News & Events

Friday, March 6th

Coronavirus in the Workplace

As the coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as the media coverage surrounding it, continues to spread, we are receiving many questions from clients wondering what they can do to keep their employees safe as well as what is required of them from a liability stand point. To help, we have compiled the following information and resources.

Can coronavirus become a Work Comp claim?

Yes, if an employee contracts the virus during the scope or course of their job duties. For example, employers may be responsible in the following situations:

  • An employee travels or works overseas and contracts the illness.
  • An employee contracts the virus and infects coworkers in the office or on the job site.
  • An employee is assigned to work in a location with infected individuals and becomes infected.

In these scenarios, a Work Comp policy will typically cover lost time, permanent disability, medical expenses, and a death benefit as a result of the coronavirus.

What are my legal obligations as an employer?

Employers are obligated to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their employees, but are also subject to a number of legal requirements protecting workers. For example, employers must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in their approach to dealing with COVID-19. (see HR Compliance Bulletin for more detailed information)

Will our benefits plan cover a coronavirus diagnosis?

While the specific coverages will be dependent on the individual’s plan benefits, most health plans will cover the care an employee would receive if diagnosed with coronavirus, unless otherwise determined by state law or regulation. However, they will still be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses that their plan requires.

Please view our Carrier Resources for Coronavirus t o see what benefits and resources your specific carrier is providing. For many carriers, utilizing their Telemedicine services is the best first step if you are concerned about symptoms.

Steps you can take to protect and prevent

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a dedicated website providing information to businesses and employers. The following actions are recommended:

  • Encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Be more flexible with your sick leave policies
  • Educate employees on preventive measures
  • Keep a good stock of supplies such as tissues, hand sanitizer, and soap
  • Perform routine cleaning of frequently touched areas
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps. If employees are required to travel for business, stay up to date on the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for guidance.

Helpful Materials & Resources

OSHA Safety & Health Topics
CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019
World Health Organization: Advice for the Public
EDD: Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)


Friday, February 28th

February 2020 Newsletter

Happy Leap Year! What should you do with an extra day in February? How about catching up with our newsletter! Watch our video about the benefits of Telemedicine, how to address the coronavirus with your employees, and learn how we can help you navigate through the claims process.


Thursday, February 20th

Featured Benefits Video: Telemedicine

Need urgent medical or mental health care? Why not consider Telemedicine? 

Qualified online doctors and mental health professionals are now readily available from the comfort of your home. These services are usually covered by insurance for no or low cost copays and include quick, easy access to expert medical and mental health advice and prescriptions .

Watch our quick educational video, Telemedicine, to learn more.

This video is also available in Spanish, Telemedicina.

For more educational videos on employee benefits and healthcare, check out our full Benefits Video Library, in both English and Spanish.


Friday, January 24th

January 2020 Newsletter

Happy 2020! This month we are sharing some great learning events that are coming up and plenty of information to refresh your insurance knowledge to ensure that you start the year off right!


Wednesday, January 22nd

Featured Benefits Video: COBRA

What in the world is COBRA?

Well, it’s not about dangerous snakes, but it is important to you and your family. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – COBRA for short – protects your right to keep your health, dental, and vision coverage between jobs or in other unforeseen circumstances.

Watch our quick educational video, COBRA Insurance,to understand how it works and how it could protect your family.

This video is also available in Spanish, Seguro COBRA.

For more educational videos on employee benefits and healthcare, check out our full Benefits Video Library, in both English and Spanish.


Friday, December 20th

December 2019 Newsletter

Our last newsletter of 2019 has some great information on legislative changes coming about in the new year and what you can do to be prepared. We will continue to provide updates on these and many other topics in 2020. We hope you enjoy this season with your friends and family. Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 10th

IRS Extends Deadline for Furnishing Form 1095-C, Extends Good-Faith Transition Relief

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Notice 2019-63, which extends the deadline for furnishing 2019 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals from January 31, 2020 to March 2, 2020. The Notice also provides penalty relief for good-faith reporting errors and suspends the requirement to issue Form 1095-B to individuals, under certain conditions. 

The due date for filing the forms with the IRS was not extended and remains February 28, 2020 (March 31, 2020 if filed electronically).
The draft instructions to Forms 1094-C and 1095-C allow employers to request a 30-day extension to furnish statements to individuals by sending a letter to the IRS with certain information, including the reason for delay. However, because the Notice’s extension of time to furnish the forms is as generous as the 30-day extension contained in the instructions, the IRS will not formally respond to requests for an extension of time to furnish 2019 Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals. 

Employers may still obtain an automatic 30-day extension for filing with the IRS by filing Form 8809 on or before the forms’ due date. An additional 30-day extension is available under certain hardship conditions. The Notice encourages employers who cannot meet the extended due dates to furnish and file as soon as possible and advises that the IRS will take such furnishing and filing into consideration when determining whether to abate penalties for reasonable cause. 

Relief from Furnishing Form 1095-B to Individuals
Due to the individual mandate penalty being reduced to zero starting in 2019, an individual does not need the information on Form 1095-B in order to complete his or her federal tax return. Therefore, the IRS is granting penalty relief for employers who fail to furnish a Form 1095-B to individuals, provided that the reporting entity:

  1. Posts a notice prominently on its website stating that individuals may receive a copy of their 2019 1095-B upon request, accompanied by an email address, phone number and a physical address the request can be sent; and
  2. Furnishes an individual with a Form 1095-B within 30 days of a request.

Note that Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) are still required to furnish Form 1095-C to their full-time employees. They must also complete Part III if the employee is enrolled in self-insured coverage. The relief from furnishing Form 1095-B does not extend to IRS reporting. Forms 1095-B must still be submitted to the IRS, as applicable. In general, this relief from furnishing Form 1095-B applies to insurers, and non-ALEs that sponsor self-insured plans, as they complete Form 1095-B for covered participants.

Extension of Good-Faith Relief
As with calendar year 2015 – 2018 reporting, the IRS will not impose penalties on employers that can show that they made good-faith efforts to comply with the requirements for calendar year 2019. In determining good faith, the IRS will consider whether employers have made reasonable attempts to comply with the requirements (e.g., gathering and transmitting the necessary data to an agent or testing its ability to transmit information) and the steps that have been taken to prepare for next year’s reporting.
Note that the relief applies only to furnishing and filing incorrect or incomplete information, and not to a failure to timely furnish or file. However, if an employer is late filing a return, it may be possible to get penalty abatement for failures that are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. In general, to establish reasonable cause the employer must demonstrate that it acted in a responsible manner and that the failure was due to significant mitigating factors or events beyond its control. The IRS has been enforcing late filing penalties via Letter 972CG, which may include penalties based on failed to file electronically (when required), or failure to file with correct TIN information.

As in past years, individuals can file their personal income tax return without having to attach the relevant Form 1095. Taxpayers should keep these forms in their personal records, even though the federal individual mandate penalty is not applicable for the 2019 filing year.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Morris & Garritano Director of Compliance and HR Keith Dunlop for further information.

About the Author. This alert was prepared for Morris & Garritano by Stacy Barrow. Mr. Barrow is a nationally recognized expert on the Affordable Care Act. His firm, Marathas Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP, is a premier employee benefits, executive compensation and employment law firm. 
This email is a service to our clients and friends. It is designed only to give general information on the developments actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of recent developments in the law, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion.
Benefit Advisors Network and its members are not attorneys and are not responsible for any legal advice. To fully understand how this or any legal or compliance information affects your unique situation, you should check with a qualified attorney. © Copyright 2019 Benefit Advisors Network. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 25th

Featured Video: Primary Care, Urgent Care, and the ER

When you need to see a doctor now but don’t want to spend more than necessary, it’s smart to know your options and have a clear understanding of which type of medical service is best for your health as well as your pocket book.

Watch our short video: Primary Care, Urgent Care, and ER to get a clear picture of your options. It’s also a good idea to keep the phone numbers and addresses of your primary care provider, nearby in-network urgent care
facilities, and hospitals handy.


This video is also available in Spanish, Atención Primaria, Atención de Urgencias, Salas de Emergencias.

For more educational videos on employee benefits and healthcare, check out our full Benefits Video Library, in both English and Spanish.



Friday, November 22nd

November 2019 Newsletter

Just in time for the holiday season, the November newsletter is here! Check out the beard-growing progress of our No-Shave November participants, learn some legislative updates that might affect your business, and watch a video to help you determine if that trip to the ER is really necessary.


Monday, November 4th

3rd Annual No-Shave November!

The men of M&G are on a mission to grow cancer awareness and raise money for the Angel of Hope Fund, part of the Hearst Cancer Resource Center, but we need your help to make the month a success!

https://www.supportfrenchhospital.org/donate-now-angel-of-h…
(Be sure to list the event name “Morris & Garritano No-Shave November” in the comments box.)

The start of No-Shave November

No Shave November is a month-long journey in which participants forgo shaving to raise cancer awareness by embracing their hair, which many cancer patients lose.

We will document the beard-growing progress of our M&G gentlemen throughout the month and provide updates along the way.

Thank you for your donations, your support, and your help to share this with your friends, family, and coworkers.