The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Pub. L. No. 116-136) is the largest relief package in American history and contains an array of retirement, health and welfare benefit provisions. Signed into law March 27, the CARES Act also modifies several healthcare, paid leave and coronavirus testing mandates enacted earlier by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (Pub. L. No. 116-127). To encourage employers to maintain payroll, the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program offers short-term financial aid to help cover related costs, including wages and health benefits. The latest relief act (Pub. L. No. 116-139), signed into law April 24, increases funding for and enhances several of the CARES Act’s payroll and healthcare programs.
This GRIST provides highlights of the latest relief, along with a table summarizing key COVID-19 measures addressing employee benefits and employer aid. Download the full print-friendly PDF to view the full nine-page article with the table.
The latest relief legislation, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPHCEA), provides additional funding for COVID-19 testing and relief programs authorized by the CARES Act and the FFCRA. The measure also requires the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a number of new reports on COVID-19 testing and other important data points related to the coronavirus.
Funding provisions of the PPPHCEA include:
─ Recipients may use these funds for various purposes, including building temporary structures or purchasing medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing supplies.
─ At least $11 billion of these funds will go to help states and localities cover necessary testing expenses — including employers’ testing costs — and to scale up testing by public health, academic, commercial and hospital labs.
To track and manage the pandemic, the legislation requires HHS to:
Download the full print-friendly PDF to view the full nine-page article with a table summarizing significant employment-related provisions in COVID-19 relief legislation, including measures affecting: