Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

August 31, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality and Usefulness iconStates, Cities Tackle COVID-19 Paid Leave (PDF)

36 pages. "This [paper] provides brief summaries of new state and local paid leave benefits, as well as guidance addressing how current paid leave benefits apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.... The federal emergency paid sick and family leave requirements under the [FFCRA] do not preempt any state or local paid leave mandates. Employers need to watch for guidance from state and local authorities on coordinating the new federal paid leave rights with state and local mandates." Icon to read more

Mercer

[Guidance Overview]

School's Back (or Is It?) -- When Can Your Employees Take FFCRA Leave?

"An employee may take FFCRA leave on a child's remote learning days in a hybrid learning method ... FFCRA leave is not available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance, but the employee chose a remote learning option for the child ... If the school year is beginning solely under a remote learning program due to COVID-19 concerns, employees may take FFCRA leave." Icon to read more

Jackson Lewis P.C.

[Guidance Overview]

New FFCRA FAQs Address Return-to-School Leave Issues

"Unfortunately, the DOL's new guidance leaves employers and working parents with situations that will continue to be frustrating and difficult to manage. The alternating use of FFCRA leave in the hybrid scheduling model will undoubtedly create scheduling and staffing headaches for employers. On the other hand, employees who do not feel safe having their children return to school may have little choice if their child's school is open." Icon to read more

McDonald Hopkins

[Guidance Overview]

Governor Narrows COVID-19 Leave Protections for Michigan Employees

"Governor Gretchen Whitmer just issued [Executive Order 2020-172] that limits the availability of job-protected leave moving forward only to those employees who pose a 'particular risk of infecting others with COVID-19.' ... [The] August 27 executive order is not retroactive in nature and is still more protective than CDC guidelines with regard to when an employee may return to work." Icon to read more

Fisher Phillips

What Are the Required Annual Notices for Health Plans?

"Employers must provide the Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage, CHIP, and WHCRA notices annually. Employers should also consider providing other notices with the required annual notices." Icon to read more

ABD Insurance & Financial Services

Telemedicine Gets Another Boost in Medicare Proposed 2021 Physician Fee Schedule

"The proposed rule adds a third category of services, which would remain on the Medicare telehealth list through the end of the calendar year in which the COVID-19 PHE ends. Category 3 services have a potential likelihood of clinical benefit but have not yet shown sufficient clinical benefit to patients. Examples of category 3 services proposed include emergency department visits, psychological and neuropsychological testing, and home visits for established patients." Icon to read more

PwC

Comparing Commercial and Medicare Professional Service Prices

"[F]rom 2014 to 2018, prices accounted for about 75 percent of the increase in spending above inflation.... [C]ommercial prices for professional services were, on average, 122% of Medicare rates nationally in 2017. Average commercial prices varied dramatically across states, from below Medicare rates in Alabama (98% of Medicare) to nearly twice Medicare rates in Wisconsin (188% of Medicare).... [T]he difference between commercial and Medicare prices was largest in northwestern states." Icon to read more

Health Care Cost Institute [HCCI]

The Future of Corporate Wellness: How to Engage Remote Employees in the COVID-19 Era

"The sudden shift in the work environment and the current health crisis have highlighted how critical it is to develop and maintain a healthy workforce. To do this, corporate wellness initiatives and program delivery must change to meet the times." Icon to read more

HR Daily Advisor

Pennsylvania Governor Calls for Mandatory Employer-Paid Sick and Family Leave

"As Pennsylvanians continue to fight the health risks of COVID-19, Governor Tom Wolf is calling for the General Assembly to pass legislation for paid sick and family leave for workers who need to miss work for an illness or to take care of a loved one.... [T]he governor also announced that the commonwealth's new paid parental leave policy will take effect Oct. 15. Commonwealth employees will be eligible for up to six weeks of paid parental leave to care for a child after a birth, adoption, or foster care placement." Icon to read more

WTAJ

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of Additional DOL FFCRA Questions and Answers: New Q&As 98-100
Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

View COVID-19 News and Resources

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2020 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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