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<p>Effective April 1, 2021, COBRA continuation coverage provides qualified Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEI’s) and their beneficiaries a temporary COBRA premium subsidy pandemic relief for their continued health, dental and vision plan coverage from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. This premium subsidy is 100 percent paid by the employer and the employer is reimbursed via a new Medicare Health Insurance tax credit.<br> <br>An AEI is eligible for the COBRA subsidy if they experience either of the following qualifying events: An involuntary termination of employment (other than for gross misconduct) or a<br>reduction in hours, which causes an individual to lose employer health, dental or vision plan eligibility. Departments must inform all AEI’s of the availability of the COBRA subsidy premium assistance.<br> <br>Department of Labor guidelines and model notices can be found on the CalHR website​</p>American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Temporary Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) Premium Subsidy5/24/2021 7:00:00 AM
<p>​CalHR is implementing provisions under the FlexElect Reimbursement Account program providing relief options for employees. These provisions are in accordance with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and new IRS guidelines. These provisions are:</p><p></p><ul><li>Grace Period Extensions – The grace period will be extended under the 2020 and 2021 plan years for both the Medical Reimbursement Accounts and Dependent Care Reimbursement accounts until December 31 of the following year. This will allow employees to continue to incur expenses and utilize funds remaining in their accounts.</li><ul><li>2020 Grace Period – Extended to December 31, 2021</li><li>2021 Grace Period – Extended to December 31, 2022</li></ul><li>Claims Filing Extensions – The claims filing deadlines will also be extended due to the grace period extensions. These deadlines will be extended to June 30 of the following year.</li><ul><li><span style="font-size:1em;">2</span><span style="font-size:1em;">020 Claims Filing Deadline – Extended to June 30, 2022</span></li><li><span style="font-size:1em;">2021 Claims Filing Deadline – Extended to June 30, 2023</span></li></ul><li> Medical Reimbursement Account Eligibility Continuation for Mid-Year Cancellations – Employees who cancelled or will cancel their Medical Reimbursement Accounts in 2020 or 2021 will be eligible to incur expenses after their cancellation date and through the applicable grace period. In no event will an employee be eligible for reimbursements exceeding the amount they contributed. Dependent Care Reimbursement Account participants are already eligible to continue to incur expenses through the grace period.</li><li>Carry Forward Rule for Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts –</li><li>Mid-Year Election Change – Medical Reimbursement Account and Dependent Care Reimbursement Account participants will be allowed to make a one-time prospective election change during the 2021 plan year without a permitting event.</li></ul><p></p><p>Department’s personnel offices are to communicate these options to their employees. Additional information including processing guidelines and sample employee communications can be found on the <a href="/state-hr-professionals/Pages/benefits-administration-manual-flexelect.aspx" target="_blank">CalHR website</a>​.  ​</p>Employee Relief Under the FlexElect Reimbursement Accounts Program 3/29/2021 7:00:00 AM
<p>​Effective May 1, 2018, CalHR implemented the Bicycle Commuter Program (Program). Through the Program, the State of California voluntarily provides a taxable benefit to eligible state employees. The Program encourages employees to consider bicycle commuting as a means of active transportation. </p><p>As a reminder, the HR Manual <a href="" target="_blank">section 1425 – Bicycle Commuter Program</a> requires non-CalATERS departments to complete and electronically submit the <a href="/Documents/Bicycle-Commuter-Benefit-Program-Report-Template.xlsx" target="_blank">Bicycle Commuter Benefit Program Report</a> for the previous calendar year to CalHR (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>) by January 31.</p>Bicycle Commuter Program Policy – Annual Report Reminder for Non-CalATERS Departments1/25/2021 8:00:00 AM

For previous announcements, please visit our HR Announcements page.

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