Keystone Flex Administrators, LLC is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis, along with any legislative updates that may be released.
First and foremost, we are still here to SERVE YOU!
NOTE: Information below is listed in the order it has been released, so the most recent legislation/information will be closer to the bottom of the page.
Q: With so many schools and daycare's shutting down we have received a number of questions regarding if an employee’s dependent care facility closes, is that a qualified life event and can an employee stop their contributions to the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCA)? Also, when the daycare reopens, would that be considered a qualified event and then employees can elect and make a new contribution to the DCA?
Q: Can an employee open a DCA now that school is closed and they are in need of childcare?
Q: What if I have a change in home child care provider?
Q: HSA Contribution extension?
Q: Will there be a claims extension beyond the standard March 31,2020 deadline?
Q. COBRA Deadline Extensions - Employer/Employee
On April 28th, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, which extends COBRA grace periods to all plan participants.
Here is what you need to know:
Details on extensions below :
(1) the 30 day deadline for employers or individuals to notify the plan of a qualifying event
(2) the 60 day deadline for individuals to notify the plan of a determination of disability
(3) the 14 day deadline for plan administrators to furnish COBRA election notices
(4) the 60 day deadline for participants to elect COBRA
(5) the 45 day deadline in which to make a first premium payment
(6) the 30 day deadline for subsequent premium payments
For additional information about the DOL notice click here.
**FURTHER GUIDANCE** COBRA Deadline Extensions -
Employer/Employee (originally released April, 2020 noted above)
At the end of February, 2021, further guidance was released regarding EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01.
The DOL explains that the one-year tolling period will be applied on an individual-by-individual basis, meaning that a deadline will be tolled until the earlier of (i) one year from the date the individual was first eligible for the relief, or (ii) the end of the Outbreak Period (i.e., 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency, which is ongoing).
Summary: This means that every plan participant and beneficiary who was subject to a deadline that expired March 1, 2020 or later will have until the one-year anniversary of that deadline to take the required action (i.e., elect or pay for COBRA coverage, exercise a special enrollment right, or file a claim or appeal), unless the Outbreak Period ends sooner.
**All Keystone contact information is provided on all COBRA notices sent out to employees. Employees will need to contact Keystone directly with any questions regarding application of these available extensions.
The COVID-19 relief bill has officially been signed into law. This bill references the CARES ACT which includes provisions that make over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and menstrual products FSA, HSA, and HRA (if applicable to your HRA plan parameters) eligible. With this change, OTC items no longer require a prescription, and menstrual products are eligible for the first time.
Keystone is here to help make the transition for your employees as easy as possible in reference to these new regulations. We believe this is a positive change to the plans, that will further aide families during this pandemic!
Employees cannot YET purchase OTC or menstrual care items using their WEX Health card. Several things must occur before the debit cards (if applicable to your plan) will swipe for these newly eligible items. We have included a projection of that timeline below. This change will retro-back to 1/1/2020.
Until the debit card network is updated and fully functioning, and for any previously incurred expenses for 2020 that employees may have already had, Keystone will process those claims manually. Claims can be filed via the online employee portal, mobile app, or via email/fax/mail (manual claim forms can be obtained under the "forms" tab of this website).
We will continue to monitor any new developments on this daily, and post any necessary updates to this page. You can also visit FSAStore.com for additional information.
On December 27, 2020, the latest COVID relief bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, was signed into law. The law includes several provisions that provide relief for health and dependent care flexible spending accounts. Employers may, but are not required to, permit the following:
● Carryover of unused funds, with no dollar limit, from a plan year ending in 2020 and/or 2021 to a plan year ending in 2021 and/or 2022; or
● Extension of the grace period to up to 12 months after the end of the plan year for a plan year ending in 2020 and/or 2021.
The above applies to both health and dependent care FSAs.
● Employees who cease participation in a health FSA during calendar year 2020 or 2021 may continue to receive reimbursements from unused benefits or contributions for claims incurred through the end of the plan year in which such participation ceased (including a grace period if applicable).
● Increase the maximum age (by one year) for certain dependent care beneficiaries who aged out during 2020 and provide additional relief for such dependent care beneficiaries in 2022.
● Prospective modification of election amount for health and dependent care FSAs for a plan year ending in 2021.
As stated above, these provisions are not mandates, but are options for employers to consider. Plan amendments must be made by the end of the first calendar year beginning after the end of the plan year in which the amendment is effective (for example, calendar 2020 plan amendments must be adopted on or before December 31, 2021), provided the plan must be operated consistent with the terms of the amendment beginning on its effective date.
Please note that while we wanted you to be aware of the provisions in the law and have a chance to consider them, the law is quite voluminous and additional IRS guidance may be forthcoming. In addition, Keystone cannot provide legal or tax advice regarding this law or its requirements. For those questions, you should consult your own counsel.
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was signed by President Biden. ARPA is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package proposed by Biden to speed up the United States' recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARPA includes a provision for a COBRA continuation coverage premium subsidy of 100 percent for individuals and families who experienced an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours.
This subsidy will be available for Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs), as determined by the Act, from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. COBRA participants must meet the below criteria in order to be an AEI:
ARPA requires the Department of Labor (DOL) to provide model notices within 30 days from the date of enactment - on or before April 10. Keystone’s COBRA software vendor will review these model notices and incorporate the DOL's language into a set of standard subsidy notices, referred to as AEI Notices for Keystone to disperse to eligible participants. The Act requires that individuals in the lookback period, as well as those currently enrolled, receive a notification regarding the subsidy within 60 days of April 1, 2021; newly eligible COBRA participants should be notified within the current standard COBRA time frames.
UPDATE: Further guidance on the subsidy has been released by DOL. To review that information click here: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy
ARPA includes a provision for Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts:
The law raises the 2021 contribution limit for Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts to $10,500 for single taxpayers and to $5,250 for married individuals filing separately. The provision raises the exclusion limits for the plan year beginning after Dec. 31, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2022. A formal Amendment does have to be drafted and signed off on to adopt this change for your plan.
NOTE: You will need to check with Keystone to see if your employer group adopted this change.