On April 2, 2020, Excellus announced that it will “waive out of pocket costs for COVID-19 medical testing, diagnosis and treatment for its fully insured employer groups, individual market qualified health plans and Medicare Advantage members for the next 60 days.”
Effective April 1st, 2020 through December 31st, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave or expanded family medical leave for specific situations related to COVID-19.
Employers are reimbursed through tax credits for employee wages and for health premiums to maintain employee coverage during qualifying leave.
Covered employers must post a notice of employee rights in the workplace or email the notice to employees who are working remotely.
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, signed into law on March 27th, 2020, provides relief to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans and grants through the Small Business Administration (SBA) are intended to help employers retain employees and pay rent/mortgage and utilities.
On March 18, 2020 Governor Cuomo signed legislation for emergency paid sick leave for New Yorkers who are quarantined because of COVID-19.
The law provides job protection and employer-paid leave for those who are quarantined by the Department of Health or other government entity or those who are caring for a quarantined family member.
On Monday, April 6th, 2020, Governor Cuomo extended the New York State on PAUSE executive order for 2 additional weeks. The 10-point policy closing schools and non-essential businesses and encouraging social distancing will continue through April 29, 2020.
On April 8th, 2020 New York State issued an emergency regulation which requires all health insurance carriers to defer premium payments by individuals and small group plans until June 1st, 2020 if they demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19.
The carriers must also continue to pay claims and to work with those who need assistance in transitioning to alternate coverage. Additional details
The Business Council of New York State has opened up its web site to the public for assistance in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Normally only available to members, BCNYS has created a Managing the Coronavirus page with links to additional information, webinar recordings with slides, and facts on recent legislation, including:
- The New York Emergency Paid Sick Leave Law
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) federal relief bill
There are many ways of ensuring that everyone has health care coverage (A.K.A. providing universal health care). New York representatives are considering passing a Single-Payer bill that would cover all New York residents under one government-sponsored plan. Is that the same as Universal Health Care? Click here for an explanation of the different types of coverage options.
The Cadillac Tax is a 40% excise tax on employers that provide high-cost insurance benefits to employees. As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it was designed to reduce health care costs by encouraging employers to offer cost-effective coverage. Originally set to become effective in 2018, the effective date has been pushed back to 2022. Click here for an info-graphic with additional details.