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On Monday, December 21, 2020, Congress approved an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $ 900 billion in COVID-19 related assistance. The bill, which was part of a $ 1
In particular, the bill provides funding for unemployment. benefits, small businesses, direct financial payments to individuals, vaccine distribution and rental support. There are also some much-anticipated last-minute benefits for employees that made it into law at the last minute:
Extension of FFCRA tax credits
- While the bill extends the tax credits that employers can get to offer acutely paid sick leave and extended family medical leave to 31 / 3/21, it seems that the bill removes the mandate to provide such leave. This means that employers will be able to provide leave if they choose to receive and receive associated tax credits, but would not have to provide any type of leave.
Extension of FSA transition amounts and grace periods
- The bill gives employers the flexibility to change their plans by allowing the transfer of unused funds from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021. It also allows the transfer of unused funds from end of year. 2021 to the plan year ending 2022. The deduction period for plan years ending 2020 or 2021 can be extended to 12 months after the end of the plan year.
Prohibition of Surprise Medical Bills
- This surprise billing ban will keep patients safe from certain surprising medical bills, including bills from air ambulance providers, by ensuring that patients are only responsible for their network sharing costs in both emergencies and certain non- emergencies where patients do not have the ability to choose a network provider. For other claims, this new surprise billing agreement uses arbitration. There are many aspects of this section of the bill that will ultimately be left to the regulators. The Scott team will advocate on behalf of employers during this process and keep you updated accordingly.
For more information on non-benefit related aspects of the bill, click here for an overview.