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Latest COVID Relief Legislation News

Updated: Feb 5

To our valued clients,


The SBA/Treasury have released two interim final rules since the latest COVID relief legislation was signed on December 27, 2020. The following defines some key terms within this law:

  • “Covered Operations Expenditures”

This includes software and cloud computing expenses related to human resources and accounting. It should be noted that it is open to interpretation as to how broadly these expenditures can be included in your calculation.

  • “Covered Property Damage Costs”

This includes costs related to property damage due to public disturbances that occurred during 2020, if not covered by insurance.

  • “Covered Supplier Costs”

Refers to payments to a supplier pursuant to a contract/purchase order in effect prior to taking out the loan, if expenditures were essential to the recipient’s operations at the time the expenditure was made.

  • “Covered Worker Protection Expenditures”

Allows for costs to pay for PPE or other investments that would help the borrower comply with governmental guidelines related to COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and the end of the national emergency declaration.

  • “Payroll Costs”

The definition has been revised to include group life, disability, vision, or dental insurance costs associated with your employees.

Health Benefit: COVID-19 Vaccine Information


Now that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, distribution of its new vaccine for COVID-19 is underway. This is encouraging news as the vaccine will serve as a vital tool for controlling and eventually ending this pandemic.

Vaccine distribution is being conducted in a phased approach given the limited supply. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has released its recommended phases which the state of Hawai‘i has elected to follow. The highest priority group (Phase 1a) will include health care workers and long-term care residents.

Employees in Phase 1a can get the vaccine from any facility that has been approved as a COVID-19 vaccine provider by the state department of health. Specific locations will be available on vaccinefinder.org as the information is known.


Kaiser Permanente has been approved as a vaccine provider in every market they operate. COVID-19 vaccines have arrived at multiple Kaiser Permanente locations. As an approved provider, they will administer initial vaccines to the populations prioritized by state health departments and CDC guidance, regardless of health plan membership. For the latest updates call the message hotline at 1-855-550-0951 (TTY 711). The COVID-19 vaccine is free to everyone who wants one in 2021.

HMAA continues to closely monitor developments regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine serum will initially be paid by the federal government. HMAA will process vaccine claims such that members have a $0 cost-share at both in- and out-of-network providers during the national public health emergency period.


It will likely take several months to achieve widespread vaccination. For now, please continue to stay safe and healthy. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay 6 feet apart — and remember to get your flu shot.


Report Center Update

Makai HR has been receiving incredible feedback from clients about the Report Center we launched back in November. In just a few short months, several clients have used the Report Center to assist their organizations with Open Enrollment, end of year planning, and 2021 budgeting. If you have not yet visited the Report Center contact your Account Manager for instructions in using the system's functions and about joining us for Report Center training.


HR for Hire Service Launched

Just a reminder that our HR for Hire service is up-and-running and available to all clients. Through this program, you can have a dedicated SHRM-Certified HR professional assigned to provide “office hours” in ½ day and full day increments to handle your HR needs, including employee relations and HR escalations, sexual harassment & discrimination training, HR policy updates and administering corrective action and performance improvement plans. Contact your Account Manager if you would like to receive a quote.


2021 Unemployment Tax Update


Makai HR has continued working with the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations to manage unemployment claims. We have also enlisted an expert 3rd party consultancy that specializes in state tax work to give us guidance. We are committed to doing everything in our power to keep unemployment rates as low as possible considering the unprecedented circumstances of the past year. You should see the estimated new rate on your first invoice of 2021 while we wait for the actual rate to be released by the state this spring.


Mahalo,

Makai HR Support

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Email: contact@makaihr.com

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Honolulu, HI 96813

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