Are there any changes to health coverage due to COVID-19?

Most healthcare providers have taken specific actions within their plans in response to COVID-19 and the sudden and critical needs of insured. We recommend that you consult with your Plan Administrator or Medical Insurance Carrier to see if they have provided guidance on any changes or adjustments related to coverage for COVID-19. AHIP has provided some guidance on this topic as well.  

As the situation is quickly changing given the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and federal/state regulations, Rippling is working to receive guidance on this as quickly as possible.

Can employees make contribution changes to their Health FSA?

Employees can make mid-year Health FSA changes due to COVID-19, but this will need to be enabled manually by a company admin. It is ultimately up to employers to determine whether or not they want to allow their employees to make these mid-year FSA changes.

If you would like to allow your employees to make FSA changes mid-year, you can go to the FSA app –> Settings tab, and toggle the below switch from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’:

Once this has been updated to ‘Yes’, employees can go to their FSA app to perform a qualified life event and they will see an additional reason called ‘COVID-19 Enrollment Update’. Once they select this, they will be able to make changes to both their DCA and Health FSA.

Please note that these changes cannot result in elections that are below what the employee has already been deducted from payroll in the current plan year.

A few additional notes:

  • It is up to the employer to amend the company’s FSA documents to reflect this change. Rippling is currently not providing updated language for the Summary Plan Document.
  • You can use Rippling’s Notices functionality to send the updates to employees.

Can employees make contribution changes to their Dependent Care FSA?

Employees enrolled in dependent-care FSA (DCA) are able to make changes to their contributions due to changes in childcare situations. They can simply select the following qualifying life event reason:

How can employees make special enrollment changes?

The “special enrollment” rules allow employees to enroll in an employer’s major medical plan in the middle of the plan year in certain circumstances. While the IRS has allowed mid-year changes to enrollments (see IRS notice 2020-29 for more details), not all insurance carriers are allowing this; so we will need to check with your insurance carrier on a case-by-case basis.

If Rippling is your broker and you would like to enable mid-year changes for Medical, Dental, and Vision, you can reach out to support@rippling.com and we will be able to help and assist.

If you are the broker and have confirmed with the insurance carriers that mid-year changes to enrollments are allowed for specific groups, you can go to the Insurance app –> Settings tab –> COVID-19 Mid-Year Enrollment –> toggle the below switch from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’: