Surency Vision COVID-19 Update For our Groups and brokers
Updated March 30, 2020
THE CARES ACT AND SMALL BUSINESSES
The United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) on March 27, 2020. The $2 trillion package provides assistance for businesses, individuals, federal agencies, and state and local governments. There are a number of provisions that impact small businesses.
Here is a summary of a few of the provisions that impact small businesses:
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans:
- From February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) will guarantee loans to help eligible businesses pay costs such as payroll, benefits, rent, utilities, and so forth.
- Use of loans:
- Loans may be used for payroll, paid leave, insurance premiums, payroll taxes, rent, utilities, etc. A complete list of specified uses is detailed in the legislation.
- Loans may not be used for individual employee compensation above $100,000 annualized per year, and may not be used for sick and family leave wages for which a credit is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
- Who makes the loans:
- The loans can be made by the SBA or by lenders authorized to make SBA loans.
- Who is eligible for the loans:
- Businesses eligible for the loans must, in general, employ 500 employees or fewer (certain exceptions apply).
- Amount of loan:
- The maximum loan amount is the lesser of $10 million or 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs incurred in the year prior to the loan (February 15, 2019 – June 30, 2019), plus any Economic Injury Disaster loan (EIDL) made between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020 could be refinanced into a PPP loan, adding that outstanding loan amount to the payroll sum. Special rules apply for businesses not in existence between Feb. 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019.
- Loan forgiveness and payment deferral:
- Complete payment deferral of loan amounts for six months to one year.
- Loans will be forgiven in an amount equal to certain costs incurred and payments made during the “covered period.” The covered period is the eight-week period beginning on the date of the origination of the loan. The forgiven loan amounts include payroll costs (including wages, vacation and sick leave, group health insurance premiums, state and local taxes, payment of retirement benefits; and not any individual’s annualized compensation in excess of $100,000, or paid leave required under FFCRA), mortgage interest payments, rent payments, and utility payments.
Emergency Advance for EIDL Program:
The CARES Act provides for businesses with 500 employees or fewer to apply for economic injury disaster loans (“EIDL”) through the SBA’s EIDL program. An advance of not more than $10,000 may be requested, and, if application certifications are met, must be issued within three days. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance.
The CARES Act provides a refundable credit against payroll taxes (with a cap) if business operations were suspended at least in part due to a governmental order limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings due to COVID-19, or if the business had at least a 50% reduction in gross receipts year over year. Special rules apply for employers with more than 100 FT employees.
Payroll Tax Delay:
The deadline to deposit certain employer payroll taxes through the end of 2020 will be delayed until Dec. 31, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2022.
This summary is not intended to constitute legal or tax advice, and you should confer with legal counsel or accounting professionals before making any business decisions under the CARES Act. We, nonetheless, hope that you find this summary to be helpful.
For more detailed information on programs and provisions that impact small businesses, visit https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/guide-to-the-cares-act and download their comprehensive guide.
Updated March 25, 2020
Does Surency Have a Business Continuity Plan?
Yes, we have instituted our business continuity plan to ensure that we continue to provide excellent service to you during this time. We have planned and prepared for situations that allow us to work remotely while continuing to provide the best-in-class service you’ve come to expect from Surency.
Our teams have the tools and resources to meet our customers’ needs. We believe there will be little to no business disruption during this time. This is an unprecedented situation and we appreciate your patience.
Can Members Still Use Their Benefits?
Yes. Surency is committed to maintaining service and helping your members manage through these challenging times. We recommend members follow CDC guidelines regarding routine vision exams, including postponing routine visits. CDC guidance can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Should you lose or break your glasses or require replacement contact lenses, we are encouraging members to utilize online, in-network options, including Glasses.com, ContactsDirect, Ray-Ban.com, LensCrafters.com, and TargetOptical.com. Utilizing online providers also helps assure you practice safe social distancing and avoid unnecessary risk outdoors. Your benefits are applied on these sites during checkout and your glasses are mailed right to your home. Understanding the circumstances, many of these online providers are offering free, expedited shipping and no-cost returns for extra convenience. *Check with online providers to verify available offers.
Can I still contact Surency?
Yes, the Surency team is here for you. Reach out to your Surency account representative at any time. Members can easily contact our Customer Service team by calling 866-818-8805 or by submitting this online form.
I am working remotely, do you have online tools to make it easier to manage benefits?
Yes, we have easy-to-use online tools and access to the forms and information you need:
Online Employer Account:
You can log in to your online employer account at Surency.com and clicking on the ‘Login’ at the top, right corner. If you need to assistance with your employer account, please reach out our Marketing Support Team via email at email@example.com
Online Broker Account:
You can log in to your online broker account at Surency.com and clicking on the ‘Login’ at the top, right corner. If you need to assistance with your broker account, please reach out our Marketing Support Team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Access the forms you need, when you need them online at Surency.com. Please consider returning completed forms via email during this COVID-19 outbreak in order for our team to be able to take quicker action to assist you while working remotely.
Surency is continuing to provide updates as the situation progresses. Please visit our website for periodic updates at Surency.com/COVID-19.