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Consolidated Appropriations Act: Employee Benefits Provisions (January 2021)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, includes a $900 billion coronavirus relief package that provides funding to individuals and businesses.

The CAA also includes many benefits and tax provisions affecting employers, group health plan sponsors, health benefits brokers and health insurance issuers. Some provisions are currently effective, while others begin on future dates.

This Compliance Overview summarizes the employee benefits provisions relating to tax-favored accounts, surprise medical billing, health plan transparency and mental health parity. It also includes various tax credits, exclusions and deductions that may be of interest to employers, along with a brief discussion of key retirement plan provisions.

Key Benefits Provisions

The CAA provisions impacting employers and group health plan sponsors include those related to:

  • Health and dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
  • Surprise medical billing
  • Health care transparency
  • Mental health parity
  • Retirement plans
Tax Provisions

The CAA also contains a number of tax provisions related to:

  • Paid family and medical leave
  • Health coverage tax credits
  • Employee retention credits
  • Student loan repayments
  • Business meal deductions

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