The ComPro team has adopted this hashtag as one of our core values as we help our clients navigate the effects of COVID-19 on health insurance and health care. During these trying times, our team has dedicated themselves to helping their local communities. We were amazed at our team’s willingness to give back, so we are matching our team’s donations up to one thousand dollars. The matched donations will be donated to Habitat For Humanity.
Employers, those with individual health plans, and Medicare beneficiaries are concerned about keeping their benefits and the cost of testing and treatment for COVID-19. We have created a page on our website that is dedicated to COVID-19. This page will connect you to all of the latest carrier information as well as FAQ and informational videos you may have during these everchanging times.
Determining When To Reopen After The Coronavirus Shutdown
While many essential businesses (e.g., hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, and gas stations) have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, other operations deemed nonessential have shut down temporarily or changed the nature of their operations.
However, we may be nearing a time when stay-at-home regulations are scaled back, and all businesses are allowed to resume as normal. The question then is: How will business owners know it is acceptable to reopen? The following are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Review guidance from state and local governments— The COVID-19 pandemic impacts states and regions in different ways. Just because a business is allowed to reopen in one region of the country doesn’t automatically mean your operations will be allowed to resume as well. As such, it’s critical to understand and review all relevant state and local orders to determine if and when your business is allowed to reopen.
- Understand the risks— If and when the government allows all businesses to reopen, that doesn’t necessarily mean COVID-19 is no longer a threat to your operations. What’s more, some businesses may have greater COVID-19 exposures than others, underscoring the importance of performing a thorough risk assessment before reopening. Prior to conducting a risk assessment, it’s important to review guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), state and local agencies, industry associations as well as your local health department. More information on conducting a risk assessment can be found below.
Again, before reopening, it’s critical to seek the expertise of legal, insurance and other professionals.
DOL Now Fully Enforcing FFCRA Paid Leave Rules For Coronavirus
After observing a 30-day nonenforcement period to help employers come into compliance with new paid leave rules, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that it is fully enforcing all provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The FFCRA requires private employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain government employers to provide paid leave for their employees, either for the employees’ own health needs or to care for others, for reasons related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These requirements apply for employee leave taken between April 1 and December 31, 2020.
Now that the temporary policy has expired, the DOL is fully enforcing the FFCRA. Employers may still face retroactive penalties for violations committed during the nonenforcement period under certain circumstances. According to the DOL’s frequently asked questions about the FFCRA, the agency will retroactively enforce violations back to the effective date of April 1, 2020, if employers have not remedied the violations. Penalties for FFCRA violations include civil lawsuits and criminal charges punishable by imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
The laws take effect within 15 days of passage; the leave benefits will expire on December 31, 2020.