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How COVID-19 Affects Current Health Plans and Health Insurance Providers

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury have provided answers to a second set of frequently asked about health coverage issues related to COVID-19. The FAQs also address the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Both of the Acts have been updated and include several changes to health plan that all health insurance issuers must know and follow.

The FAQs provide guidance on a variety of coverage topics for health care issuers, circling around mandates such as:

  • Provide that COVID-19 testing for surveillance or employment purposes is not subject to the cost-sharing mandates (including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance) under the FFCRA and CARES Act;

  • Confirm that the FFCRA and the CARES Act generally prohibit balance billing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing;

  • Allow health plans to revoke the temporary COVID-19-related coverage changes without satisfying certain notice deadlines, provided participants are notified within a reasonable time frame in advance of the reversal of the changes; and

  • Allow large employers to offer coverage for telehealth and other remote care services to employees who are not eligible for any other group health plan offered by the employer during the public health emergency.

For a more detailed look into these FAQs, visit the Department of Labor’s webpage.

If you sponsor group health plans for your team, it would certainly pay to become familiar with the FFCRA’s and CARES Act’s changes for the health plans your company offers. The Departments’ FAQs provide helpful guidance on implementing these changes.

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