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COVID-19 Update: COVID Testing Guidance, COVID-Inspired Merger, Insurance Credits

By Net Assets posted 05-18-2020 04:27 PM


​(From Inside Higher Ed) As colleges across the country announce plans to reopen their campuses this fall, it's becoming clearer how COVID testing may unfold on campus. The University of California, San Diego, for instance, has announced an ambitious testing program, in which students who remained on campus this spring self-administer swab tests and return the swabs to individual specimen collection bags. The goal, according to administration officials, is to gain the knowledge and insight necessary to eventually scale up to campus-wide testing of the roughly 65,000 students, faculty and staff members on campus. For more guidance on public health challenges to containment and surveillance capabilities, see the  20-page document from the American College Health Association.

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(From Inside Higher Ed) Pine Manor College, a small, private liberal arts college just outside Boston, will merge into Boston College, due to pandemic-related economic challenges. Pine Manor has struggled financially for years, relying heavily on non-tuition revenue. Boston College will take on some current Pine Manor faculty and staff, and others will receive severance and outplacement assistance. Whether Boston College will continue the many auxiliary operations of Pine Manor is still to be determined.

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(From Bolton & Company) With social distancing creating conditions for reduced expenses for insurance carriers, some carriers are offering premium credits on future bills and more are expected to follow. However, it’s important to consider that the handling of such relief is more complicated than it may seem due to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) rules. Organizations receiving a credit should review their group health plan document first, as there may be language there that allows the employer to keep the full amount of the refund without distributing the employees’ share. If not, be aware that even when the amount of a participant’s portion would be considered “de Minimis,” the employer is not allowed to simply keep the money – the credit requires action.

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