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Nelson Mullins COVID-19 Resources

Nelson Mullins is continuing to monitor developments related to COVID-19, including guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and various federal, state, and local government authorities. The firm is taking appropriate precautionary actions and has implemented plans to ensure the continuation of all firm services to clients from both in office and remote work arrangements across our 25 offices. 

In addition, click the link below to access extensive resources to address a wide variety of topics resulting from the virus, in general and by industry,  including topics such as essential businesses, force majeure, business interruption insurance, CARES Act and FFCRA, and others. 

Nelson Mullins COVID-19 Resources

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Comp and Benefits Brief

March 19, 2020

Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Impact on Employer’s Group Health Plans

The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“HR 6201”), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, includes the following rules that impact employers’ group health plans and employer costs incurred in providing group health plan coverage.

Health Plan Testing for COVID-19

Group health plans (including fully-insured, self-insured and grandfathered) and health insurers are required to provide coverage and not impose any cost sharing requirements (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) or prior authorization or other medical management requirements, for the following items and services:

  • Diagnostic testing for COVID-19, and
  • Office visits (whether in-person or telehealth), urgent care visits, and ER visits that result in an order for or administration of diagnostic testing for COVID-19.

The requirement to cover office, urgent care and ER visits only applies to the extent that the fees for the visit or services relate to (a) the furnishing or administration of the diagnostic testing or (b) the evaluation of the individual for purposes of determining the need for diagnostic testing.  Thus, if the patient had visited the physician’s office for another reason (such as a post-surgery follow-up), presumably he or she would be responsible for the office visit fee, but not the cost of the diagnostic testing.

This requirement applies immediately on the date of enactment of the Act and continues until the end of the national emergency period.

The various secretaries of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury may issue additional guidance further explaining the provisions of this portion of the Act, so you should stay alert for anything they may issue.

Tax Credits for Cost of Health Plan Coverage

Non-governmental employers who are required to pay wages under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act portions of HR 6201 (both of which will be addressed in a separate upcoming alert) will be able to recoup, in the form of tax credits against certain payroll taxes, the full employer cost of group health plan coverage that they provide during the paid portion of those emergency leaves.   We will address these tax credits in more detail in an upcoming alert.

The clock is ticking.  Employers (especially those with self-insured plans) should start working with their legal advisors and benefits consultants to consider any changes they need to make to their group health plans to comply with these new requirements.

The Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team is ready to assist with questions or compliance steps. Please contact one of our Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits attorneys or the Nelson Mullins attorney with whom you work.