Benefits Update: How the CARES Act affects Marquette, UMR waived testing costs and expanded telehealth coverage

Congress recently passed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security” (CARES) Act, which contained several provisions relevant to participants in Marquette’s 403(b) retirement plan.

Currently, Marquette’s plan offers loans up to $50,000 to participants (or 50% of their employee contributed account balance) but the CARES Act allows employers to increase that limit.

Under normal circumstances, active employees can take distributions from their deferrals in the plan, but they must be over the age of 59 and a half and must pay the income taxes that are due. Former employees can take distributions at any time but must pay a 10% penalty if under 59 and a half years of age in addition to the taxes due.

Under the CARES Act, employers can modify their plans to do the following for qualified individuals:

OPTIONAL: Enhanced loans, available for the next six months – until Sept. 23, 2020:

  • Increased limit: Lesser of $100,000 or 100% of vested account balance
  • Loan repayments can be delayed for up to one year

OPTIONAL: Outstanding loan payments from March 27, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020 can be postponed for one year and the due date can be adjusted by one year. Interest will continue to accrue.

OPTIONAL: Coronavirus Related Distribution (CRD), available until Dec. 31, 2020:

  • In-service, $100,000 limit
  • No 10% early withdrawal tax penalty
  • Taxed over three years unless participant elects to pay the full taxes in the current tax year
  • Can be repaid over three years

“Qualified individuals” are defined as an individual:

  1. …who is diagnosed with the virus SARS– CoV–2 or with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID– 19) by a CDC approved test.
  2. …whose spouse or dependent (as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) is diagnosed with such virus or disease by such a test.
  3. …who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of:
    1. Being quarantined
    2. Being furloughed
    3. Being laid off
    4. Having reduced work hours due to such virus or disease
    5. The inability to work due to lack of childcare due to such virus or disease
    6. Closing or reducing hours of a business owned or operated by the individual due to such virus or disease
    7. Or other factors as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury or the secretary’s delegate

Required minimum distributions for those who are currently retired and taking distributions will be waived for 2020, although individuals are free to continue to take their distributions as planned.

The Retirement Plan Committee (RPC) has reviewed these options and sought input from TIAA, the university’s plan administrator, and Francis Investment Counsel, the university’s independent investment advisors.

After careful consideration, the RPC approved the implementation of all three options and has instructed TIAA to implement those changes so that employees can seek loans or coronavirus related distributions from their account.

From UMR: Waived testing costs and expanded telehealth coverage
UnitedHealthcare, including UMR, has a team of experts closely monitoring COVID-19. As with any public health issue, they are working with and following all guidance and protocols issued by the CDC, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state and local public health departments to support all employees. UMR is in constant communication with Marquette for COVID-19 updates and how they impact employees.

What this means for you
If you are experiencing symptoms, or think you might have been exposed to COVID-19, please call your health provider right away.

Free access to testing
If you meet the CDC guidelines for testing, and it is requested by your doctor, all costs for COVID-19 testing will be waived. In addition, costs are waived for visits associated with COVID-19 testing – whether the testing is done in a physician’s office, telehealth visit, an urgent care center or an emergency department – in or out of network. If you have coverage questions on testing, testing locations, treatments or anything else, please call the number on your health plan ID card.

Talk to your health care provider about telehealth
In response to COVID-19 and to allow faster support and to reduce exposure to the virus, telehealth services for medical and behavioral health are available through the plan until June 18, 2020, and will then be further evaluated by UMR.

Expenses for telehealth services related to all other non-COVID-19 general conditions will be subject to normal plan benefits and based on in/out of network status, which would include member co-pay, deductible and coinsurance responsibility. Note that this additional telehealth coverage expands on Marquette’s current Teledoc services in order to provide continuity of care.

For more information, contact HR Benefits at (414) 288-7305 or