Here at Davenport Benefits, we want to make sure that our clients are informed with up-to-date information on COVID-19 in order to benefit the health and safety of our communities. Below, we have compiled verified news sources with current updates and announcements regarding the handling of the coronavirus in our region. Please continue to check back for the most recent information, and consider sharing with your friends and family on social media.
Resource center content categories include:
Compliance Resources: The impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented and brings with it a slew of uncharted compliance questions developed by team of experienced attorneys.
HR Resources: HR departments are being spread incredibly thin by the pandemic as they try to field employee questions and keep their workplaces safe. These HR resources can help employers mitigate disruptions and keep their business running as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Employee Resources: With the mass amount of information—and misinformation—available, employers are struggling to keep their employees informed and safe. Employers can distribute this employee-facing content to their workplace to help answer COVID-19 related questions.
CARES Act Information
Updated FAQs from the DOL: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions
Effective Date for Employment Tax Credits Under the FFCRA: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-21.pdf
Summary of the CARES Act Employee Benefits Provisions (https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr748/BILLS-116hr748enr.pdf):
COVID-19 Diagnostic tests to be Covered With No Cost-Sharing:
Under the FFCRA, health plans must cover, with no cost-sharing, FDA-approved COVID-19 diagnostic tests. The CARES Act expands the types of tests that must be covered, with no cost sharing, to include tests with emergency-use authorization from the FDA; state-developed tests; and other tests approved by HHS.
How this impacts employers: Employers need to make sure their health plans provide COVID-19 testing with no cost-sharing and must communicate the change to employees
Expansion on COVID-19 Testing Costs to be Covered by Health Plan:
Although FFCRA requires health plans to cover COVID-19 testing without cost-sharing, it does not address the price of testing. The CARES Act clarifies the prices that a health plan must pay for COVID-19 testing. Where the health plan has negotiated a rate prior to the declaration of the public health emergency, that negotiated rate will apply for the duration of the emergency. But where no price has been negotiated in advance, the health plan must pay either the cash price published by the health care provider on its public internet website or some lesser rate negotiated between the health plan and the provider.
How this affects employers: Payment terms for COVID-19 testing will likely be processed by the carrier or TPA. But since normal plan limitations on payments (such as allowed amounts or usual and customary costs) won’t apply, employers may want to consider explaining this in their SMM describing the coverage for COVID-19 testing.
Rapid Coverage of COVID-19 Preventive Services and Vaccinations as Preventive Services:
The ACA requires that certain preventive care services be covered at 100%, but usually gives health plans at least a year after the recommendation to add the benefit to the plan. The CARES Act shortens this period for COVID-19 preventive services and vaccinations to 15 days from the date of the recommendation.
How this affects employers: Watch for announcements about COVID-19 preventive services and vaccinations. While carriers and TPAs will probably automatically add these benefits to health plans, employers will want to monitor to ensure it happens on a timely basis and must communicate the coverage to employees.
Telemedicine Services under HDHPs:
A high deductible health plan (HDHP) partnered with an HSA usually can’t cover the costs of treatment until the participant reaches the HDHP’s statutory minimum deductible (except for preventive care). The CARES Act allows an HDHP during plan years that begin on or before December 31, 2021 to also cover telehealth services with no cost-sharing and not impact HSA eligibility.
Impact to employers: If an employer’s carrier or TPA implements telehealth with no cost-sharing, the employer should communicate the coverage to participants, and will also want to make sure this benefit ends for their HDHP/HSA option at the end of the 2021 plan year (unless Congress extends the exemption).
Tax-Free Coverage for OTC Drugs and Menstrual Products through HSAs and Health FSAs:
The CARES Act omits provisions that exclude the use of funds from HSAs and health care FSAs to purchase over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. This legislation also allows tax-free funds from these accounts to pay for menstrual products.
How it affects employers: For an employer’s health care FSA, this should be a popular change for employees who participate in that program. HSAs are individual bank accounts and not employer plans, but employers should review any communications and update them as needed.
Small Business Loans and Health Plan Premiums:
The CARES Act includes a small business loan program (with loan forgiveness for specific instances) which specifically allows employers to use loan amounts to pay payroll, which includes employees’ salaries (up to $100,000), paid sick or paid medical leave, insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and rent and utility payments. Employers will need to check with their CPA on qualifications for loan forgiveness, and other details of the loan program, but employers may be interested in better understanding the loan provisions since loans could be a source for health insurance-related premium payments during an employee furlough or unpaid leave of absence.
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- Chinese Community Health Plan – Click Here
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- Lincoln Financial – Click Here
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- Mutual of Omaha – Click Here
- Oscar Health – Click Here
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- Sharp Health – Click Here
- Sutter Health Plus – Click Here
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- Trustmark – Click Here
- United Healthcare – Click Here
- Unum – Click Here
- Western Health – Click Here
CDC Online Newsroom Welcome to the CDC Online Newsroom, a one-stop source for journalists seeking public health information. Global media and the general public can access current and archived press releases, media advis
- HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield to give update on COVID-19 response, Operation Warp Speedby email@example.com on October 20, 2020 at 9:25 pm
Credentialed media are invited to join Secretary Azar and Dr. Redfield for a press briefing and Q&A.
- CDC and the American Mosquito Control Association Collaborate on First-ever Comprehensive Resources for Mosquito Control in Areas Affected by Natural Disastersby firstname.lastname@example.org on October 13, 2020 at 2:55 pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) have collaborated to provide the first-ever comprehensive volume of resources to guide mosquito control in areas affected by natural disasters, such as hurricanes and flooding in this special edition of the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association (JAMCA).
- CDC shares guidance on how to stay safe during and after Hurricane Deltaby email@example.com on October 9, 2020 at 4:05 pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sharing important information to keep you and your family safe during and immediately after Hurricane Delta.
- CDC Updates “How COVID is Spread” Webpageby firstname.lastname@example.org on October 5, 2020 at 1:55 pm
Today, CDC issued updated guidance to its <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html">How COVID-19 Spreads</a> website, which includes information about the potential for airborne spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
- CDC Medical Officer Honored with 2020 Sammies Awardby email@example.com on October 5, 2020 at 10:30 am
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health scientist Vikram Krishnasamy, M.D., MPH, has been awarded the <a href="https://servicetoamericamedals.org/">Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal<sup>®</sup></a> by the Partnership for Public Service.
- CDC investigating Salmonella outbreaks linked to pet bearded dragons, pet hedgehogsby firstname.lastname@example.org on October 1, 2020 at 12:00 am
CDC is investigating two separate multistate Salmonella illness outbreaks, one linked to contact with pet bearded dragons and one linked to contact with pet hedgehogs.
- Cruise Ship No Sail Order Extended Through October 31, 2020by email@example.com on September 30, 2020 at 10:35 pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today the extension of a <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/">No Sail Order</a> for cruise ships through October 31, 2020. This order continues to suspend passenger operations on cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
- Salmonella Investigation Updateby firstname.lastname@example.org on September 24, 2020 at 6:10 pm
A CDC food safety alert regarding a multistate outbreak of <em>Salmonella</em> Stanley infections has been posted: <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/stanley-09-20/index.html">https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/stanley-09-20/index.html</a>
- Administration Announces $200 million from CDC to Jurisdictions for COVID-19 Vaccine Preparednessby email@example.com on September 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is announcing upcoming action by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide $200 million to jurisdictions for COVID-19 vaccine preparedness.
- New CDC data finds adult obesity is increasingby firstname.lastname@example.org on September 17, 2020 at 11:25 am
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that adult obesity prevalence is increasing and racial and ethnic disparities persist. Notably, adults with obesity are at heightened risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19.