The Lasting Impact of COVID-19 by Generation

As 2021 comes to a close, the pandemic’s far-reaching implications continue to unfold as new data and updated trends continue to emerge for large populations and by generation.

The pandemic has made drastic shifts in many people’s financial lives. Roughly 20 million Americans stopped contributing to their retirement savings during the pandemic.

IRS Notice 2021-58 – COBRA Election Period and Premium Grace Period Extensions due to COVID-19

On October 6, 2021, the IRS released Notice 2021-58, which clarifies the application of COBRA election period and premium grace period timeframe extensions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Closer Look: COVID-19 Vaccine Premium Incentives

The renewed spread of the COVID-19 virus and increased hospitalization rates in various parts of the country, coupled with lagging vaccination rates, have prompted many employers to consider various ways to encourage employees to receive vaccinations.

How Fringe Benefits Are Evolving After COVID-19

Fringe benefits plans are vital in building an appealing company culture that attracts the right workforce. Employees who feel comfortable and influential in their work environment have a higher motivation to achieve.

Updated EEOC Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine Programs

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated and expanded their technical assistance Q&A addressing employee rights and employer obligations under federal equal opportunity laws. Specifically, the updated guidance provides clarification for employers with questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination programs.

White House Releases Fact Sheet on Paid Time-Off Credits for Employees to Get COVID-19 Vaccinations

On April 21, 2021 the White House released a statement calling for all employers to offer full pay for employees receiving or recovering from COVID-19 vaccinations.

COVID-19 Employee Benefits Compliance Timeline

This year has brought forth significant regulatory & legislative changes due to COVID-19. Hays’ Research and Compliance Team has put together a COVID-19 Employee Benefits Timeline that highlights the rules and regulatory changes that you can use as a quick reference employer tool.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing and Vaccine Coverage for Group Health Plans

On February 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) issued a new set of FAQs addressing the obligations of health plans and issuers to provide benefits for certain COVID-19 related-services. FAQ Part 44 further expands upon and clarifies recent guidance issued by the Departments regarding requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

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).