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COVID-19 News You Can Use: HR


High deductible health plans can pay for COVID-19 testing and treatment before plan deductibles have been met. Individuals may also continue to contribute to their health savings accounts (HSAs). Testing costs count as preventive care and can be paid for by an HDHP without cost-sharing.

Some issuers are voluntarily waiting for cost haring for COVID-19 testing without a state directive. Self-funded plans may also voluntarily waive costs. Employers with HDHPs should check with their plan administrator.



As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, two laws provide workers with paid leave, effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act
12 Weeks of partially compensated FMLA leave to care for a child whose school or childcare facility has been closed due to COVID-19. Applies only to workers who have been employed by the current employer for 30 days. Special rules apply to employees who are laid off and then rehired for purposes of the 30-day requirement.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

• Employers to provide 80 hours of paid sick time to employees in specified circumstances, including:
• Quarantine or isolation order for the employee or someone the employee is caring for or medical advice to self-quarantine.
• When the employee has symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a diagnosis.
• When the employee’s child’s school; or childcare facility is closed due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Employers with 500 or more are exempt from the laws, and employers may exclude employees who are health care providers and emergency responders. The legislation also allows for future regulations exempting businesses with fewer than 50 employees from providing leave for childcare reasons if the leave would jeopardize the viability of the business.

DISCLAIMER – Due to the daily changing environment and guidelines being provided by the government, this information could be outdated. Please contact our office for the latest updates and guidelines. Optima Office is not responsible for any actions taken due to the information provided. The information provided here is for instructional purposes and does not represent legal advice being given by Optima Office.



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