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Biden HHS Pick Is a Shot in the Arm for Mental Health Parity

The federal government has taken major steps to boost insurers’ coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment in recent years, and with the confirmation of former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that trend will likely continue.

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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.

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Free Health Insurance! 100% COBRA Subsidy in COVID Stimulus Package: Questions & Answers

The 100% Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) subsidy in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) means that more than two million laid off Americans will have the option to extend their workplace healthcare insurance for free—temporarily.

In a recent article for Forbes, McDermott partner Judith Wethall outlines what the COBRA subsidy potentially means for employers.

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DOL Issues Clarification for ERISA-Governed Group Health Plans

Two days before the one-year anniversary of the official start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a last-minute notice clarifying its prior guidance that relaxed the deadlines for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed group health and welfare plans (ERISA) related to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and various special enrollment and claims procedures.

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Can Employers Make COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory?

Can employers make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?

Yes, with some exceptions. Experts say employers can require employees to take safety measures, including vaccination. That doesn’t necessarily mean an employee would get fired if they refuse, but they might need to sign a waiver or agree to work under specific conditions to limit risk.

With vaccine rollout underway in the United States, McDermott partner Michelle Strowhiro outlines considerations for employers in a recent article for The Associated Press.

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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.

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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.

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Can Employers Make Vaccines Mandatory in a Pandemic?

Even though a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 isn’t available yet, it’s not too early for employers to start considering whether they will require employees to get the vaccination when it is ready. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott partners Michelle Strowhiro and Sandy DiVarco highlighted some of the factors, considerations and accommodations that may be necessary once a vaccine is ready.

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