexible spending accounts (Health FSAs). The Notice contains important clarifications regarding both CAA provisions.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement Update: Official Website Now Active

The official administrator of the Blue Cross Blue Shield class-action settlement, JND Legal, has now activated the official settlement website, which can be accessed at bcbssettlement.com. The website will allow all eligible class members to file a claim online to ensure they recover payment from the settlement. However, the website’s claim filing portal will activate only once the notification process has begun. The process is currently scheduled to commence in Spring 2021. As stipulated in the settlement, notice will be sent through mail or email to eligible class members.

Considerations for Double Masking to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be transmitted from person-to-person by respiratory aerosols (airborne liquid droplets and dried particles). Infected people produce these aerosols while talking, singing, coughing, breathing, or sneezing. Some of the larger droplets settle to the ground in a few minutes, whereas the smaller droplets can remain in the air for several hours. Masks are a simple barrier to help prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others. Studies show that masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

How Snow Accumulation Could Impact Your Building

Following the three-day winter storm that pummeled much of the Northeast, there are reports of significant snow accumulation in Pennsylvania, New York and the surrounding areas. New Jersey received nearly 30 inches of snow accumulation in some cities, resulting in the highest total snowfall accumulation in recent years.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

With all the media attention on emerging vaccines, we want to provide you with a brief update on what to expect. When will vaccines be available? First vaccine availability is projected for late 2020/early 2021.