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How to Apply the IRS’s COBRA Premium Subsidy Guidance

On May 18, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued much-anticipated Notice 2021-31 (the Notice) regarding the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) premium subsidy provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Under ARPA, a 100% COBRA premium subsidy and additional COBRA enrollment rights are available to certain assistance eligible individuals (AEIs) during the period beginning on April 1, 2021, and ending on September 30, 2021.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has previously issued model notices and a set of FAQs regarding the COBRA premium subsidy. The IRS has now issued additional FAQs in the Notice that apply to employers and plan sponsors­.

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Access to Digital Health Applications and Digital Care Applications in Germany

The German federal cabinet recently approved the draft law on the digital modernization of healthcare and nursing care. The draft has been criticized for not taking into account lessons learned from the implementation of the 2019 digital health applications (DiGAs) law.

In this International News article, McDermott Will & Emery partner Dr. Stephan Rau and McDermott alumna Dr. Karolin Hiller provide insight into the planned German regulations on DiGAs and digital care applications (DiPAs).

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VIDEO: COVID-19 Vaccination and Five Key Considerations for Healthcare Employers

The question of whether or not to make vaccinations mandatory for workers is being considered by employers globally, particularly those in the healthcare sector. In this video, McDermott Will & Emery partner Carole A. Spink outlines some of the most common employer-related vaccine questions, including incentives and data privacy concerns. Spink and McDermott partner Paul McGrath recently also wrote for McDermott’s International News about this topic.

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VIDEO: Transfers of Health Data from the European Union to the United States in a Post-Schrems II World

In this video, McDermott Will & Emery partner Amy C. Pimentel explains the significance of health data transfers from the European Union to the United States in a post-Schrems II world. The recent Schrems II ruling invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield, holding that the US legal regime on access to personal data does not contain adequate limitations and safeguards. Pimentel and McDermott’s Romain Perray recently also wrote for McDermott’s International News about this topic.

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Drug Discount Fights in Limbo Until Biden Restores Review Board

McDermott Will & Emery lawyer Emily J. Cook recently spoke to Bloomberg Law about a drug alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process that’s on hold after the Biden administration removed its Trump administration appointees. This particular process concerns Department of Health and Human Services panelists that will determine the direction of a 340B drug review board.

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All Hands on Deck: How Employers Can Expedite Vaccine Roll-Out for Employees and Their Loved Ones Using the Closed Point of Dispensing (CPOD) Model

McDermott Will & Emery lawyers Jennifer S. Geetter and Allyn N. Rosenberger recommend that employers consider using a “closed point of dispensing” model to expedite COVID-19 vaccinations for their workforce by arranging for health care providers to inoculate employees using government-provided vaccines.

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OSHA Releases Guidance for Employers Considering Vaccine Requirements

Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released three new FAQs for employers who recommend or require employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines. OSHA is responsible for enforcing workplace safety standards across the US.

McDermott previously reported that employers can require employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment, though employers should consider several factors before making the decision to require employee vaccinations. The new OSHA guidance highlights additional considerations when requiring employee vaccinations.

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VIDEO: The COVID Vaccine – Understanding What’s Next

Employers have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and how to update their employment policies. In this video, McDermott partners, Chris Braham, Chris Foster and Michelle Strowhiro answer questions about vaccine requirements in the workforce, additional considerations and more.

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IRS Announces 2022 Limits for Health Savings Accounts, High-Deductible Health Plans and Excepted Benefit HRAs

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for health savings accounts, high-deductible health plans and excepted benefit health reimbursement arrangements for 2022. Some of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2021 will change for 2022.

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Internet Access Is a Critical Telehealth, Equity Issue

COVID-19 served as a major pivot event for the adoption of virtual healthcare solutions. As stay-at-home orders swept the country and the pandemic forced physical isolation, telehealth tools were rapidly rolled out to safely provide necessary services. The reality on the ground forced overnight adoption of virtual care services that otherwise likely would have plodded along for decades.

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