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Healthcare and Childcare FSA Fix for 2021, Finally: Special Carryover Rules and More

The Consolidated Appropriations Act provides tax relief for workers who socked away pre-tax money into flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for 2020 and couldn't use it because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now employees may be able to carry over all of their unused funds to use later. Even ex-employees might get more time to spend down unused money instead of forfeiting it. In a recent article in Forbes, McDermott partner Jacob Mattinson speaks to the employer perspective on FSA carryovers. Access the article.

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Healthcare Briefing: Georgia Races to Shape Biden Health Policy

This week's runoff elections in Georgia could help President-elect Joe Biden quickly confirm his cabinet and begin in earnest on his healthcare agenda. However, it won't mean that Democrats will be able to easily make good on their promises to expand on Obamacare, send more funds to states to fight the pandemic or lower the cost of prescription drugs. In an article for Bloomberg Government, McDermottPlus consultant Rodney Whitlock speaks to the future of healthcare policy in the United States. Access the article.

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With Everyone Working from Home, What’s the Future of Freelance?

The freelance space, one of the few sectors to thrive as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis, has seen a surge of openings, especially with the shift to remote work. But the blurred new reality can be bad for freelancers: An employer can have two workers doing essentially the same job, and sometimes what differentiates them is not what they turn in or the gains they make for the company but rather their earnings and insurance status, potentially putting a contractor in a disadvantaged position. In a recent article from Durrelliot, McDermott partner Michelle Strowhiro explains the importance of establishing clear boundaries for freelancers and employees alike in the era of “working from home.” Access the article.

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The EEOC Releases First Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination for Employers

On December 16, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its first direct guidance for employers regarding COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Important takeaways from the guidance, as well as FAQs from the EEOC, are discussed in the attached link. Access the article.

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Digital Health as Healthcare Delivery: A Path to Transform Care Delivery Post-Pandemic

As has been widely noted, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted countless people to rely on telehealth and virtual monitoring for their healthcare needs. This dramatic pivot is catalyzing a demand for digital health tools that will persist post-pandemic, as providers, payers and patients alike grow accustomed to the benefits of digital care. In a recent article for MedTech Intelligence, McDermott partner Jennifer S. Geetter outlines specific steps that digital health technology developers and providers can take to integrate digital health into our care delivery system. Access the article.

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Passage of California Privacy Act Could Spur Similar New Regulations in Other States

On November 3, California citizens approved the California Privacy Rights and Enforcement Act (the CPRA), a comprehensive privacy law that amends another privacy law that went into effect in the state on January 1, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). The CPRA is intended to strengthen privacy regulations in California by creating new requirements for companies that collect and share sensitive personal information. It also creates a new agency, the California Privacy Protection Agency, that will be responsible for enforcing CPRA violations. In a recent article in CSO, McDermott partner Laura Jehl discussed the impact of the CPRA on the future of privacy legislation in the United States. Access the article.

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Final Rule for Selecting Retirement Plan Investments Leaves “ESG” Behind

In recent guidance, the Department of Labor clarified the retirement plan standards for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investing without mentioning the term ESG. The new guidance provides that, when selecting and monitoring plan investments, an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary must never sacrifice investment returns, take on additional investment risk or pay higher fees to promote non-pecuniary benefits or goals. Teal Trujillo, an incoming associate in our Chicago office, also contributed to this On the Subject. Access the article.

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Podcast | After the Curve: Focus on Health Insurance and Coverage

COVID-19 has catalyzed significant changes in the patterns of healthcare delivery, with the potential for long lasting effects on payors as a result. In this episode of the After the Curve podcast, we discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic may shift the healthcare coverage and payment landscape as well as how it may boost integration among payors and providers. McDermott's Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Tullio is joined by Kate McDonald and Ankur Goel to discuss relevant topics for both payors and the healthcare industry. Listen now.

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Agencies Issue Final Employer Healthcare Price Transparency Rule

On October 29, 2020, the US Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (collectively, the Departments) issued the Transparency in Coverage final rule (the Rule), along with a fact sheet, setting forth requirements for group health plans and health insurance issuers to disclose cost-sharing information upon request to participants, as well as additional pricing information to the general public. Access the article.

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