As the COVID-19 situation has rapidly evolved, we wanted to create a simple webpage that has various resources available to all Intrepid Clients and Colleagues:
If you are not a current client of Intrepid and have questions about your specific organization, please CLICK HERE to send us an e-mail and an expert will reach out within the same business day.
*Last Updated Thursday, July 2nd, 2020*
Updates since last version:
-Added registration link for next COVID-19 compliance webinar on July 14th
-Added recording of June 16th webinar
Our ERISA Attorney partners at Maynard, Cooper & Gale have been incredible with helping to keep our clients informed of the quick changes happening from a legislative standpoint.
Please take a look at Maynard, Cooper & Gale's informative COVID-19 FAQ Guide for Employers to help you navigate through the constantly changing information we are all seeing right now.
COVID-19 Resources Webinar Series: Next webinar is Tuesday, July 14th @ 8:00am PT!
Recording for past webinars further below!
Leader: Matthew Stiles and Matthew Connova of Maynard Cooper & Gale, PC
Topic: As part of the TRUE Network Advisors COVID-19 Resources, please join us for our webinar series in which the attorneys of Maynard, Cooper & Gale will provide a timely discussion regarding employer responsibilities and best practices with regard to COVID-19, as well as updates on legislation and guidance from Congress and federal agencies, including CDC, OSHA, EEOC, DOL, IRS, and HHS.
See below for links to recordings of recent webinars hosted by Maynard, Cooper & Gale:
Right now employers feel isolated. But they're not alone. ThinkHR and Mammoth have been fielding thousands of coronavirus-related questions from business owners. And they're jointly making their essential COVID-19 resources available for free to all employers in need. Access their resource page at https://www.thinkhr.com/covid19/
All clients of Intrepid have unlimited access to ThinkHR, which is a fantastic HR consulting strategy. You can log in or call (877-225-1101) at any time, and their experts will help to answer HR questions and resolve workforce issues. This includes questions about how to handle COVID-19 related issues such as employee leave, furlough, layoffs, COBRA, travel, and other industry or job-specific questions. If you would like a refresher about what else ThinkHR provides, you can CLICK HERE to learn more.
ThinkHR understands the biggest challenges facing employers right now, so they have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from their recent webinars to help employers get trusted answers.
See below for links to recordings of recent webinars hosted by ThinkHR.
March 31st Webinar Recording: Click here>>
March 19th Webinar Recording: Click here>>
The ThinkHR website has a resource center where they have gathered materials to help you stay on top of employee concerns. It includes CDC materials such as posters for employees and other materials including these:
Following the President’s signing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act of 2020 into law on March 27th, we wanted to provide a brief overview of the act as well as highlight the new SBA forgivable loan.
For an overview of most provisions of the CARES Act, please CLICK HERE.
Forgivable SBA Loan Program
The CARES Act provides employers with fewer than 500 employees to apply for a 100% forgivable loan of up to the lesser of 2.5x monthly payroll incurred in the one year period prior to obtaining the loan or $10,000,000.
As long as the employer uses these funds to pay for payroll, benefits, interest(not principal), rent and utilities, AND the employer retains their employees from 3/1/2020-6/30/2020, then the loan is completely forgiven by the federal government with no tax penalty.
There will be provisions to allow for the re-hiring of terminated employees within 30 days of the enactment of the law in order to still qualify for this forgiveness.
In addition to Maynard, Cooper & Gale, we also have access to resources from Steptoe & Johnson. Steptoe & Johnson has put together a great summary of this provision and you can CLICK HERE to read more.
We don't have any further information yet on lenders for this loan, but we will update this page.
All California medical carriers have committed to waiving any costs for diagnostic services related to testing for COVID-19. In addition, many carriers have also announced that they are waiving copays for all telehealth or virtual doctor visits for ALL medical conditions at this time.
As of April 1st, some carriers have announced that they are waiving cost-sharing for treatment related to COVID-19 as well. See below for a carrier-by-carrier breakdown of what has been announced so far.
Aetna: Aetna has waived the copay for all virtual doctor visits through the Aetna Health app through June 4th, 2020. Members can CLICK HERE to learn more.
Aetna has also announced that they will waive cost-sharing for inpatient hospital admission related to COVID-19. Members can CLICK HERE to learn more.
Anthem Blue Cross: Anthem has waived the copay for all virtual doctor visits, including mental health, via Live Health Online through December 31, 2020. Members can CLICK HERE to learn more.
Anthem has also announced that they will waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19 from doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals through May 31st. Members can CLICK HERE to learn more.
Blue Shield of California: Blue Shield has waived the copay for all virtual doctor visits via Teladoc through May 31st, 2020. Members can CLICK HERE to learn more.
Blue Shield has also announced that they will waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19 from doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals through May 31st. Members can CLICK HERE to learn more.
Health Net: Health Net has announced that screenings/diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is provided at no cost. Health Net has also announced that member cost-sharing is waived for doctor's office, urgent care and outpatient hospital (including ER) visits for medically necessary COVID-19 related services. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Kaiser has announced that members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will not have to pay co-pays or other cost-share related to their medical treatment of COVID-19, including hospitalization.
Oscar: Oscar has announced that screenings/diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is provided at no cost. Also, there will be no out-of-pocket costs for all COVID-19 care delivered via telemedicine for members through May 10th.
United Healthcare: United has waived the copay for all virtual doctor visits relating to COVID-19 testing via their app through June 15th, 2020. Members can CLICK HERE to learn more
Carrier Guidelines for COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period, Premium Grace Period, Benefits for Furloughed Employees, etc.
Please reference this carrier guidelines document to find out your specific medical carrier's rules for the following: special enrollment opportunity for employees and dependents to enroll on employer coverage, premium payment 60-day grace period, whether groups will be re-certified at their renewal, the ability for employers to only pay true premiums currently, furlough rules related to benefits eligibility, and re-hire waiting periods.
If you have questions about your specfic medical insurance plan and how COVID-19 treatment is covered, please CLICK HERE to reach out to us!
DOL and FFCRA Regulations Now in Effect
On Wednesday, March 18th, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The updated FFCRA applies only to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Employers’ obligations became effective on April 1, 2020 and automatically expire on December 31, 2020. Some points of interest from the DOL's regulations are highlighted HERE.
The highlights of the law provide certain employees with up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for various Coronavirus-related absences from work. Further, some employees forced to stay home to care for children due to school and childcare closures are entitled to expanded FMLA leave at 2/3 pay for up to 12 weeks.
Our ERISA Attorney partners at Maynard, Cooper & Gale have drafted a legal brief of this act. You can click here to read the review
Required FFCRA Poster
The Department of Labor (DOL) has released a mandatory employee rights poster for the FFCRA. It should be posted or distributed to employees electronically (via email or online portal) by April 1. More information on the requirements can be found here.
New Guidance from the DOL on Administering FFCRA Leaves
We strongly suggest that employers read through the entire Question and Answers document prior to April 1st, so they have an understanding of how the leaves work. The following are some highlights from the updated guidance:
The U.S. Small Business Administration has created a website dedicated to various new programs avaialbe to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources.
SBA issued guidance entitled SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus, explaining how the SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.
“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.
Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.
In the face of the COVID-19, the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) wants to keep workers, employers, co-workers, and families safe. What employees are entitled to may be confusing. We are trying to make it easier and spread awareness through this centralized source of info. Use the guidance below to determine what is best for you, your family, and your workplace.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created a resource page for workers and employers. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has a website that explains how the Family and Medical Leave Act applies in cases of COVID-19 and other public health emergencies. Fact Sheet #70 provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding furloughs and other reductions in pay or hours worked.
In response to COVID-19, the Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin regarding HIPAA Privacy and COVID-19.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a COVID-19 website for workers and employers that addresses the disease and provides guidance and other resources for preventing exposure to and infection with the virus.
Topics covered include:
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued:
The CDC has also created the following posters for download:
Keep up to date on CDC guidance for specific industries, latest updates, and resources on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) main page.