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    COVID-19 Resources Featuring the CARES Act & FFA

    3 mins

    As the global situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, our entire team at Bennie is partnering with legal resources, carrier partners, and the general agency Professional Group Plans to compile helpful information in what we hope is an easy-to-digest format below. Here is an overall COVID-19 Resources Page and see below for resources broken out by category.

    CARES Act:

    On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law, providing $2 trillion in aid to health care workers, individuals, and businesses. 

    Key health care provisions include:

    1. COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage - Though vaccines are not yet ready, it requires commercial insurers to cover any qualifying coronavirus preventive service (i.e., vaccines) defined by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. 

    2. COVID-19 Testing Coverage - Clarifies existing law requiring all COVID-19 testing to be covered by group health plans and individual market issuers without cost-sharing

    3. Telehealth Expansions - Provides $200 million to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to support the efforts of health care providers to provide telecommunication services, information services, and devices to enable telehealth services.

    4. Telehealth and High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) - Establishes a safe harbor for HDHPs that provide benefits for telehealth and other remote care services before patients satisfy the applicable minimum deductible.

    5. Over-the-Counter Medical Products and HDHPs - Allows patients to use health savings account (HSA) and flexible spending account (FSA) funds for over-the-counter medical products, including those needed for quarantine or social distancing, without a prescription from a physician. HSA and FSA administrators are adjusting their systems to accommodate this.

    Key economic provisions include:

    1. Individual Stimulus Payments

    2. $350 billion in Small Business Interruption Loans

    3. $500 billion in Treasury Loans to Severely Stressed Sectors of the Economy

    4. Unemployment Insurance and Grants

    5. Short-Term Compensation Programs

    6. Payroll Tax Credit

    FFA:

    1. Families First Coronavirus Response Act

      1. On March 18th, the federal government signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Act will remain in effect until December 31, 2020, and includes the following provisions:

        1. Expanded family leave & sick leave rules for employers with under 500 employees.

        2. Employees are eligible for leave to care for sick family members or to take sick time themselves.

        3. Several states have passed their own laws or temporary orders: CA, CO, RI, NY, NJ, OR, WA. 

        4. A number of major cities and municipalities have also passed their own laws or temporary orders.

        5. Additional resources:

          1. Families First Coronavirus Response Act Simple Flow Chart

          2. 10 Things Employers Need To Know NOW About Leave Law and Coronavirus

    Health & Wellness Resources for Your Employees:

    1. Bennie & Ro Free Coronavirus Assessment

      1. Online health assessment available at no cost. 

    2. Crisis Text Line

      1. On-demand crisis management & triage counselors accessible via text

      2. Text HOME to 741741

    3. Talkspace

      1. Virtual mental health services. 

      2. Discounts:

        1. Any individual can sign up and get $150 off with code: TAKECARE150

    4. eMindful

      1. eMindful has opened its mindfulness solution to the public for free for 90 days to help people cope with the COVID-19 crisis.  Here is a new link to the free site.

    5. Peloton

      1. Free online classes, a mix of running, strength, toning, cycling, yoga, meditation and outdoor workouts.

      2. Your pass to thousands of live and on-demand classes—anywhere, anytime.

      3. Click here for a Peloton 90 Free Day Trial 

    6. COVID-19 Discounts Page

      1. A collection of 120+ companies that are offering their services at a discount or free of charge. 

    Other Resources:

    1. Federal & State Resources: Federal & State COVID-19 Resource Guide.

    2. Carrier-Specific Resources: COVID-19 Resource Page.

    3. The City of New York has released an informational website to connect small businesses with resources.

    If you would like to speak about any of the above or learn about how Bennie helps small and mid-sized companies reimagine the employee benefits experience, contact us at hello@bennie.com.

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