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Congress approves the US rescue plan



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The US House of Representatives today voted to approve the US rescue plan, a $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus bailout package. When the Senate approved the bill over the weekend, it will now go to President Biden, who is expected to sign it before his address to the country tomorrow night.

One of the things that will significantly affect employer-sponsored coverage is that The American Rescue Plan will now provide 100% COBRA subsidies from April 1

to September 30, 2021. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor, under the Biden administration, is now tasked with providing guidance on how the full COBRA subsidies will be administered.

The US rescue plan also increases the Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies available to individuals in the exchange by limiting the cost of premiums to 8.5% of household income for the benchmark plan. Subsidy improvements will be retroactive until early 2021. Individuals currently enrolled in an exchange plan may start claiming additional subsidies immediately or they may wait and claim their 2021 tax return. The additional premium subsidies will extend until 2022.

Families will benefit from an increase in the standard deduction for children, along with an increase in the amount that can be set aside for a flexible expenditure account (FSA). For 2021, the increased threshold is $ 10,500 in an addiction care account, compared to the normal $ 5,000 threshold. Employers must adopt this provision in order for employees to be able to increase their chosen funds for their FSA with dependent care; however, it is not mandatory.

An additional $ 7.5 billion was approved for the Paycheck Protection Program, along with new provisions that will extend the program to larger nonprofits and other organizations that did not previously qualify. Companies will also benefit from the extension of employee retention credit to 2021.

Other provisions include:

  • Incentives for states to extend Medicaid
  • Elimination of Medicaid's drug rebate
  • $ 1400 in direct incentive payments
  • 350 billion in state and local aid
  • Funding for the distribution and testing of vaccines COVID-19
  • An extension of increased unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week until September 6
  • 47.8 billion for the implementation of a national evidence-based test strategy.

Scott will continue to keep you updated as we expect further action from Congress and the Biden Administration to address other aspects of the pandemic and introduce rules to implement certain aspects of the US Rescue Plan. [19659015] Like this post? Share it.


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