On December 21, 2020, Congress passed an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. The bill has been sent to President Trump, and he is expected to sign it into law.
Notably, the bill provides funding for unemployment benefits, small businesses, direct economic payments to individuals, vaccine distribution and rental assistance. It also includes two important updates surrounding surprise medical billing and the continuation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which are outlined below.
Surprise Medical Bill Ban
In addition to relief, government funding and tax cuts, the stimulus bill includes the No Surprises Act, which is a ban on surprise medical bills from doctors, hospitals and air ambulances — which will take effect beginning in 2022. The Act prohibits these providers from billing patients who have health coverage for unpaid balances. Rather, providers will have to work with the group health plan or health insurance issuer to determine the appropriate amount to be paid by the plan or issuer. To learn more, click here.
FFCRA Tax Credits Extended but Not Leave Mandate
The stimulus bill does not extend the leave mandates created by the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), which expire on December 31, 2020. However, the bill does extend the time limit for employer tax credits for employee leave required by those laws.
As a result, the requirement for employee paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave will end on December 31, 2020, the original expiration date of the entitlement, but tax credits will apply to EFMLA and EPSLA leave offered by employers through March 31, 2021. For more information, click here.
If you would like more information surrounding the aid provided by the stimulus bill, please click here.
Trust the Creative Benefits team to keep you updated on ongoing change! Should you have questions surrounding this information, please contact Creative Benefits, Inc. at 866-306-0200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.