Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and Partners

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and Partners2020-08-03T16:31:03-04:00

Resources for Addressing Your Members’ Questions and Concerns

Our customer care team remains ready to address the everyday needs of your members, and our account representatives are available to assist you with any additional concerns you may have for navigating these uncertain times.

Listed below is a list of COVID-19 related FAQs and resources we hope you will find helpful.

FAQs

If my employees are working from home due to COVID-19, can they get their commuter orders refunded? 

Since commuter orders are made with pre-tax funds, the IRS does not allow refunds to be issued. However, commuter benefits participants enrolled in ConnectYourCare’s program can return products for a credit, which can be used toward future orders. Please view Commuter Benefit COVID-19 Updates and Policies.

Transit agency return policies

View a full list of transit agencies and return policies that are updated regularly, here.

Parking

If your employees are enrolled in a pre-tax parking program, they should contact their parking provider directly to best determine their credit options, since each parking provider operates independently and under its own rules.

What are Lifestyle Spending Accounts and what do they cover?

Crisis Relief Accounts are covered as part of our Lifestyle Account Solutions portfolio. These employer-funded accounts help employees cover unexpected costs in emergency situations.

Crisis Relief Accounts can cover employee expenses in the following categories:

  • Child care – Day care; Preschool; Babysitting/Nanny/Au Pair services
  • Housing – Mortgage/Rent; Internet fees; Home office supplies
  • Utility and Grocery – General household utilities such as gas, electric, water; Grocery purchases and deliveries

Under Section 139 of the IRS Disaster Relief Payments tax law, Crisis Relief Accounts may be administered on a pre-tax basis. Specifically, during a time of widespread disaster, personal, family, living, and other expenses may qualify for tax-free reimbursement under a Crisis Relief Account. Your tax and legal counsel can assist you with determining if your program will qualify for this specific tax exemption.

For more detailed information, visit our Crisis Relief Accounts Solutions page.

How does the closure of day care institutions due to COVID-19 impact participants’ dependent care contributions? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the lives of American workers, parents, and children.
An employer’s dependent care flexible spending account program (also known as a “dependent care assistance program”) generally has flexibility during times like these while parents work.

Due to recent life events, participants may be eligible to increase or decrease their dependent care FSA elections for situations they may be experiencing, including:

  • Change of day care provider
  • Cost of care changes (unless care provider is a relative)
  • Need for care changes due to a job change or change of work hours

Visit our Legislation page for more details about Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  Notice 2020-29, which gives employers the option to amend their plans:

  • To extend grace periods for Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAP) plans to December 31, 2020 and to allow participants to make mid-year election changes in more circumstances.

Participants should contact their employer’s benefits office for more information on the process to change elections.

Can employers extend the FSA claim filing deadline?  

Probably. While there is no explicit timeframe prescribed for a run-out period, employers should review their plan document with counsel and determine whether the plan can be amended to extend the run-out date. Extending the run-out period is an attractive option as it gives participants additional time to obtain and submit sufficient documentation for expenses incurred during the plan year.

What is required to extend the claim filing deadline?

Plan documents should likely be amended if possible and that amendment should be communicated to employees. Once your plan is amended, your FSA administrator should be able to quickly and easily update your run-out dates in their system. 

Can employees either increase or decrease their FSA election amounts due to COVID-19? 

Under IRS rules and as defined in employer plan documents, employees generally cannot make changes to their FSA elections unless they have a qualifying life event. However, a qualifying event as it relates to COVID-19 may include:

  • Change in employment status that affects eligibility
  • FMLA leave
  • Change to the number of dependents

Visit our Legislation page for more details about Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  Notice 2020-29 and Notice 2020-33, which gives employers the option to amend their plans:

  • To extend grace periods for Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAP) plans to December 31, 2020 and to allow participants to make mid-year election changes in more circumstances.
  • To increase the carryover for health care FSAs to $550 for the 2020 -2021 plan year among other changes.

 

What happens to my employees’ HRA if they are terminated due to a COVID-19? 

Employees have until the claims submission deadline to submit their HRA claims, but the date of service must be on or before their coverage termination date.

Can employees change their HSA election amounts? 

Yes, employees can change their HSA contributions at least once per month through their employer. If payroll contributions are no longer an option, employees can contribute directly to their HSA and it will still be an above-the-line tax deduction. Please note that 2019 contributions can be made to your HSA until July 15, 2020 based on recent IRS Guidance.

Is COVID-19 testing and treatment covered under an HSA/high deductible health plan?

The IRS released guidance on March 11, 2020, clarifying that testing and treatment of COVID-19 is preventive care and therefore can be covered, pre-deductible, by a high deductible health plan. IRS Notice 2020-15 explains that this accommodation is due to the “unprecedented public health emergency posed by COVID-19.” For more information, please see our related blog post.

How has COVID-19 impacted tax filings for participants’ HSAs?

The IRS has extended the 2019 tax-filing deadline until July 15, 2020. It is important to note that the tax responsibility for HSAs does vary by state. HSA participants should check their local state tax laws to determine if local authorities have extended tax filing deadlines in line with the federal extension, or work with their tax advisor to ensure correct filing. For more information, please refer to IRS Publication 969.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, law makers have been busy making changes to existing policies to help ease the burden on health care systems and those affected by this public health crisis.

For the latest information, visit our COVID-19 Legislation page.

Online and Mobile

Members can continue to use their payment cards and access their accounts as they have always done through the myCYC mobile app and the CYC portal to:

  • Check account balance
  • View transactions
  • Pay a provider or reimburse themselves
  • Submit claims and check status
  • Update contact information
  • Set up important alerts

Payment Cards

If the members’ account offers a payment card, they can take advantage of buying eligible items with pre-tax dollars and have the cost deducted directly from their accounts. Replacement payment cards and additional cards for family members can be requested free of charge through the CYC portal.

CYC Marketplace

Members can use their payment cards to purchase eligible items online and have them delivered directly to their homes through the CYC Marketplace.

  • This shopping option is a convenient way for CYC account holders to purchase eligible products, receive discounts and incentives, and stay healthy by giving them easy online access to the products they need from the safety of their homes.

COVID-19 member resource page

As a reminder, a COVID-19 member update is available to your members on the home page of our website that provides helpful tips and additional resources to help members make the most of their accounts.

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