Employer Groups – COVID-19 Update

Businesses that have had to close or reduce their work force due to the pandemic are also faced with how to manage their employee benefit plans, especially group health insurance benefits.

The guidelines have been modified to help businesses and their employees keep their health insurance.
• Most insurance companies have relaxed the full-time status requirement
• Furloughed employees can stay on the health insurance plan
• Employers can continue to contribute to the cost of health insurance, regardless of employment status
Employers that have received a loan from the SBA through the Paycheck Protection Program can use the money for payroll, benefits, and taxes on compensation. Up to 25% of the loan may be used for interest, rent, & utilities. To get the entire loan forgiven, two criteria must be met: 1) the full-time employee headcount cannot decline from 2019 to 2020; and 2) employers cannot cut wages. This means there is an incentive for employers to keep / rehire their staffs and continue to pay wages and maintain benefits.

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