An Important Message for NC Health Benefit Representatives
April 2021
COBRA Subsidies under the American Rescue Plan Act

In March, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. A portion of that federal legislation included COBRA subsidies for employees and family members who lost coverage because of an involuntary termination or a reduction in hours after November 1, 2019. 

This impacts eligible Dental and Vision participants who elected COBRA at the time of their qualifying event as well as any participants who were offered COBRA due to these termination reasons but opted not to enroll at the time of their qualifying event. Those who qualify will have a $0 premium for April through September 2021, or any months in this 6-month window for which a participants is eligible. Benefitfocus has already issued the April 2021 invoices, therefore, retroactive adjustments will be required for qualified COBRA participants.

While NCFlex is responsible for ensuring qualified members are offered this temporary benefit, employing units will be responsible for reimbursing NCFlex for the cost of the program. Employing units will offset the cost by claiming a credit against Medicare payroll taxes.

NCFlex is working with Benefitfocus to finalize the process for meeting these new requirements and will provide more details as they come about.
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Naming (and Updating) Beneficiaries

As a reminder, employees can name a beneficiary for NCFlex's Cancer, Critical Illness, Group Term Life, and Accidental Death and Dismemberment plans. Employees can also update those beneficiaries at anytime during the year, not just during open enrollment.

This article describes why it is so important for employees to name beneficiaries: The Importance of Naming Beneficiaries .

This document will help show employees how to add or change beneficiaries for their NCFlex benefits.
April Webinar Opportunity
Allstate Cancer and Critical Illness Plans
This month we are discussing our Allstate plans - Cancer and Critical Illness. Share with your employees or join yourself to learn more about the plans.

We will discuss such topics as:
  • What the plans cover
  • How to file a claim
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Who is eligible
  • How to continue the plan if you leave employment
  • Contact information when you have questions

Employees can register on our Webinar Page for one of two dates/times - April 27 (Noon - 1pm) and April 29 (7 - 8pm). We will also post the recording on the Webinar Page after the event. Bookmark the page for later use.

Please email us at ncflex@nc.gov with any questions.
PPE Now an Eligible Health Care FSA Item

If you participate in the NCFlex Health Care Flexible Spending Account through P&A Group, you can now use your account to pay for Personal Protective Equipment. To see a list of eligible items and other useful tools for your FSA accounts, visit our FSA documents page HERE.
Prudential Presents: Roadmap to Retirement
North Carolina Total Retirement Plans is offering virtual sessions over the next three months (including April) to discuss steps you should consider on your journey towards retirement.

If you're considering retirement in the next 3 years, join one of the meetings listed on THIS FLYER.

Please also share with your employees as you see fit.
FSA Changes for 2021 - Update and Reminder

NCFlex has been receiving questions regarding a recent allowance the IRS announced for Dependent Day Care Spending Accounts. The IRS gave employers the option to temporarily increase the DDCFSA max from$5,000 to $10,500, however NCFlex will not be adopting this change. Many factors were considered when making this decision including tax implications to employees.

As a reminder, the changes that were adopted were noted in a February Alert and were also discussed on an FSA Changes webinar.

If you have questions, reach out to us at ncflex@nc.gov.
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