News

Amazon’s Telehealth Service to Launch Nationwide by Summer

On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, Amazon announced an upcoming expansion of its health care service, Amazon Care. Amazon Care has been servicing Amazon employees in Washington state since late 2019. The service puts individuals in touch with health care professionals…
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General COVID-19 FAQs for Employers

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring forth a variety of questions for businesses. Employers can take a number of preventive steps to help keep employees safe, but they should also prepare to respond to various situations that can occur in…
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COBRA Subsidy Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law March 11, 2021, provides a 100% subsidy of premiums for employer-sponsored group health insurance continued under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) and similar state continuation of coverage…
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4 Ways to Support Remote Employee Collaboration and Productivity

Working remotely doesn’t always come naturally to employees, especially among those who are used to the accountability of in-person workplaces. Remote work requires focus and restraint amid the countless distractions present in the home, and it lacks the socialization capabilities…
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Overview of the American Rescue Plan

The $1.9 trillion relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, has passed Congress and will head to President Joe Biden for a signature. Highlights of the bill include: Small business assistance Extended unemployment benefits Direct checks to individuals Housing…
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Prescription Drug Pricing Trends

As prescription drug costs continue to increase, it’s important for employers to understand the trends behind the rise and what they can do to better manage their health care expenses. In 2019, the United States spent nearly $370 billion on…
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IRS Issues Guidance on Employee Retention Credit for 2020

On March 1, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2021-20 to provide guidance for employers claiming the 2020 employer retention tax credit (ERC). The ERC was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)…
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4 Recruiting Trends to Watch in 2021

Recruiting has never been simple, and the COVID-19 pandemic is complicating matters even more. In this rapidly changing landscape, employers need to adapt if they want to attract and retain quality talent. Recruiting likely won’t get easier in 2021 despite…
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Agency FAQs Clarify COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Coverage

On Feb. 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury issued FAQ guidance to clarify health coverage requirements related to COVID-19. Health plans and issuers must cover COVID-19 diagnostic items and services without cost-sharing.…
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COVID-19 Relief Extends COBRA, HIPAA and Other Plan Deadlines

On April 28, 2020, the Departments of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury (Departments) issued deadline relief to help employee benefit plans, plan participants and plan service providers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Thereafter, on Feb. 26, 2021, DOL Disaster Relief…
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President Biden Alters PPP Loan Rules to Benefit Smallest Businesses

The Biden administration recently announced a 14-day period of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Payment Protection Program (PPP) when only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for relief. This period will begin Wednesday, Feb. 24, and conclude…
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IRS Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Relief for Health FSAs and DCAPs’

On Feb. 18, 2021, the IRS released Notice 2021-15 to clarify special rules for Section 125 plans, health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs). The Consolidated Appropriations Act provides: flexibility with respect to carryovers of unused…
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