Employee Benefits
Subscribe to Employee Benefits's Posts

Look for Drug Pricing, Other Government Changes–But Be Prepared to Wait

Political divisiveness on Capitol Hill, a focus on impeachment activity and financial relief for the COVID-19 pandemic—as well as delays in confirming President Joe Biden’s nominees for cabinet and subcabinet positions—so far have caused a slowdown in the new administration’s ability to make sweeping changes affecting healthcare.

In an article for Pharmacy Practice News, McDermott partner James Kim discusses key issues to watch from Congress and the White House in 2021.

Access the article.




Easing the Burden: New PBGC Rule Simplifies Multiemployer Plan Withdrawal Liability Calculations

New guidance streamlines the methods for calculating withdrawal liability for multiemployer union pension plans that have adopted benefit reductions, benefit suspensions, surcharges or contribution increases—a common occurrence with underfunded multiemployer pension plans.

Access the article.




IRS Provides Additional COVID-19 Relief for Cafeteria Plans

On February 18, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued clarifying guidance on the temporary special rules for health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs). This provides welcome guidance regarding the application of cafeteria plan relief provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA).

Access the article.




5 Themes to Watch as Digital Health Takes Center Stage

The challenges of the past year have underscored the importance of life sciences to a dramatic degree. With countries worldwide now distributing vaccines that were developed in record time, COVID-19 has also made plain the value of investing in technological and scientific solutions that can reshape the world and improve health outcomes.

The pandemic has particularly accelerated investments in the digital health space, as a significant share of everyday life has migrated to computer screens by necessity. So what does this mean for the sector going forward?

Writing for MPO Magazine, McDermott partner Steve Bernstein shares five themes to watch in the digital health sector, including what life sciences developers and investors should know about the current deal-making landscape.

Access the article.




American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Key Healthcare Provisions

On March 10, 2021, US Congress finalized and passed the American Rescue Plan of 2021 (ARPA), the latest COVID-19 relief package that largely tracks President Joe Biden’s initial $1.9 trillion proposal. The ARPA extends unemployment insurance benefits and provides direct $1,400 stimulus payments to qualifying Americans, but it also makes several important health policy-related changes. These include providing funding for vaccine distribution and testing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, making policy adjustments to the Medicaid program, facilitating health insurance coverage and providing more money for healthcare providers. The final bill also makes two narrowly focused technical Medicare payment changes.

This summary highlights notable health policy provisions of the final bill.

Access the summary.

For more information, please contact Meg Gilley, Mara McDermott, Kristen O’Brien, Katie Waldo, Rodney Whitlock or Eric Zimmerman.




VIDEO: Can Employers Insist Their Workers Have COVID Vaccines?

A recent poll in the United Kingdom revealed there was a high level of support among managers for making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for staff returning to work, with half of the respondents believing office access should be restricted for those who refused to get a vaccination on non-medical grounds. But what are the legal, ethical and privacy issues of such measures?

In an interview for BBC World News, McDermott partner Carole Spink discussed employer-related vaccine considerations.

Access the video.




California Expands COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

On March 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 95, significantly expanding California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (CSPSL). This latest legislation now requires any California employer with more than 25 employees to provide CSPSL in addition to regular paid sick leave offered.

Access the article.




COVID-19 Relief Bill Offers COBRA Reform and Temporarily Increases DCAP Maximum

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) providing Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) reform provisions and an increase in Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) maximum deferrals. While details from the agencies are forthcoming, here is an overview of these provisions of the ARPA.

Access the article.




Establishing a CPOD Model: 5 Initial Steps for Employers

A “closed point of dispensing” (CPOD) is emerging as a valuable model for employers working to make vaccines more broadly available as the United States moves toward mass vaccination efforts. Establishing a CPOD requires a deliberate strategy but can be done efficiently and proactively by taking a few initial steps.

View the checklist.




STAY CONNECTED

TOPICS

ARCHIVES